Should You Pull the Plug on Underperforming Social Media Channels?

Roza Tsvetkova
November 17, 2021 - 5 min. read

To be or not to be? That is the question a lot of marketers are trying to answer when it comes to the social media channels they use. 

Is Snapchat working for your brand or is it better to have a community on TikTok?

While it makes sense to pull the plug on an underperforming channel, what if there’s a crisis on that particular network you can no longer stay on top of? 

“Sunsetting a social media profile is when you slowly ween your audience off of relying on your profile for updates and posts to then eventually delete the channel entirely. This can be a difficult decision to make because unlike choosing to not introduce a new network into your portfolio, this is a network that is actively a part of your portfolio so it can feel like a step backwards.

However, there are a few cases where sunsetting a brand’s social media profile makes sense. The most common two reasons are that the channel is receiving very little engagement for the effort being put into it or your target audience is no longer prevalent on a social network and therefore it is not worth the resource investment. Both are very valid reasons to considering pulling the plug on one of your social media profiles.”

~ Tondreanna Esquilin, Social Media Manager at Falcon 

Let’s look at some tips on how to choose the social media networks your brand should stick to and how to make the hard decision to unplug from those that don’t serve their purpose anymore.

Tip 1: Get to know your buyer persona.

The first thing you need to figure out is what your target audience’s profile and behavior on social media is. 

Consider examining the following data:

  • Your existing client database.

Look closely at what their demographic and interests are. This will help you better understand which social media channels they might be using and why.

For example, if your audience consists mainly from Gen Z demographics you might consider TikTok as a relevant social network to have presence on.

  • Google Analytics.

Try to understand the online customer journey of your leads. Google Analytics can help you see how they reached your website and which social media channels in particular led them there. 

  • Social media analytics.

Your social media channels can tell you a lot about your target audience. You can use the native analytic tools they provide or advanced tools like Falcon.

With our Listen | Powered by Brandwatch, for example, you can monitor mentions of your brand name or keywords to understand what your social media personas are interested in. You can also analyze sentiment and brand perception at ease. 

Tip 2: Define your goals.

Before you make a decision to unplug from a social network, make sure to revisit your marketing goals. 

Why was your brand on that particular social network in the first place? What do you want to achieve with your presence there?

Here are some hints on what to look at when talking about social media goals:

  • Brand awareness
  • Lead generation
  • Community engagement
  • Web traffic

The list goes on and on. Just make sure you are on those social channels for the right reasons and your target audiences, not just because it’s trending or popular.

Tip 3: Audit your social media channels.

An audit of your existing social media channels is a must-do before you decide to pull the plug on any of them. It can help you to:

  • Understand what works and what doesn’t when it comes to content and community behaviors.
  • Adjust your social media strategy and improve your ROI.
  • Discover trends to help you grow your business.
  • Grasp customer sentiment and brand perception.
  • Justify your social spend.

Here are some ideas on how you can conduct such a social media audit:

  • List your owned channels and look at the following data:
    • Handles
    • Hashtags
    • Followers
    • Look and feel
    • Engagement
  • Check channel performance by assessing:
    • Traffic
    • Follower growth rate
    • Mentions
    • Shares
  • Review content performance:
    • Best and worst performing posts
    • Frequency
    • Publishing time
    • Click-throughs
    • Reach
    • Impressions
    • Sentiment
  • Monitor ad campaigns for:
    • Ad spend
    • A/B test results
    • CPC
    • CPM
    • CPA

Social media audits are vital for your marketing strategy and it is important to do them regularly. Here is a social media audit checklist template that can help you

“You’ll want to analyze your metrics and really consider if there are other factors leading to poor engagement or a lack of growth in your following. Are there any spikes of sudden engagement in content? Is there a pattern of what content is performing better than others and if so, have you leaned more into the content that typically performs better to see if your average engagement/following changes?”

~ Tondreanna Esquilin, Social Media Manager at Falcon 

If you need help getting the correct data for those audits, you can always consider using a professional tool like Falcon’s Measure module.

If you want to learn more about social media audits, watch our webinar

Tip 4: Optimize your resources.

Social media is an amazing marketing vehicle but it takes resources to actually research, create, execute, and measure your results. Therefore, it’s important to revisit your strategy for each social media channel when it comes to:

  • Team efforts

Your team is your biggest superpower, but how many teammates can you dedicate to your social media strategy? Re-evaluate your current situation and try to focus your team’s potential on the right channels for your business.

Your social media teammates should face skills like:

  • Content creation
  • Design
  • Community management
  • Data analysis
  • Time spent

Are you spending too much time creating content and engaging with the wrong audience? Testing a new social network or activity is always a good idea if you can afford it. Just make sure it’s worth the time.

You can also consider optimizing your team’s time by using tools like Falcon. Our Engage module helps you receive all messages from different social channels in one customizable social inbox.

  • Ad spent

Social ads can always help you expand your audience or engage with your existing one. Pay attention to how the different channels are performing for your brand when it comes to ads and this can give you a lot of insights on whether you need to unplug from any of those.

Tip 5: Benchmark against competitors.

Challenge your brand and take a look at what your competition is up to. By doing so you can:

  • Identify your strengths and weaknesses on a particular social media platform.
  • Observe your competitors’ marketing strategies. 
  • Get a clear picture of what’s driving results.

If you are looking for some help on how to easily benchmark against your competition contact us

~ Benchmark | Falcon

That’s a wrap!

It’s not an easy decision to let go of any of your social media channels so take a deep breath and think twice. 

Find the sweet spot for your brand and community and put your brand in your audience’s shoes before you make the big decision.