Today I was on a call with a prospective client, the executive director of an organization that is just looking beyond its first baby steps into the digital marketing world.
As we talked through our process for building a comprehensive brand strategy and online community, he remarked several times that it felt like entering a whole new world.
Even having been in this world for years now, I know what he means. Stepping into social media, blogging, newsletters, and so on can seem daunting to someone experiencing it for the first time — much like an international environment where you don’t speak the language.
With that combined sense of uncertainty and discovery, it is no wonder that the new user can fall easily into the zone of following every shiny object that pops up online. After all, that’s what so many of the people who “do it right” seem to do… right?
It’s true that many of the recognized social media industry leaders will jockey for invitations every time a new social network comes out. There are lots of reasons for that — the most altruistic being that they want to go there to report on its role in the overall social ecosystem and its potential value for other users.
The truth, though, is that most of the best social media leaders actually have favorite platforms that they frequent above all others. They may have a profile everywhere, and they may release posts regularly everywhere, but that doesn’t mean they are paying close attention to it. They could be — but it’s not guaranteed.
No matter how many social networks you sign up for, you are likely to always have some that perform more strongly than others, or where you feel your strengths shine. When you are a busy small business owner, this is even more important. You’ve got to be more strategic in making your choices; simply signing up for a social network because every else is, may not be the right answer for your success.
Social media truly is a different language. If you are taking the time to learn to speak it, investing the energy in identifying which social networks could help you succeed can save you hours of time and dollars of expense, and yield far better returns than a purely scattershot approach.
Otherwise, you may find yourself overwhelmed with content and underwhelmed by your results.