The list of social sites that I use is getting long:
Believe it or not, each of those sites offers individual benefits, and I use them to meet different needs. If you were so fanatically impressed with my amazing writing skills that you wanted to connect with me in all of these different places, you would rarely, if ever, see the same content duplicated. I do provide links to my blog from several other sites, in the hopes more people will come here, but that’s about it.
You may be thinking, “That’s a LOT of content.” You’re right, it is, and sometimes I struggle with what to post where. Would this link work better on Twitter or Facebook? How many more people are likely to respond to this question on Google+ than on LinkedIn? Where should I share this in order to provide maximum exposure?
The thing is, I’m not really normal – in the way that I use social media. It is part of my job to offer my clients insight and advice regarding these various platforms. If that weren’t the case, I’m not sure I’d be active in quite so many places. Also, if I had a job that didn’t involve marketing or social media at all – if I were still a teacher, for instance – I would certainly be slower to get involved.
This run down of my own social media habits has a point: Any normal person would be overwhelmed.
That overwhelm usually leads to a handful of reactions. People link their feeds together so that the same status update or link or whatever appears everywhere at once. Sometimes, business owners simply ignore the latest and greatest and stubbornly stick to whatever has been working for them (know anyone still relying on the Yellow Pages?). Other folks just hire it all out to an agency.
Linking your profiles and pages together is a bad idea, for several reasons. One is that you miss out on the particular benefits each platform offers. The reason all these sites can coexist is that they don’t do the same things. The jokes and chatter that work perfectly on Twitter fall flat on LinkedIn. I’m certainly not the first person to offer this advice, but I do think the temptation to link accounts will grow along with the number of platforms that could be linked.
Not taking the time to even learn how the next big thing works is a mistake, too. You need to at least have some idea of what each of these sites can do before you can decide where your business should be. Twitter might not be right for your business, but if you never check it out you will never know. Lots of businesses have found new customers through Twitter that never expected to be able to. Lots of others have tried and flopped – either because the people they were looking for weren’t there, they lacked an understanding of how that community works, or they were inconsistent or impatient.
Hiring an agency might seem like a good idea, especially if you listen to a well written and delivered pitch. But, unless you or someone who is extremely knowledgeable about your company works closely with the agency, it could be a disaster. In order for marketing through social platforms to work, you have to be personable and responsive to what your customers want. A representative from an agency cannot do that nearly as well as someone who lives and breaths your business. I’m not saying that an agency is NEVER the right idea, but you (or someone you trust) will have to spend time making sure the agency knows your company well enough to represent it.
I’m curious as to how the people who read this blog handle the overload. Do you wait to see how everyone else is going to use the latest new thing, or do you jump right in? Do you link your profiles together? Do you use different platforms to share different sorts of information or is one place as good as another?