Between Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, Tumblr, Stumble Upon, and blogs our social media lives can be utterly overwhelming. And for those of us who make money on the web (or want to), deciding which platform to use to establish your brand can seem downright daunting.
Recently, Angela Meyers of the fab travel blog 2 Girls & A Bikini, posed this exact question in our #GOALdiggers Facebook group. As she continues to build her blog’s web presence, Angela started to feel swamped by the sheer number of social media networks that are available. Although she’s primarily focused on Facebook (peep her fan page), she wanted to know if she was selling herself short by not participating on other platforms.
My feelings on this are mixed. While some bloggers and social media experts advise businesses to be on every, single network to increase their readership and build their brand, my advice is a little different: stick with what you know and love…and do it well.
While I have a Tumblr, Google+ and a LinkedIn account, I barely use these networks. Tumblr moves at the speed of light and sometimes I don’t feel like I can keep up. And LinkedIn just seems like a wonderful place for job hunters (or those in the corporate world), which isn’t exactly what I’m about. So, instead of spreading myself too thin and being apart of a lot of things and doing NONE of them well, I focus on the networks I enjoy and actively participate in—Facebook and Twitter.
With 800 million Facebook and 140 million Twitter users, it looks like I’m in good company.
According to a recent Nielsen report, Americans spend 53 BILLION hours a month on Facebook, and nearly a quarter of the time we spend on the Internet is on social networks.
So while many think they can opt out of social media and still build a successful business (or career), they probably can’t. But that doesn’t mean you should stress yourself out by trying to keep up with the social media Joneses either.
If you’re a newbie to social media, here’s my advice:
Expand your brand/business on a network you’re already comfortable with. If you love Twitter, perhaps sign up for another Twitter account for your business and funnel all updates through that account. And if you’re partial to Facebook, consider opening a fan page. And don’t worry about the number of followers and likes. As Shadow mentioned in ‘Mo Betta Blues,’ if you give the people the ish that they like (and value) they will come.
Don’t try to keep up with the cool kids. Do what you do, better. Instead of singing up for multiple social networks and forgetting to update them all, sign up for one—maybe two—and focus on building your presence. Just because other people have a Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest for their blog doesn’t mean you have to have one. Focus on the networks you’re comfortable with and make your posts and interactions better. Release helpful content, link to interesting stories, engage with your followers, and establish yourself as an expert in your field.
Be authentic. There’s nothing worse than constantly being bombarded with links from a business or someone’s blog. Even if you plan on using social media to expand your biz, remember to interact like a real person. Join discussions, keep the conversations positive, but don’t just link to your products and/or posts. Interact with readers (customers!) and inform people that there is an interesting personality behind the Tweets or posts. Remember that people repeatedly tune out commercials and ads, but if they connect to the product (or to you), they’ll be more likely to be repeat readers and customers.
Jumping into the sea of social media can be quite daunting, but if you wade in slowly and focus on the networks you actually enjoy, your efforts to build your web presence will be a whole lot easier and a lot more enjoyable.
Do you feel overwhelmed by the number of networks? Do you have a “strategy” for using social media? Please leave a comment and let me know.
Up for joining another network? Come hang with us in the #GOALdiggers Facebook group. Meet-ups, networking, advice, and go-getters….what more do you need?