Promise Media

Social Media Strategy Protects Business From Risk

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A social media strategy that builds a portfolio of social media accounts will help online publishers focus on top performers and pull back from poor ones.

It’s not unlike a stock portfolio. Smart investors put more money into growing stocks and bonds while pulling money out of weak ones. A smart social media strategy does the same (time, money or both) with social accounts.

A marketing strategy that builds a social media portfolio has another advantage. A portfolio of online marketing products and services will protect a business from a collapsing vendor.

Internet history is filled with failed websites that offered marketing services. One of the biggest is the closing of Google Plus, Google’s massive attempt to develop a social media platform.

Other famous and expensive failures include FriendFeed, Friendster, Vine and MySpace. Many of them are long forgotten.

Even though it allegedly closed in response to a data breach, the Google Plus closure was really no surprise. The awkward product simply didn’t deliver results for people and companies that used it, which in turn led to weak and declining overall usage.

A company that aggressively used Google Plus has nothing to show for its efforts. The return on investment of time and money is now zero.

The above experiences offer some useful strategy lessons in how to build and manage a social media portfolio.

Principle #1: Right Effort

The first marketing principle in social media is the importance of matching effort with results.

Although this company used Google Plus, the lack of benefit was clear after various tests of how to attract followers on G+. Likewise, it failed to attract enough visitors to Promise Media websites and to the websites of PM consulting clients.

The number of visitors wasn’t enough to justify the amount of work that went into getting them.

So the logical response was a cutback in efforts to a trickle. A trickle made sense just in case Google finally figured out how to make Google Plus a success.

Cutting back on the time and effort we put into Google Plus meant more time and effort to place in other social media accounts. The accounts with the best results got the most effort.

It is worth emphasizing that social media performance depends in part on the website and the business category of the social account. For example, the news category usually does much better than travel, retail or real estate.

Local news in particular does very well with Facebook accounts because of intense interest by followers in what’s happening in their communities.

Principle #2: Portfolio Management

The concept of a stock market portfolio works well with social media marketing. A stock portfolio consists of a group of stocks that share the risk and reward. Some stocks go up while others go down.

The total value of a well-managed portfolio ideally will go up in a good market, but it won’t go up as much as the best stock. Likewise, the value of the portfolio will go down in a bad market, but not as much as the worst stock.

As the investing environment changes, the portfolio owner keeps the best stocks and replaces the worst ones with others that might do better.

A social media marketing portfolio shares the risk and reward for the business. Some accounts will perform better than others. These are the keepers. If their performance is strong enough, the account owners will invest more time in producing them.

The business can reduce or dump the ones that don’t perform well enough and replace them with something else (if there is anything worth replacing them).

By not “overinvesting” in one social media account, the business doesn’t end up with a disaster if that company or its product goes away, just like Google Plus and so many others.

But publishers shouldn’t give up or close all poor performers. Some still offer benefit even with a weekly or monthly update rather than daily. No one can tell if the environment will change for the better at some point in the future. But these days, the odds of that happening aren’t good.

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