I wish we’d stop getting caught up on platforms when it comes to social media and community interaction. Do you HAVE to be on Facebook? Do you HAVE to be on Twitter? That depends. Where is your community?
Lots of different businesses want to drive the conversation to their blog or website, but they may not be seeing a ton of traction, do to inconsistent content, or promotion, etc. That’s the downside – the upside? They may have a very active Facebook Community. Twitter isn’t far behind. That’s a win.
I’m asked all the time what platforms businesses should invest their time and resources on. The real answer is…. it depends. I think it’s important to put up listening stations on as many platforms as you can manage, because a user on twitter is just as valuable as a user on Facebook or a blog commenter – and we need to meet those users where THEY want to be met.
That’s one of the dilemmas of social media. Brands don’t get to control where people will talk about them, or where like minded people will set up shop. You don’t get to decide to drive them through one communication channel anymore. In short, you are always the Away Team.
That shouldn’t scare you. It’s just a fact. I really believe that to run an effective social media campaign you have to be comfortable being the away team – interacting and playing on fields that are not your own website. That includes, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Quora, and forums. (By the way, forums are still most definitely a part of social media, and in my opinion hugely under served by brands. Big opportunities there, but that’s another post.)
So, get on the bus. Listen. Then listen some more. Help people solve problems on their turf and maybe, just maybe you’ll be invited back.