Do You REALLY Need All Those Social Media Networks?

As you’re planning for next year and thinking about how social media is going to be part of your marketing strategy, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.

The conversation has expanded from Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to include the likes of Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+. And you can bet that 2013 will be filled with continual changes to these existing networks along with the introduction of new networks looking to gain ground.

In the end, you may suffer from a fear of falling behind if you’re not on all of these networks.

So, first, take a deep breath.

Because maybe, just maybe, you don’t need all of those social media networks.

Taking a very social step back

As you look forward to 2013, it’s time to take a step back and look at the big picture.

Social media works, but only when you have the resources and the time to invest in it. And when you don’t have a marketing team to help you, managing multiple social media channels can feel almost impossible.

Know that it’s okay to start small. Focus on one network. Spend 90% of your time with this primary network and figure out works for you there. Then, use the other 10% to investigate another network that may complement your overall strategy.

So how to you decide where you should focus your time and energy?

How to evaluate which social media networks to focus on

Think hard about your goals and who you’re trying to reach:

  • Are you looking to reach new and potential customers?
  • Are you trying to connect with existing customers to increase loyalty?
  • Do you want to build an audience beyond your typical demographic?
  • Who uses each social network and what do they use it for?
  • How are similar organizations using each social network?

Make a commitment to establish a community on your chosen social media network

Establishing yourself on a social media network is a commitment.

Don’t get caught building up pages and profiles if you don’t have time for the “social” part. If you’re sacrificing customer relationships just to be more places, then something may be wrong.

To build an engaged community, you need to post great, compelling content on a regular basis. You also have to be willing and able to respond to inquiries and complaints from followers and fans.

That’s often the trickiest part: one survey found that 79% of consumers who shared complaints on social media were ignored. That’s pretty bad, considering the same survey showed that 89% of consumers choose a competitor after a bad customer experience.

Take time to build without spreading yourself thin

Don’t rush to what everyone says is the next big thing when you haven’t gained any ground on your existing social networks.

Instead, work hard to establish yourself among the social media audiences you already have. Make your existing social media networks work before moving onto another one.

That way, you can take what you know succeeds for your organization and apply it again and again as more social networks come out over next year.

And, if you’re not ready … don’t do it.

What about you? Do you feel overwhelmed by social media? What’s your plan to make it work for you in 2013?


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  1. Thank you, thank you! I am so overwhelmed with this problem. I have two pages on FB. Going to kill the personal one, keep the biz page. Twitter I just don’t get. G+1 is starting to be the same as FB. Pinterest seems to work being able to show my art, show what style/look am drawn to. Haven’t checked out their new biz pages. Too much time spent on all this to do what really needs to be done. Thanks for saying what I’ve been thinking. I don’t neeeeed all this. Some, but just enough that’s easy for me to handle. I want to dream about art, not what to say on FB. LOL

    • PJ,, If you create a business page without a personal profile, you will be limited in your engagement. I have clients who create a personal profile to ensure they have all options of engagement, yet they barely use their personal profile or keep it private. Always be careful deleting anything before you understand the possible repercussions. You don’t say what kind of business you have, so I can’t advise on which platforms you’ll garner the most benefit…

      • More good advice, thank you. Seems I started with the personal page, can’t close it without closing the biz page. So, I think I’ll keep both, and revamp both. Thanks for clearing my brain. I needed new insight. Almost forgot again, I’m an artist. I sell some online. I would like to increase that area of my biz. thanks again. Have a Merry Christmas, enjoy the Holidays.

  2. For my particular business (specialty consulting) Facebook has been what Betty White said on Saturday Night Live, a gigantic waste of time. Other approaches have been much more effective, particularly PR in print media (which is changing to e-media) leading people to our website and our subscription to Constant Contact email. Those emails have done wonders.
    But the core has been

  3. The other side of this is that there are loads and loads of also ran social media sites, so I think there’s possibly two potential ways of looking at them. Divide them between the big players and concentrate on those for a personal touch. Then possibly look at the others to see if they offer value to you – in time spent managing them. If they allow backlinks, whether they’re direct or via some other shortening service, can you use these to legitimately promote your site and internal pages… Or maybe I’m just being naughty and we should forget about them? LOL!

  4. Social Media must be used precisely. Making a presence felt on 2-3 domains is good enough than being on 10-12 odd platforms but not being active. Select only those tools which will be beneficial for you and help you in your cause.

  5. Thanks- I am sharing this with others who feel I should be spreading us onto other areas ans i still am working on learning how to manage our Facebook page! In 2013 I hope to be comfortable enough with Facebook to start thinking about other Social Media…..

  6. Thank you for airing this. Overwhelmed is exactly how I feel. I am a knitwear designer & can only cram so much into my day. How can I post to my business page rather than my personal page from Instagram? It defaults to my personal. So glad to hear I am not the only one who is drowning in social media. ….. have a lovely Festive Holiday


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