Where We Are At
I am sure I am not alone with the struggle about when does an IP (intellectual property) or product you are going to release need its own Twitter account? Its own Facebook Page? Google+ Page?
The reality is that the internet has become more complicated. It used to be that all you needed to do is throw up a website and submit your domain address to the Search Engines. Now the internet is starting to carve itself into silos. No longer is your web browser the only way to use content now that the world wide web is being carved up by iOS Apps, Android Apps and now by closed networks in the form of Facebook and various other services.
Each of the social networks appears to have a niche to appeal to. Facebook is by its initial nature is a place to share personal stories, profiles, and pictures.
Twitter is really about following the news makers. Its one-way communication is vibrant though where it really shines is the moments of punctuated dynamic conversations with the hashtag (#) aligning diverse interests. Because of immense volume of tweets, it is really easy for your message to get lost.
Google+ is trying to do its own Facebook thing by allowing you to indicate your vote (+1) for something which is essentially is a new dynamic linking system. Google had no choice to do this since Facebook created a closed system that locked out Google.
What Others Are Doing
When a new company is starting out, its website may be stellar and deep but nobody cares. Only when the company releases something that scratches a marketplace itch is when its possible to develop a relationship with customers. Having a social media network marketing plan is useless without a product which can be a thing that is bought, freely given advice, or a unique perspective/entertainment value.
It is now obvious to me that we should not waste time or money on gathering followers or likes or +1’s until you have a product that is meaningful to at least some people. You need market traction. Only then can you build on that momentum.
Successful companies appear to have social media accounts that has its brand front and center. Hasbro does this. Blizzard does this. But if the product is more disposable, then it will be something that does not have its own page. For example, the Monopoly board game does not have its own own social page.
The rock band U2 has a band page, but does not have a Achtung Baby or Unforgettable Fire albums page. In contrast Blizzard will have its own page plus Diablo and Warcraft product line pages. Why? Because those products are not “disposable”. There is an epic and interactive aspect to them that carries on and on. Television shows do this. Sports teams do this. But movies typically don’t, and neither do music albums. A movie series does this sometimes (such as The Hobbit).
Some writers will not have a book series twitter account, but just one for their profile where they become the face of that product. And maybe that’s when a social account is needed, when a face is needed to have an interaction with. An album does not have a face except that of the band, a movie does not have a face except of that the main actors, who may or may not decide to have a social network page.
So it appears that if your IP is by its nature is consumable or disposable, then don’t bother to create a networking page for it. But if its a brand or service that creates an ongoing experience (like Angry Birds which went from ‘just another game from Rovio’ to gaming sensation) then yes, get your social media pages up and running. It needs a social ‘face’ to interact with.
So assuming that your like me and just starting with zero, here is my recipe for you.
How To Proceed From Ground Zero
1) Setup a personal social network page of yourself (not your company). Your profile would indicate that you are somebody who is creating something new. Interact with others and promote what you are doing. These people will become your Stage 1 Followers.
2) Release an IP that meets a market need. If you release an IP that falls flat, you need to go back to the drawing board to either pivot it or start over something new. Reach out to your Stage 1 audience to tell them about the IP.
3) If your IP becomes a brand that has some traction, start creating social network marketing specifically for it. This is when you build specific IP pages that are promoted to fans of the product. You are now working on attracting Stage 2 Followers for that product as well as trying to ‘level’ your Stage 1 Followers to become Stage 2 Followers.
4) You continue to build up loyalty for your IP with your Stage 2 Followers. When the IP has really settled into having a successful niche that you can build your personal or company social network pages for Stage 3.
5) Followers of the IP will now be ripe to be ‘leveled’ to being a Stage 3 Follower where they would follow you or your company as the IP creator. You now have built up an audience to release your next IP to!
Please note that this is all theoretical on my part. Its the plan that I am going to follow and will need to test it to see if it works.