Social Trial & Error: Easy (and Inexpensive) Tips for Identifying the Best Platforms for Your Brand

So your brand has a growing following on Twitter, your Facebook page has been up and running for a few years now, and you recently launched a Google+ brand page – but now what? While you can access certain analytics for each platform, there’s often a desire to answer the question “What can we do next?” and “Which platform is reaching my best customers?” 

For most brands struggling with limited time and money to fuel a company’s social activities, it can be a challenge to answer some of these questions. However, it doesn’t have to be. To follow are a few easy and inexpensive tactics for brands to experiment with different properties in unique ways – all while gathering more intel on who they are reaching, and how.

  1. Google+ – While Google+ is still gaining steam, and by that I mean active participants, one of its most unique features is the ability to host hangouts. Connecting up to 10 participants (plus your brand page) in a video chat, hangouts are an inexpensive way to integrate the most engaging type of content – video – into an upcoming campaign or announcement. Prepping for a press conference with participants in a variety of locations? Why not host it virtually via a Google+ hangout? If you’re worried about reaching people outside of the platform – consider hooking up a live stream to YouTube. You can not only save money by eliminating travel costs, but also learn more about who tunes in and comments on Google+ – you’ll likely find this will also land your brand page in a few new circles.
  2. Foursquare – With the recent announcement of Foursquare’s redesign, we’ll likely see more buzz around this platform. Speaking of, when was the last time you checked out your company’s presence on Foursquare? If you’re managing an account for a brick and mortar store, have you considered running a check-in campaign? The only cost is the price of the discount you offer your customers – and the free intel you collect from their check-ins (gender, Twitter and Facebook presences, age) can be well worth that cost.
  3. Tumblr – Has your brand discovered the phenomenon that is Tumblr? It’s hard to pass up this growing ecosystem of eye-catching imagery supplemented with author commentary – especially if you’re targeting a crowd under 30. Assuming you’re already sharing your brand’s own character on Tumblr, one easy way to grow your audience (and really a necessary thing for any Tumbler user to be doing) is to reblog! One of the best features of Tumblr is the ability to easily post content from other pages onto your site. Also don’t forget to “like” other posts and comment. This will give your page additional love and exposure on other pages – you’ll watch your followers grow – and can monitor how your audience changes as you share more content.

So while these are just a few of many ideas for social platforms – the idea is that you don’t have to heavily invest in expensive campaigns to discover how to best share content and learn about your audiences on different platforms. It really is a case of trial and error – experiment with all your platforms   and you’ll learn what activities are a regular must, along with what initiatives are best left alone so you can focus on higher engagement opportunities.

Bethany is a senior account manager in Text 100’s Rochester, N.Y. office, supporting a variety of B2B clients. She is also a member of the agency’s digital team and serves on her local PRSA board. Bethany can be found on Twitter, Text 100’s HyperText blog and LinkedIn.

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