The constant emergence of new social media platforms often lures marketers down a rabbit warren, chasing shiny new toys with which they have no experience. Happens all the time. A new platform gets traction and the queries roll in about its role in the brand’s marketing mix. Right now, case in point is Snapchat, with brands scratching their heads about how to get on board.

So how do you determine where to focus your energies and which platforms deserve your attention? It depends on many factors.

Start by asking the following questions:

  • What is the size of the opportunity, ie the potential audience reach?
  • Is your brand’s core demographic or target market actively using this platform?
  • Do you have the time and resources to commit to managing another medium in the marketing mix?
  • Do you have content that’s appropriate for this channel?
  • How will you monitor responses and engage appropriately?

It’s a crying shame when brands spread themselves too thinly and jump onto platforms without thinking through its purpose and practice. Sure, there are ‘first mover’ advantages and benefits gained from building a community early, but isn’t it better to make the most of the platforms on which you already have a presence? Our advice is to produce relevant content and engage your audience effectively on one channel before you turn on the next.

This space is evolving quickly and it’s good to stay in the race, but it’s worth remembering many of these “social” platforms remain just that – a place to engage with family and friends. So here’s the question to ask: what’s your brand’s reason for being? How can you communicate that brand message in the most relevant way on that platform? For most brands it will take a fair amount of twists and turns and adapting that message to engage members of the platform’s community. The answer is not just a proliferation of the same content through yet another medium.