Our brand created a Facebook page and after one year, was able to hit 100,000 fans. Our Twitter on the other hand, is not as well managed as we have less than 5,000 followers after one year. Now that I have heard Instagram is the in-thing, we are thinking of setting up our IG page for our brand. However, it has been getting to be quite unwieldy for us as it is demanding a lot of our time and our agency’s to create content for so many social sites. Do we really have to be in all sites to ensure we are where our clients are if they look for us? - anonymous

The quick answer to your question is No. You do not have to be present in all social platforms. It is like saying that you may have a potential customer in a far flung area in Mindanao so you want to set up a physical store there. You will end up having presence everywhere, but not where it makes sense. Note that what is most important is to know first where your target audiences converge, before determining where to have brand presence. If you feel confident or you have data to tell you that your target audience is very much on social media, then that is the time you look at the various social websites, and decide on where you would want to have brand presence.
 
The most important thing to determine however, is the role you want each social media platform to play for your brand. I have seen too many brands copy and pasting the content they have on Facebook to their Twitter and Instagram accounts. This tells me that they are just doing social media marketing for the sake of doing it, without any clear purpose or direction in mind. However, that is why most branded social platforms do not get traction, because there is no real reason for people to follow a branded social media page. Think about it: have you really followed a brand on social media because you wanted to be marketed to, or are you expecting something from them?

Most of the motivations of why people follow a brand on social media is to either get advanced news about the brand, or get promotions and discounts, or at least receive content about the brand’s advocacy. If the essence of a social media platform is not clear, the brand may realize that after spending a lot of money on acquiring likes or followership through a promo or awareness campaign, people will un-like or unfollow after a few days. Without a clear, compelling reason to stay on the brand’s social platform, people will just drop out.
 
In general, Facebook is used for engagement, if you want to engage with your fans with promotions or special deals through photos and videos. Twitter still serves best as a customer communication and response platform, like how Globe has successfully executed their customer service program on Twitter. Instagram works best for brands which have a lot of pictures and images to show and share. Unless the role of each social platform is clear, the content creators of these social pages cannot be guided by the quantity and quality of their content.
 
It is also important that these social pages have a playbook, to determine the persona of the execution on each platform. Rules, guidelines and conditions of play have to be set. Social media, as some people would term it, is really like wild, wild west. You never know the amount of response and reaction you get from anything you put out there. But then again, social media today is just too important a marketing platform to not be there.
 
Donald Lim is the Chief Digital Marketing Strategist of Mansmith and Fielders, Inc., the country’s leading marketing and sales training company. He will be conducting the 4th Social Network Marketing Seminar on August 19, 2014. For more information, email info@mansmith.net, call (+63-2) 584-5858 / 412-0034 or text (+63) 918-81-168-88. We are also happy to answer your marketing, sales and strategy questions to mentors@mansmith.net.