"What's after Facebook?"
That's the question a non-profit executive director asked. The non-profit has been using Facebook very successfully for specific fund raising purposes. Her very valid concern is what happens when Facebook finally changes its algorithm to the point where her organization's updates get no attention without paying for it?
It's an important social media strategy question for any brand linking elements of its organizational success to a social networking platform performing in a certain way. You might as well go ahead and figure that if your strategy's success is tied to some other organization's Terms of Service, your strategy's future success is at risk.
Given that, the question isn't so much about what happens after Facebook as it is, "Why is what the organization is doing on Facebook currently working so well?"
- Is it the audience?
- The type of requests?
- The way the specific requests are delivered?
- The level and type of engagement this audience group has with the organization?
- The ease with which the audience can respond?
Or, is it really something about Facebook that makes it all work?
A Social Media Strategy for Right Now
With solid strategic answers to these questions, it's vital, as soon as possible, to start engaging the audience in new ways. The objective is to replicate, as best possible, the role Facebook (or some other platform) plays in the successful engagement the organization has cultivated.
That may mean growing its ability to use email, text, or other "owned" communication channels to reach its audience at critical times with comparable requests.
How to Think About Social Networks
One of our most popular social media strategy posts features a variety of offline analogies to focus your strategic thinking on various aspects of social media. Here's another analogy to add to the list. It pertains to social networks in general:
“If you aren't creating the terms of service for a social network, think about the platform like you would a college apartment. You might invest a few dollars and a little bit of time to spruce it up. You would never sink real money into fixing up the apartment and making it better, however, because somebody else owns it, you may only be there for a short period of time, and while you're there, you'll probably throw some wild parties and trash the place. Plus, ultimately, you’ll want to have a place that's really your own. That's where you're safe investing to build it out and make sure it's exactly what you want."
So if you have been investing most of your social emphasis on social networks, consider yourself warned. Start thinking about how to fix up and take better advantage of your long-term home - not your college apartment! – Mike Brown
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