State of Social Media for 2016

In the investment world when looking at the future performance of a stock you are often labeled as either “bull” or “bear”. The bull outlook is optimistic. The bear outlook is the opposite and you don’t see future performance as profitable.

With any social media platform, you are making an investment of your time and/or your resources.

With that in mind – here is my current state on some of the major players and my stance on each one now:

Facebook – BULL

It’s the largest social media network and its tools for reaching a targeted audience are exceptional. Creating a community of loyal fans and developing a marketing plan for growth has resulted in an excellent return on investment in nearly 99% of all campaigns I have been involved with.

They continue to innovate also with new tools like Facebook live that came out this year and continuous tweaking to what will reach the most people.

Another example – events on Facebook worked well at one point, then they stopped working. Recent changes have made using these very profitable again.

For a social media company to remain relevant and growing, you have to see these subtle changes constantly occurring…and Facebook is doing it.

YouTube – BEAR

There are still great uses for YouTube, but the Facebook video platform will nearly always guarantee more views with your intended target audience. Cross post your videos here if you have the time, but focus on Facebook.

Twitter – BEAR

Twitter literally sucks the time away from your day and has been overrun with marketing messages which can make for a cluttered news feed. Their advertising tools are OK, but only on one occasion when running a campaign to target 25-45-year-old males have I found what I considered a positive return on investment.

LinkedIn – BEAR

Their niche is focused on the business community and for helping you find your next career. I would highly recommend keeping your personal resume tuned up here if seeking a new position or willing to listen to the recruiters that will undoubtedly call upon you. It’s also a great place to demonstrate and share knowledge to colleagues in your career field. It’s been immune to most efforts to include boosting posts…they’re available, but their effectiveness in this platform is questionable. For businesses, my recommendation – use this if seeking your next hire.

Pinterest – BEAR

I’ve never been a fan. I’ve used it with one client with zero results. Great place to find something to cook for dinner.

Google Plus – BEAR

Have a page for search engine purposes then walk away. Seriously.

Instagram – BULL

Instagram has grown wildly this year for many businesses we work with. The new business accounts that allow boosting posts, along with its integration into our Facebook marketing efforts has seen an increase of walk up customers and building buzz around products. The trick is researching relevant hashtags and taking advantage of trends to boost awareness.

There are several issues to overcome which I’ve come to appreciate: There must be an image. No links (unless you’ve boosted the post). Posts must be done manually, no scheduling allowed though there are tools that can save your images and text, then send you a reminder to post.

Snapchat – BULL

Is it easy to use for marketing, no. Do I love what it can do to bring brand awareness? Absolutely.

Building a geo fence around your event or location can be expensive, but building an awareness campaign of your special branded filter and using it to promote your business to a VERY young audience is priceless. How often can you get 18-24-year-olds to openly post their images with your brand associated where all their friends can see it? That’s what snapchat can do for you.

Conclusion

All this to say, and in keeping with my investment theme, I would like to add this disclaimer. Past performance does not guarantee future results! All the platforms must continuously evolve to remain relevant…if not, they will die…or just wither away like MySpace.