Are All Social Media Platforms Created Equal?


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Today, the Chicago Tribune announced some social media ratings for major companies in travel-related industries, as calculated by technology company DataLabs.

Although to a certain extent, it can be difficult to rank social media (is your social media “bad” if you don’t have a million followers? Not necessarily), it’s still interesting to look at what constitutes success these days, especially on the macro-scale of these massive companies with social media departments larger than the population of the state of Nebraska.

So, what did the study find?

To rate the companies, Engagement Labs created an “eValue” score for each brand based on engagement, impact, and responsiveness. This study is particularly interesting in that according to Bryan Segal, CEO of Engagement Labs, customers are using social networks more and more to make their travel decisions: “They want convenience, trusted brands, and good deals. Social media is a key resource to help consumers navigate the complexity of travel today.”

Hyatt Hotels, United Airlines, and Orbitz Worldwide all ranked high based on either of their Facebook or Twitter presence—and either is a very important word to note here. Oddly enough, none actually rated high for both. Only American Airlines achieved high rankings for both Facebook and Twitter. For example, United ranked second for Twitter, but didn’t make the top ten for Facebook. Hyatt Hotels rated highest for Twitter (they did a nice job producing “highly visual vacation related content” and using creative hashtags like #hyattallin that encourages users to share travel experiences), but apparently this didn’t carry to Facebook. On the other hand, Orbitz ranked number 2 for Facebook but didn’t make the top ten for Twitter.

If this seems incongruous to you, you’re spot on. Why would this be the case, we wonder? If your social media is “good,” shouldn’t it be “good” across the board? Why would one platform be so significantly better than another one if your content is good all-around?

There’s some initial reasons that this could be the case. Maybe Hyatt Hotels started working on their Facebook account after their Twitter account, or maybe their team finds that their audience is more present on Twitter than on Facebook. If that’s the case, then it doesn’t matter if they don’t make high rankings for Facebook—it’s not valuable to them. This is good to know and understand, so that you can devote efforts to being best wherever your customers are.

However, if you have substantially differently-sized followings on you various platforms, it means it’s time to take a look at your strategy. Why are you unable to attract attention on a certain platform? What needs to change about the work you’re doing in order to make it appealing in another medium? Do you even need to be 100% all-in on all platforms? (Probably not, but that doesn’t mean you can brush off platforms completely.)

For those companies with large discrepancies, there are a lot of questions that should be asked about those results, and it’s good to have studies like this as a checkpoint in how your social media is doing. Do a test on your own: are you killing it on Instagram, and barely garnering a like on Facebook? If this isn’t intentional, it’s certainly something to pay attention to.




Reprinted by permission.

Image CC by mkhmarketing

About the author: Maggie Happe

Maggie Happe is a recent graduate of Creighton University and a contributor to Social Media Contractors.

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