Do you ever wonder how the social media giants that most of us use every day got to the top of the food chain? It may seem as simple as the right idea at the right time, but there’s a whole lot more to their success than just the initial idea.
It takes a lot of work to get to the top, but it takes even more to stay there (looking at you, MySpace).
You know these companies are doing something right when you can’t go a day with out opening their app on your phone, but what exactly are they doing that keeps them relevant and attracting new users? We’ve compiled a list of some of the best marketing practices that the big guys use, so take a look at how the social media elites keep themselves on top.
Don’t Be Afraid to Change
The first tip on this list is also one of the toughest to do on an individual level, but if you want to stay relevant, embracing change is key.
The big social media companies know that the Internet is a fickle place, and trends can change in the blink of an eye. When you’re marketing your own company, or even just yourself, it’s important to remember that you want to be seen as fresh and up to date. A website that looks like it’s from 2004 is going to throw up red flags to anyone with even minimal tech savvy.
Think about it like this — do you remember the layout of Facebook when you first joined? You probably have a vague memory of something that looks almost nothing like the current design.
If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’re going to get left behind. Embrace the change.
Keep Things Simple
This is one of those strategies that apply almost universally. Take a look at the logos for Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. What do you notice? Not a lot going on, is there? A silhouette of a bird is all that pops up for Twitter, LinkedIn is simply “in,” and Facebook is just throwing up the letter ‘f.’ So what’s the reasoning there?
Well, when those letters or that little bird come onto your screen, you know exactly what they represent. And think about how crazy that is. You see the letter ‘f’ with a blue background and you’re immediately thinking Facebook.
You don’t need to overload your audience with information, you just need them to remember you. Keeping things simple makes it so much easier for that to happen.
Know Your Demographic
Think about it for a moment. Who exactly are you trying to reach with your marketing strategy? This is a question that needs answering, and sometimes that answer might actually surprise you.
There are so many different ways to market yourself, but you’re going to run into trouble if your strategy doesn’t appeal to the group you’re going after. You don’t see Twitter reaching out to octogenarians, and that makes perfect sense.
So before you implement a strategy, be sure you have a target in mind.
Don’t Be One-Dimensional
What’s the main reason you use Twitter right now? Maybe you use it to keep up with friends, get your news for the day, or to let the world know exactly how you feel about that terrible pass interference call. The point is, not everyone uses social media sites for the same thing.
The login page on Twitter says, “See what’s happening right now.” Pretty broad, right? But that’s the point—depending on how you use it, “what’s happening right now” could be entertainment, news, or a funny tweet from a friend.
Marketing your brand as multidimensional can end up spreading your appeal to a variety of different groups.
Like we talked about earlier, Facebook has been evolving almost constantly since its early days. You may have noticed that people don’t post their random thoughts and feelings quite as much anymore, but you probably see a lot more pictures and links on your timeline.
So yes, Facebook has undergone a lot of changes, but look at the login page. “Connect with friends and the world around you on Facebook.” Connecting with other people has always been Facebook’s message. See what other people are doing. Let them know what you’re doing. Instantly. Facebook changes, but its core message is still the same.
So when you’re thinking about your own marketing strategy, be sure you have a strong central theme that stands out. “This is who we are. This is what we do.”
Marketing your brand isn’t a simple task, but paying attention to what the best of the best are doing is one of the easiest ways to succeed.