Social Media Turf Wars: What They Mean For Marketers

LinkedIn, Twitter & Instagram Changes

LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram & Facebook Stake their Turf With recent changes by LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram, there’s no doubt social media platforms are in the midst of turf wars. Motivated by the need to generate revenue, the social media networks’ once fruitful partnerships are souring. This also signals social media’s maturation where platforms jockey for audience and position. One thing’s for certain: participants and marketers will lose.

3 Social media changes signal the turf wars have begun.

  1. Instagram and Twitter no longer play well together. As social media matures, these two platforms are trying to build their reach at the expense of marketers and users. Instagram is trying to build its web presence while Twitter introduced a photo app. Further, Twitter and Instagram have jumped onto the Facebook Timeline Photo bandwagon. Research shows that Facebook’s Timeline image has increased results. That’s no surprise since it displays a much larger image that attracts more attention.
  2. LinkedIn added new rich media feature changing the applications they allow. LinkedIn has made significant changes to their profile framework to make them look and act more Facebook-like. Further, they’ve reduced and hindered cross platform sharing. (Bloggers beware – If you’ve got a self-hosted blog and you want to cross post on LinkedIn, you’ll need the Jetpack plug-in. This means WordPress.com and Automattic will be able to collect data from your traffic.)
  3. Flickr remains in the social media photo game to everyone’s surprise. Just when you thought Flickr like everything Yahoo-related was no longer breathing, Flickr just introduced a game changing photo app when no one was paying attention. This is the first big Yahoo announcement on Maryssa Mayer’s watch.

As with any war there are winners and losers. In this case it’s both marketers and participants since no one solution will fit all.  Stay tuned. There are sure to be new opportunities for those prepared to leap frog these challenges.

5 marketing tactics to deal with increased social media balkanization

As social media platforms continue to more rigidly define their turf, marketers must refocus their social media plans in preparation for 2013 and beyond.

  1. Monitor the social media landscape. Think beyond what your customers and competitors are doing and discussing. What’s happening with the various social media platforms and how does this effect your short and longer-term marketing plans? What do these changes means for your customers and prospects? Has it changed their social media behavior particularly as it relates to your firm?
  2.  Craft a social media home base that you own. This doesn’t mean run off and start your own social media community site. Rather start or develop your blog so you have 24/7 access and ownership of your social media content and it doesn’t disappear as it might on third party social media platforms. This further enables you to get a message out 24/7 which is useful for crisis management.
  3. Create consistent but not duplicate content for your social media outposts. Integrate your brand into your social media images and content. Further, place content that’s targeted at the specific social media entity’s audience while remaining true to your brand.
  4. Build your editorial content calendar and social media calendars. Since it can be difficult to move content between third party social media sites, plan to create different versions of your content to display on different platforms.
  5. Test new emerging social media tools and options. The goal is to ensure that you’re using the best mix of social media for your offering. At a minimum, open an account Flicker and test out the new photo app.

As social media continues to mature, the major platforms continue to evolve to solidify their position while working to maximize potential revenues. At least in the short term this will mean that participants will need to use multiple platforms while marketers will need to create more content and provide additional support.

What have these platform issues meant for you. How do you expect them to evolve and what will it mean for marketers and customers?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen


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Photo credits:

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/jdhancock/3574716051/
  • http://www.iconarchive.com/show/free-instagram-icons-by-designbolts.html
  • http://withglitterinherveins.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/free-grungy-social-media-icons.jpg
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  • http://www.facebook.com/jt.sweeney1 JT Sweeney

    I would have also included Google+’s introduction of Communities. This has gotten some good feedback so far, and I’m certainly going to monitor how it progresses

    • http://twitter.com/heidicohen HeidiCohen

      JT–Thank you for the addition. This is a trend that will mean marketers have to spread themselves further and participants will choose those platforms that meet their needs best. At a minimum, this is an inflection point in the social media ecosystem. Happy marketing, Heidi Cohen