Why Marketers Shouldn’t Ignore A Social Network’s Mission Statement

How many social network mission statements do you know?

A mission statement explains the purpose of an organization, and informs decision-making. Most mission statements are concise, and fixed, for the life of an organization. If they’re changed it’s usually because of a fundamental shift in the organization’s existence.

These mission statements, combined with their corresponding company values, make up the blueprints for every future decision these social networks make.

If your business relies on social media for a significant portion of their business should know their mission statements. How else can you optimize your strategy for each social network?

Snapchat’s Mission Statement Journey

Snapchat started with a very simple mission statement: “Deletion should be the default.”

Businesses have been trying to use Snapchat as a marketing tool since the app launched in 2012. Few were successful until the app was enhanced with an advertising API. Even then marketers flocked to Snapchat because their target consumers were using it, but the overall purpose for the social network still eluded them.

Its mission statement was too ambiguous. Deletion should be the default for who?

But in 2016, the company made the bold move to create a new umbrella company to encompass their new VR camera. Snap Inc.’s mission statement communicates its new purpose:
Snap now has a clear purpose that will guide its actions as an organization.

Why Marketers Should Pay Attention To Social Media Mission Statements

Mission statements often guide its consumers in reacting to, and using, its products or services. Almost every leading social network mentions ‘people’ in its mission statement; none of them mention businesses. That’s because social networking sites were not built for businesses.

Social networks were built for people.

That doesn’t mean Facebook isn’t interested in having businesses use their network. Facebook wants to be a valuable marketing tool for businesses, which is why they have implemented advertising, and analytics features.

But it’s also very protective of its primary users – the subject of their mission statement:
To protect Facebook users from being spammed, the network has greatly limited the number of business Pages posts that appear in feeds. (Unless they are sponsored posts.) Without its primary user base there would be no audience for businesses to reach.

How To Incorporate These Mission Statements Into Your Strategy

If social networks are making changes, or innovating on their products, it’s safe to assume that the new features will align with their mission statement.
Pinterest campaigns for example, are about to get a big insights boost thanks to a new “tried it tracking” feature that directly aligns with their mission statement.

If the content your business publishes on Pinterest isn’t something that “inspires” your consumer then what hope does it have to succeed?
LinkedIn recently launched LinkedIn Learning to help professionals acquire skills for their jobs. In following with LinkedIn’s mission statement, if you business publishes content on LinkedIn that helps others do better in their own jobs, you’re bound to see returns.
Some mission statements, like those from Twitter, and Instagram, are vague but still help us understand how people use their networks. “Does the Tweet share an idea?” “Does the Instagram photo share a moment?” If the content seems to place more emphasis on telling, than sharing, it might be time to go back to the drawing board.
Every decision these organizations make are to support their mission statement. Marketers who ignore these mission statements, when creating a social strategy, gamble their budget at unnecessarily high stakes.

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