The days of never-ending cold calls and knocking on literal doors are over.
(Or at least they should be. If you’re still doing that crap, hop up to the 21st century to gain your whole life back.)
Taking the place of interrupting someone’s entire day to quickly pitch your product or service with a tiny hope they might buy is…
A never-ending list of social media platforms.
Facebook. Instagram. Pinterest. YouTube. Snapchat. Google+. Periscope. Vine. Twitter. LinkedIn.
Reaching new and existing customers on social media simply makes sense. People are already there. In fact, they’re there out of complete habit around the clock.
While drinking their morning coffee, while on a mid-morning webinar, while at lunch with colleagues, while in the mid-afternoon slump, while driving home from work (we really need to stop that), while eating dinner (don’t lie, you do it too), while relaxing before bed, and even right before they shut their eyes at night.
Obviously, if you need to get in front of people, you’d be silly not to do everything you can to optimize your social media presence.
The problem comes in when you think you’re optimizing but you’re really just shooting yourself in the foot by following this one common piece of advice.
Anywhere you turn, you’ll find someone telling you to BE ON MULTIPLE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS.
This is the worst advice out there, bar none. Well, except for the advice to not use social media at all. But I think I’ve already shot that idea down pretty well.
Why do people think they need to be on all social media platforms?
Here’s what I can assume:
- Other people are, so I should be too.
- The “Greats” do it, so I should too.
- The more platforms I’m on, the more people I’ll reach.
Why that’s all wrong.
Yeah, I’m really bringing the hammer down today.
- Just because others do something, doesn’t mean that you should too.
Didn’t your parents or grandparents or big sister or SOMEONE ever teach you this? If not, let me step in.
From the outside, we see what other businesses are doing and it’s natural to think, “They’re pulling ahead. I’ve got to catch up.” Healthy competition IS what drives us forward, what builds our bank accounts, what allows our business to grow and reach more and more people. However, if you’re trying to “keep up” by simply copying others, at best, you’ll reach their level, but never surpass it.
Let’s go for the gold, guys. Make smart decisions for your business, not because others do it, but because it makes sense for your business, brand, and audience.
- The “Greats,” as in people or businesses WAY above your own are often resourced in a much bigger way than you are.
They have entire teams managing each social media platform. If you’re on your own or even with just a small team, chances are, managing several social media platforms efficiently and effectively isn’t possible.
- Reaching more people is important for any business to grow. But if you’re not properly resourced with the manpower necessary to manage and optimize your presence across all social media platforms, your reach will be disappointing.
Read on to see exactly what it takes to optimize your presence and then take a stand on where you’ll show up online looking your best.
“Oh, but you don’t know me. I’m sure I can handle a bunch of accounts.”
I used to think this way too, so I get it. But here’s how you should look at your social media presence:
Showing up on social media is like dating.
You put yourself out there on a platform and your audience reciprocates with a “Like” or a “Share.” Things are heating up. To keep this relationship going, you have to show up consistently. This builds trust with your audience. You add value to their lives by providing relevant information regularly. You initiate the conversation, you can always be counted on to be there, and you’re never late. You show your audience that you care and they, in turn, are bought in. They’re willing to stick around for the long-term.
Sounds like a pretty great relationship if you ask me.
Who knew you’d be getting relationship advice from me today? Hah!
Okay, back to social media.
If you DON’T show up consistently, DON’T provide value to your audience, and ultimately CAN’T be counted on because of inconsistent posting, forget it, bud. She’s gone. Uh, your audience, that is.
So if I shouldn’t be on all of them, what should I do?
Instead of trying to be everywhere all at once, find the ONE platform that makes the most sense for your business.
Where can you best showcase what you have to offer and where are your people most apt to engage with you?
For many, the obvious answer is Facebook. There are something like 1.7 billion (with a B, guys) Facebook users out there, so chances are, your audience is there.
But maybe your business is more creative-based and has images and visual brand to showcase. Your one platform may be Instagram.
You have step-by-step tutorials on how to make something? YouTube may be your best bet.
You work B2B. Perhaps LinkedIn is your place.
There are several other examples. In the end, you have to do the due diligence of knowing your audience and then reaching them where it makes the most sense.
Once you’ve decided where you’ll show up, show up consistently with relevant, valuable content for your audience. Serve them. Woo them. “Date” them.
Once you’ve mastered that one platform and have a loyal, committed following, you can then consider engaging on another platform, but only if it doesn’t detract from your presence on the first.