Everything You Need To Know About Getting Your Brand On A New Social Media Platform
The task of creating a successful social media presence for your brand can seem daunting, especially when the playing field is always changing. “Every couple of months, there’s something new — though very few stick,” says Funkhaus’ Head of Content Erin Himes. “Having to figure out what’s right for a given brand is a constant element of our job as content strategists and creators.” Here, Erin shares her insights on how to keep your brand’s voice strong, even when transitioning to a new social media platform.
What is important for a brand to consider when getting their profile on a new social media platform up and running?
This is something we’re thinking about quite a bit currently, now that Threads is in the mix. It’s not often that any new platform could replace an already existing and established one — the current state of Twitter, now X, is a rare example, and it presents a unique opportunity. We’re always thinking about how we can use these platforms to our clients’ advantage. For instance, TikTok is a relatively high effort platform — you have to put a lot into it to make content that resonates. Is that worth it for certain people? It might not be. With something like Threads, a platform that’s so early on in its establishment, it might not be a good fit either. It’s all about keeping an eye on the landscape and watching out for markers of success and knowing when those are happening.
Are there benefits to being an early joiner on a platform?
Being an early joiner is important for platforms where you can gain followers quickly and easily. For example, when TikTok gained popularity, it was easier at the outset to go viral, and to have those moments where you reach a little further, because it was less saturated. Threads is an interesting one, because they're giving people the option to automatically follow people they follow on Instagram. If you join Threads at any point, you'll gain all those followers, so it's not as urgent — you accumulate some audience either way.
Another benefit to consider is ad strategy. Right now, you still get so much value out of TikTok ads because it's an earlier platform and thus less competitive for ad space compared to Facebook and Instagram, where people have established strategies and large budgets. In that sense, you can get a lot of value out of early adoption. Advertising is not currently available on Threads, but when it becomes available, that will impact how we use that platform.
What do you think is the most challenging part about getting started on a new platform?
I think sometimes people struggle with the reality that initially, you’re not going to have the same level of success that you have elsewhere. When you’re starting out on a new platform, your audience is naturally going to be smaller for a while, and that can be intimidating for clients. What helps is being bold and unafraid to try new things, and being patient as you grow an audience. You have to be comfortable with being in that starting stage. If you can move through those growing pains, you will benefit in the end.
You mentioned that some platforms are more of a heavy lift than others. Do you have any insight for how a brand can determine whether getting on a new platform is right for them?
It depends on your goals. For example, we knew that expanding to TikTok was right for our client House of Taylor when we established that the goal was to grow brand awareness among younger people. If you're a major brand, I think there is value in seriously considering a profile on every social platform. Take inventory of your success — if you're not having success on other platforms and if you’re not seeing the engagement you want, then that’s a good reason to try something new, whether that means stepping into a new platform or adjusting your strategy for that existing platform.
What's been challenging for brands when it comes to TikTok is that it is high effort, but it doesn't look that way in the same way that content on other platforms does. I'm sure that most TikTok videos take just as long to make as Instagram content does, but they appear more off-the-cuff, and thus read as more authentic. Social media has trained brands to aim for polished perfection, so now that there’s a pivot toward less polished content, I think that it’s hard for people to adjust to. The best advice is to let what is successful on the platform guide your strategy. If you don't feel like you can create content that is platform-specific in a way that's right for your brand, then maybe it's not the right match for you.
How can a brand ensure that their voice carries over onto a brand new platform?
Making sure that you know your brand’s voice inside and out is paramount. From there, you can pull out what makes you successful on other platforms, and apply it to the new platform. You have to be as strategic as you are on the platforms you already use, and at the same time, you have to be willing to test new things and give it time to determine what sticks.
Looking at competitors and seeing how they translate their voice to a new platform can be helpful as well. For instance, many brands that are the most successful on TikTok have some sort of spokesperson or mascot — like the Duolingo Owl — that represents the brand. Since having a “face” of a brand works well on TikTok, they do better on that platform.
It’s also important to trust whoever is posting to your accounts to understand your brand’s voice and be able to apply that to different platforms. A platform like Threads is going to be a lot more unscripted, like early Twitter, and that content is what will resonate. You need to be able to trust whoever's at the helm to like to make those off-the-cuff decisions on behalf of your brand day to day.
How can having an established content program and content strategy be beneficial in situations like this?
Knowledge of your voice is most important, so establishing a brand guide that defines your voice and tone can help make your social media strategy successful. Every person who is working on your socials should be familiarized with those tenets of your brand. You never know what's going to pop up in comments or DMs, so having people who are equipped to know how to communicate with users in a way that aligns with your brand is essential.
Outlining your content verticals, as well as planning ideas for serialized posts, helps unify your strategy and gives you a bucket to pull from if you happen to hit a slump. Having those ideas ready to go allows you to easily go back and see what you haven’t tried yet, so you can move forward quickly to see what works.
What are some common questions you hear from clients when a new platform hits the scene?
Right now, the conversation is all about Threads. Our clients who are active on Twitter are of course curious, so we’ve been getting the most questions from them about whether they should move to threads and delete their Twitter. We don’t think that brands stand to gain anything from deleting an account at this point. That may very well change, but I think you want to have as many touch points where people can find you as possible. Even when brands don't update their Facebook pages, there are still benefits to keeping it open and having something pinned. You want people to be able to find you wherever they're trying to find you.
The thing that’s tricky about Threads right now is that there are no robust analytics, so performance is not trackable yet. I'm sure it's around the corner, but at this point it is hard to do. At this stage, it’s a good place to get a little experimental if you want, to be off the cuff and fun.
What do you think is the most important thing for a brand to keep in mind when posting to socials?
Something that we stress to our content clients is the importance of quality over quantity. As a design-driven company, we want aesthetics to take priority, and we take that into consideration as opposed to just posting for the sake of posting. If you can't do something to the quality that represents what you want out there about your brand, then you have to evaluate if you should be doing it at all. It’s better to be absolutely killing it on just Instagram than to have a lackluster Instagram and a lackluster TikTok.
Want to chat with us about how we can help with your social strategy? Email us at email@example.com.