For quite some time now, marketers have felt confident in their use of social media as a marketing channel. LinkedIn is the network for professionals, Twitter follows closely behind, Facebook is more for personal use, and sites like Pinterest and Instagram are more for companies selling consumer products. This has been the case for quite some time, but sadly things are changing again.
Is Twitter dead as the dodo?
I realised just the other day that my use of Twitter had become almost non-existent, so I thought it was worth looking into this to see if others were experiencing the same things. To my surprise, I wasn’t the only one. It turns out that Twitter is actually on a slippery slope at the moment – and not just with regards to its share price (currently at 19.66 down from 31.34 last October). Multiple factors have contributed to this downturn including a stagnant user base, feature changes (such as Moments), an increased 10,000-character limit, and of course, constantly-improving competitors. Although Twitter hasn’t done anything wrong per say, it’s more to do with its failure to broaden its offering. The result is that marketing are spending less on ads and ultimately cutting Twitter’s revenue streams.
So now what?
As with most of these things, it’s necessary to go back to the buyer personas and your target audience. Before you go jumping two-footed into another social media channel, first ensure your target audience are present there and that they use the network for business purposes. If you know your buyers are active on a particular social media channel, then you need to be too. But as always, stay vigilant and look for signs that it’s going off the boil. All of these social media networks have a ‘shelf life’ until the next unique social network becomes popular, then we’ll be on that once.
That’s not the only change happening
If you do venture on social media sites like Instagram in the search for leads, sales, and revenue, be very wary about the hashtags that you use. Instagram is now employing censorship of hashtags across 2 levels. The first of these levels is ‘restricted’, where Instagram will partially censor a hashtag if it’s been recently used with problematic images. The second level of censorship is ‘banned’ which means that the use of this tag is completely off limits. Now given that most of these restricted or banned hashtags are related to adult material, why would it be important to marketers? Well, some of the tags are more ‘pedestrian’ than you may think, and by using these in your innocent marketing posts, you run the risk of linking your prospects to a non-existent conversation. Examples of restricted hashtags include #brain, #citycentre, #desk, and even #newyearsday. Equally as ridiculous, the banned list includes hashtags including #ilovemyinstagram, #like, and #popularpage.
For more information about using social media in your B2B sales and marketing…