The Risk of Third-Party Social Media Platforms

The Risk of Third-Party Social Media Platforms
SHARE
THIS



When Facebook went down for a period of 20 minutes late last week, the hearts of C-suiters, advertisers and marketers around the world skipped a beat.

When would it come back up? Would it come back up? Many brands and organisations have invested untold sums in the social networking behemoth, to build audiences and then market to them. What would they do if those audiences were lost in an instant?

As online community managers, we always put the audience first. Taking a strategic approach to audience outreach, we’re skilled at communicating with people. In many roles we currently have a large focus on the Facebook audience and spend a lot of time there. We have an extensive knowledge of the ins and outs of the platform. But if Facebook disappeared tomorrow, good community managers could apply their knowledge of online audiences to any existing or emerging platforms whether it’s a social network like Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or Pinterest.

Or, longer standing platforms for online engagement such as forums, blogs, instant messaging and online chat. Good community managers manage people, not platforms. There might be an impact on our current incomes but we have the skills to continue working long into the future.

While third party platforms certainly have their place, as community managers we understand the inherent risks in making large investments in third party platforms that are beyond our control.

Some of the key risks of being platform-centric are:

  • There is little access to or ownership of the audience data you’ve paid to build. Unlike email, membership and loyalty marketing, Facebook doesn’t allow you to gather data like email addresses or demographics specific to the audience members you’re marketing to. There’s no way to export this information to use across integrated campaigns or safeguard your brand against losing out on the investment that’s been made to build a big audience. You can get access to some of this data by running competitions through which users give you access to limited data about themselves (often only an email address). You need to pay to create the promotions and to reach your audience. And yet, there’s no way of ensuring all audience members will enter the competition.
  • You’ve paid to build your audience, and now you have to pay to communicate with a specified quantity of them. You can get some organic reach, if you have an excellent content strategy and content creators (writers, designers, video producers) however, you’re still paying for the resourcing to do so.
  • There is no control over Facebook’s constant, opaque and often baffling changes to the platform. Community managers understand these risks. They’re at the ‘coal-face’, usually a minimum of 40 hours a week. Such is the life of a community manager, we take it all on board. But if our C-suiters, marketing and advertising stakeholders understood more fully the time involved managing Facebook and the potential cost savings of considering an owned platform – I think we’d all dance with joy!

As we know there are risks and rewards with all marketing and communications endeavours, especially when we seek to engage publicly with the audience. We do need to consider being active where our audience is, and that includes the big players such as Facebook and Twitter. But it’s important to do so with a considered approach and a long-term strategy that includes owned online community that equates to control of the platform and its development and data ownership, among many other benefits.

There are some great examples of owned platforms being used for customer service, especially in regulated industries such as telecommunications. Telstra, Optus and Vodafone have peer customer support communities with outposts on Facebook and Twitter. There are some great marketing communities too. Huggies and Thermomix are two examples of owned online community. There are many examples of blogs being used for marketing purposes too, we like Real Estate Australia and Westfield.

Some marketers might have been completely oblivious to #facebookdown while their community managers were short of breath, worrying about their campaigns and scheduled posts and how the audience might react. Some marketers were clearly not quaking in their boots; Kit Kat Philippines tweeted within what seemed like minutes. Capitalising on the #facebook and #facebookdown hashtags and maintaining relevance with their brand they wittily tweeted:

Screenshot 2014-06-23 18.23.21

Next time you have a break, perhaps consider your potential reliance on the platform, and what other channels you can utilise if #facebookdown becomes permanent.

Julie Delaforce, General Manager, Quiip

Latest News

Pooled Energy Appoints Magnum & Co And The Wired Agency
  • Advertising
  • Marketing

Pooled Energy Appoints Magnum & Co And The Wired Agency

Swimming pool electricity retailer Pooled Energy has appointed Magnum & Co and sister agency The Wired Agency to its roster, following a competitive pitch. Magnum & Co will handle Pooled Energy’s social media and PR, while The Wired Agency has been appointed to manage the company’s search and display advertising. Both agencies will collaborate with […]

Masculinity Roasted In Clever New Ad
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Masculinity Roasted In Clever New Ad

Think masculinity means drinking a case without chundering? Well, rediscover it (& possibly yourself) with this top ad.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
WPP AUNZ Partners With Career Trackers Indigenous Internship Program
  • Advertising

WPP AUNZ Partners With Career Trackers Indigenous Internship Program

Advertising and marketing network WPP AUNZ has joined the Career Trackers Indigenous Internship Program as part of its commitment to a diverse workforce, and the creation of opportunities that inspire excellence. As part of the program, WPP AUNZ has welcomed its first three interns: Abi-Leigh Dillon (WPP AUNZ), Amy Mccutcheon (MediaCom) and Jacinta Evans (Ogilvy), […]

Taboo Goes On A Hiring Spree
  • Advertising

Taboo Goes On A Hiring Spree

Taboo has gone a hiring spree. And when it comes to sprees, that's far better than a shooting one or a farting one.

M&C Saatchi Group’s 1440 Shuts Up Shop
  • Marketing

M&C Saatchi Group’s 1440 Shuts Up Shop

Sadly, M&C Saatchi's 1440 is no more. And chances of it being reborn as 1550 not looking much chop either.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Luke Kelly Becomes A Partner At HBT
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Luke Kelly Becomes A Partner At HBT

B&T's not sure what's with that twirly thing in the press photo, suffice to say a vortex to an alternate dimension?

Women In Media Profile: Alison Michalk
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Alison Michalk

If B&T's Women in Media profiles were an animal they would be a gazelle or lioness, or even a lioness eating a gazelle.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Grant Broadcasters Makes Several Changes To Senior Executive Team
  • Media

Grant Broadcasters Makes Several Changes To Senior Executive Team

Independent media company Grant Broadcasters has announced a number of changes to its executive ranks. Grant Cameron will move up to become non-executive chairman for the company, and Alison Cameron (pictured above) – currently the chief operating officer – will assume the CEO role. Dugald Cameron remains responsible for the family’s investment portfolio and is […]

Shopper Media Group Partners With Mist To Offer New Tech & AI-Driven Capabilities
  • Advertising
  • Media

Shopper Media Group Partners With Mist To Offer New Tech & AI-Driven Capabilities

Australian retail out-of-home (OOH) business Shopper Media Group (SMG) has announced a partnership with AI-powered wireless networks provider Mist. The partnership will see SMG offer new WiFi, analytics and location-based services across the company’s portfolio of Australian shopping centres. Mist currently provides WiFi and location services using virtual Bluetooth LE technology to businesses across all […]

Indy Agency This Is Flow Wins Cruiseco’s $5 Million Media Account
  • Advertising
  • Media

Indy Agency This Is Flow Wins Cruiseco’s $5 Million Media Account

Travel organisation Cruiseco has announced the appointment of Sydney independent agency This is Flow (TIF) to handle its $5 million media account. This is the first time Cruiseco has appointed an agency, having managed its communications internally. Cruiseco is the largest and broadest distributor of cruise products in the Southern Hemisphere. With a membership base […]

Women In Media Profile: Naomi Shepherd
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Naomi Shepherd

Need a Monday morning pick-me-up? You could stand naked next to the office fridge or read these inspiring words.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
APN Outdoor Takes Off With Queenstown Airport Contract
  • Advertising
  • Media

APN Outdoor Takes Off With Queenstown Airport Contract

Out-of-home media business APN Outdoor has won the tender for New Zealand’s Queenstown Airport. As part of the new agreement, APN Outdoor has flagged extensive development plans for Queenstown Airport’s advertising assets. The new contract adds Queenstown Airport to APN Outdoor’s existing portfolio of Auckland and Christchurch Airports. The media company will hire a South […]