Less is more.

For a start, you can remove the s off "platforms". Social Media platforms are undoubtedly one of the biggest opportunities in your marketing toolbox, but there is little point setting up pages and profiles on as many as possible and spreading yourself thin, wasting time and energy and not reaching your audience. Much better to look into each option and work out which is most relevant for your business.

Facebook remains king

For all the bleating on about people leaving Facebook in droves, the fact remains they are head and shoulders above all other social media sites in New Zealand. Depending on which source you examine, Facebook has between double and triple the users of their next competitor, LinkedIn.

Much has been written recently about the demographic of Facebook shifting up the years. This has been attributed partly to people who have used Facebook since its inception a decade ago also piling on those ten years and partly to the next generation not wanting their parents to see photos of them sucking a beer bong dry while a crowd of sweaty teenagers cheers them on.

There are 2.5 million Facebook users in New Zealand, a whopping section of the 4.2 million population.

What else is out there?

LinkedIn command over 1 million and is growing steadily with over half of their users are over 45. The interface is much more cumbersome and inconvenient than that of Facebook, which should be taken into account when apportioning man hours to social media marketing. There are opportunities to set up business pages within LinkedIn and encourage your employees to join, increasing the reach of your company. Tumblr and Pinterest, although occupying a much smaller section of the market have massive appeal to youth. Over half of Tumblr users are under 35. Twitter isn't particularly popular in New Zealand compared to it's position worldwide as the second biggest social media platform which is useful if your target audience are mainly international.

Who are you aiming at and who will run this ship?

Before setting up accounts that are destined to become friends with the tumbleweeds, have a think about who your target audience are, where you think they'll be and what they'd like to read, see, play, share etc from your organisation. This will help shape your very own social media ecosystem - the platform you focus on, the media and content you need to produce and the workload that will create. That last point right there (workload), that's going to need a human or two - do they have the knowledge and time to execute the plan? Your Social Media Captain and/or crew need to be equipped with the right platform, content, media, knowledge and time to make it work. Planning this really well takes effort and understanding but the rewards will make the investment well worth it.

A not so comprehensive but effective checklist

Ask yourself three questions before adding a social media platform to your marketing toolbox:

  • Which platform does your target market hang out on?
  • Are you schooled up on the functions of this platform?
  • Do you have the resources to continually manage and produce content for this platform (so it doesn't die)?