The social media hub centralizes a brand’s digital communications, connecting social media profiles with the business website. As more social media platforms begin to emerge, the need for a central branded social media hub grows.
Bring People to Your Branded Site
Many brands use their individual social media profiles as their central communications hubs. For example, some businesses focus their attention on Facebook and continue to direct their consumers there. Instead of capturing the community on their own brand site, the business is losing potential consumers to Facebook.
Although a Facebook fan is important, it’s more important to immerse the consumer in your brand. Instead of driving visitors to your social media profiles, use the Facebook and Twitter API to allow users to connect with you online without leaving your site.
Make Multiple Connections
Most marketers look at profiles individually when planning their social media presence. Consumers have multiple profiles; a Twitter account and Facebook profile. Why not connect with a consumer on each profile and create multiple connections?
The social media hub creates an area where consumers can flow from one social media profile to another. Make it easy to grow your network and control how consumers navigation across your profiles.
Leverage Different Platforms for Different Things
When building a social media strategy, go beyond the simple idea of creating a community and instead think about actions. What do you want consumers to do on each social media site?
Use the social media hub to outline the action you want consumers to take on each social media profile. Consider it a “call to action“. Explicitly define what they should do (take the quiz, fan us, leave a comment).
Build a Central Distribution Platform
The social media hub ties together a digital presence that would otherwise be fragmented and broken. The hub helps a brand create a cohesive strategy that integrates each social media profile.
Brands with popular hubs are able to tap into the community to help spread published content. Hubs are extremely effective when distributing information, delivering branded media, and new media public relations.
Control and Brand Your Most Valuable Social Platform
BMW has more than 1 million fans on Facebook. That’s 1 million people they convinced to perform an action and subscribe to their page. What if Facebook decided to charge for fan pages? Would BMW walk away? What if they had planned ahead and captured this community on their own site instead?
Your social media hub, your website, is the most valuable social media profile you have. It is the only one that allows you to directly control and own your content. With a branded social media hub, you’re in charge and not at the behest of another company.
Don’t let Facebook own your whole community. Use the tools of sharing they afford, but be sure to be building that community on your site with email newsletters, rss feeds, and a robust networking system.
Collect Consumer Insights
Finally, nothing beats the data collected by a site you fully own. Want to know how many people visited your site? Where they came from? How long they stayed? What they did? It’s all information you can get from Google Analytics or almost any other analytics package once added to your social media hub.
Facebook offers some data but it leaves a lot to ask for. Twitter and most other social media platforms offer nothing.
Analyzing data allows you to better understand your community and optimize your social media strategies. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to collect huge amounts of data by ignoring your brand hub’s analytics.
Where’s Your Hub?
A social media hub is a powerful aspect of an online marketing strategy. In my mind it’s a necessity. Without it, you lose control of your community, create a disoriented digital presence, fragment your content distribution, and lose out on a great deal of data.
Do you have a social media hub? What brand has created a good central hub? How are you connecting your sites? How are you using your social media hub? Leave a comment and let us know.