8 Points to Consider Before Joining a New Social Media Network

Published by Engagement Labs on August 6, 2014

It’s tempting to join every new platform and sometimes even hard to keep up with them all. We see figures about extraordinary growth in one network and our ears perk up. Pinterest was an example where some companies saw tremendous referral traffic then suddenly everyone was preaching the virtues. Before you set up an account you should take a moment to reflect on the platform and evaluate if it makes sense for you, corresponds to your goals and strategy, and talks to your audiences. Here are some pointers to consider:

1. Early Bird Gets the Worm

One of the best reasons for joining a new social network is the exponential growth that can happen if you are an early adopter and the site explodes. If you were one of the first food writers on Twitter, you could have written about boiled hotdogs and attracted thousands of followers. By joining a mature network, you are going to have to work harder to stand out and obtain this level of growth.

2. Do a Social Media Audit

It’s a great time to look at your existing platforms and see if you’re achieving desirable results as you prepare to join a new social network. If your Pinterest profile hasn’t been updated in months or if the steady stream of Myspace updates seem to go unnoticed, you may want to deactivate accounts or double down on where your actions have the most affect.

3. Lack of Measurement

One difficult part of using social media is trying to understand the return of your efforts. While consensus is starting to form for measurement on Facebook and Twitter, new networks are still the Wild West in terms of connecting actions and business results.

4. Does it Fit into your Overall Strategy?

Each company should have goals and a social media strategy. It might be to increase sales, gain a reputation as an authority or simply spread your content. Different networks are better suited to each of these. If you hope to become an authority on an academic subject the use of 6-second vine videos may make this extremely difficult. Not impossible but difficult.

5. What are the demographics?

In addition to the medium you should look at the demographics of a social media platform to evaluate if you are able to reach different target clients. Here is a brief overview of the largest networks.

6. Beware of the Learning Curve

Each network has best practices that take some time to understand. Reposting your content without adapting the message or the media is sure to fail. Make sure you can invest the time into understanding the new network without neglecting other parts of your business.

7. Look for Qualified Staff

Each new network requires different skills. If you or your staffs are less competent writers, a video or photo network might serve you best. No eye for style? Stick to text based networks. While you don’t need to be an expert to participate, make sure you play on your strengths and interests.

8. Variety is the Spice of Life

In the end, joining a new network can and should be fun, it allows you to attract and interact with a new group of users and be creative. If it’s too complicated, maybe you shouldn’t signup!

Do you have any other tips for evaluating a new social network? Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace and Instagram.