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Last month, two former Disney executives, Brooke Chaffin and Catherine Connors, announced the arrival of their latest project: Maverick. Maverick (genmaverick.com; also available from iPhone app store), a new social media network, is targeted to girls and young women between the ages of 10 and 20.
Unlike most social media networks, the founders claim Maverick will help boost the confidence of its female users via challenges focused on positive body image and other related issues. Maverick is launching with a freemium model. There will be no advertising on the site. Monetization comes from users upgrading their accounts to access premium features. Chaffin also claims Maverick will collect only minimal data from its users (name, age, location), and they will not share user information with third parties.
What else sets Maverick apart from platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram? And should your brand be marketing on it? Let’s take a look at how to assess a social media network for your brand.
How Do You Assess if a Social Media Network is Right for Your Brand?
Maintaining a social media profile requires dedicated time and effort, so it’s imperative you choose to engage on the platforms with the greatest potential to help you achieve your marketing objectives. From audience profile to projected growth, the network needs to be a fit for your brand. Read on for tips on how to evaluate new social media platforms.
1. What Is the Network’s Audience Profile?
Social media networks do not all attract the same audience. Due to its broad reach, Facebook reaches the general population while Instagram skews younger (though that is in the process of changing). LinkedIn is the professional network and Pinterest is predominantly female-focused. Before you spend effort building out your brand’s presence on a specific social media network, make sure your audience is there.
Who Is Maverick’s Audience?
Maverick is geared toward girls and young women between the ages of 10 and 20 years old. If your target audience isn’t Generation Z, Maverick is irrelevant to you.
2. What Is the Network’s Project Growth?
As of September 2017, there were 105 “leading” social media networks according to Practical Ecommerce. They can’t all become the next Facebook. Unless a social media network scales to a relevant size, you could find yourself spending significant effort to engage relatively few consumers.
Research a site’s projected growth when determining your marketing strategy for the platform. If the site doesn’t have potential to grow, you’ll want to save your resources.
What Is Maverick’s Projected Growth?
Projected audience size for Maverick has not been published. Given the $2.7 million in funding and the fact that this network was built by two former Disney executives, we believe it has potential to scale.
3. What Types of Content Are Popular?
Even when the audience profiles are comparable, content types and formats can differ greatly from one social media network to the next. For example, Instagram is visually based, with users sharing photographs and videos. Meanwhile, Nextdoor is a social platform designed to help neighbors share local event details. Imgur, a newer social network, lets users vote and rank photos. And Tinder centers on location-based connections.
A social network’s content format and objectives should map closely to your marketing style and objectives. If you don’t see immediate alignment, walk away.
What Types of Content Does Maverick Endorse?
Because it’s devoted to girls and young women, Maverick encourages users, also called “Mavericks,” to express their creativity in the form of song lyrics, dance videos and the like. To inspire creativity while allowing users to authentically be themselves, users will be able to choose from photo, video or text-based challenges.
4. What Type of Brand Engagement Exists?
Are brands similar to you on the new platform yet? How do users react when brands post or advertise? Before you engage, monitor the experience to make sure you’ll be a welcome participant.
On larger social networks, like Instagram, almost every imaginable brand, from celebrities to retailers to service providers, has an account. Instagram users are familiar with brand engagement and appreciate brands that participate in the conversation. But users of smaller networks can be more resistant to branded infiltration, feeling it dilutes the authenticity of the platform.
Are Brands on Maverick?
It’s unclear whether or not Maverick is open to brands creating profiles in their network. We’ll continue to monitor the environment.
For any new social network, consider securing your brand’s profile early on. Even if you’re not ready to engage, owning that real estate could be beneficial down the line.
5. What Types of Advertising Opportunities Are Offered?
Most social media platforms launch and scale before they monetize. When they open to advertisers, the tools can be initially clunky. Even if a social network has the right audience and the right content, the time involved to effectively advertise might be too intensive. In order to achieve their current scale, Facebook launched advertiser tools that allow for easy campaign setup, granular targeting and streamlined reporting.
What Advertiser Tools Does Maverick Offer?
Maverick does not allow advertising.
How Much Does It Cost to Advertise?
Most of the larger social networks allow advertisers to pay on a cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-thousand (CPM) impressions basis. Price is typically based on advertiser demand. Networks with large audiences and robust targeting capabilities (like Facebook) typically attract more advertisers, driving up advertising cost.
Media spend should always be evaluated based on the return on investment (ROI), so higher media costs are acceptable when tied to higher conversion rates.
How Much Does It Cost to Advertise on Maverick?
Maverick does not allow advertising.
What Is the DMS Recommendation for Branded Maverick Engagement?
Team DMS suggests securing your corporate account to ensure ownership but hold off on Maverick engagement for now. While this network has the potential to gain speed and popularity, we recommend letting the platform mature and grow its user footprint before devoting time and resources to it.
Whether analyzing Maverick or any other marketing opportunity, it’s essential to review all the details before jumping in with both feet. People love the new and shiny, and marketers fear letting their competition get ahead. But spending significant time and effort to chase a fad rarely delivers on your objective.
Be bold by making intelligent strategic moves forward, not by striving to always be the first.