All Social Media Platforms Are Not Created Equal

Businesses large and small are becoming more involved with social media and recognizing how their brand can benefit from having accounts on various platforms. But growing an online presence requires more effort than merely opening an account on Twitter or Facebook, as you are aware if you have launched a business page.

Before launching a new social media campaign or opening a new business profile, there’s something you should know – all social media accounts are not created equal. It’s easy to view accounts with numbers registering in the hundreds of thousands, or even millions and then lament, “I wish I had that many followers.”

Since working with myriad social media accounts at Hearst Media Services and now consulting businesses at Mignon Media International, I often encounter clients who have lofty goals for their social media. They see millions of followers in their social media future that yield interaction in the hundreds and I have to explain that this is not true for most businesses and is actually unrealistic depending on the industry and type of business that they have.

There are many considerations when growing a social media following and I have termed these social media genres:

Corporate Effect – These are large scale companies with big advertising budgets that are typically well known, but invest financially to grow their social media following, mostly using advertising. Their social numbers will typically be large from the beginning, since they’ve used costly advertising and marketing strategies. This includes fortune 500 companies and mainstream brands.

Celebrity Effect – These are vanity account that followers view as aspirational or are are famous and prominent such as actors, athletes, and musicians. This can also include bloggers and local personalities. They gain following because of notoriety and personal appeal. Some celebrities will use ads to promote their newly launched accounts, but their fame is the driving force behind their large social numbers.

Community Effect – These are mostly local and small companies with minimal advertising budgets. They rely on word of mouth to build brand awareness. Their campaigns need to be highly strategic with the use of guerrilla marketing tactics to grow numbers, which are typically slow to grow, but are made up of loyal followers. These include local eateries, boutiques, even startup online publications and e-commerce.

This is not to discourage business owners but to help them better recognize what category their business fits in and equip them with the knowledge and tools needed to succeed at social. So if you find yourself wondering why your Facebook and Twitter business profiles aren’t growing exponentially, consider the type of business you have and devise a social media strategy plan accordingly.

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