Social Media Strategy

How to Know if You’re Spread Too Thin in Social Media

spread too thin in social media

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Jay Baer Blog PostAmazing how far the pendulum has swung for corporate social media.

In just three years, we’ve moved from skepticism and suspicion of social media as an activity worthy of support, to the present scenario with rampant social participation proliferation. The most endangered word in social media today is “no” as social media managers and governance councils are embracing myriad social opportunities becauseā€¦..well, they often don’t really know why.

I’ll grant that Facebook is almost a must-do. Facebook is a post-modern version of the Yellow Pages – a marketing tactic you have to embrace because of its utter pervasiveness. Twitter too, especially given its role in social media customer service provision. But beyond those big two, what social channels are required?

Why, specifically, are you on Pinterest? Why, specifically are you on Instagram? Why, specifically are you on YouTube, Google Plus or beyond? Why do you now feel the need to have four Twitter accounts?

Are you committing time and effort to these other social venues because you have a clear, delineated strategy with distinct KPIs? Or are you participating there because a few of your customers like your Instagram photos? Are you doing a few things great, or are you engaging in manifest destiny social strategy, and building a company outpost every time new real estate looks attractive?

How Much Social is Too Much Social?

Here’s the test, inspired by an entreaty from my friend Tom Webster (from Edison Research), who asks marketers to try to prove themselves wrong, rather than trying to prove themselves right:

Open a new document in your word processing program of choice, and then for each social outpost you have, justify that participation using disappearance logic. Try to make the case that each is strategically important based on what would happen if you closed up shop on that social network immediately.

For example: “If we ceased participation on Pinterest, approximately 3% of our sales, 7% of our new email newsletter subscribers, and 11% of our overall website traffic would be eliminated (or would have to come from elsewhere). However, we would gain approximately 6 hours per week of human capital.”

If you can make the strategic and mathematic case to yourself that clear negative consequences would arise if you bailed, then you have a fully realized social strategy for that channel. If you can’t make that case, you’ve got some work to do to better understand and justify why you’re spreading your efforts across so many outposts.

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  1. John says

    So how do you decide where to have a social presence? Say right now you have no social presence, where should you be?

    • says

      Google Plus 1st b/c of how it rolls into search. You can use Tumblr as a clearinghouse to post relevant stuff, then let those roll into FB and Twitter. But Tumblr might be too much, and you can just cross post your G+ content into twitter and FB natively, which is smarter as it is treated by each site as more relevant that is was posted within the network itself.

      But even before this stuff, you should be replying to user generated review sites like tripadvisor and yelp.

      Anything beyond that might be a waste of time.. pinterest, etc. I think even Facebook is a waste of time…

      if you really want to pair it down =

      respond to user generated review sites
      post on Google plus
      use twitter and facebook like a phone – just exist there, and answer when people have questions.

      That is simplest.

  2. Dennis_Vitkun says

    Social Media is a “gift and a curse” in the business world. The positive is that networking is easier and its a more efficient way to get to know someone without really knowing the person. Of course the other side is that social media does cut away human capital!

  3. says

    I do like how you broke that down in deciding how value added any one platform is for a business. I think you can extrapolate and ask the same questions as an individual. How much time am I wasting for the reward?

  4. Graciousstore says

    Though I have over stretched myself across all the social media, but I am still very skeptical about the relevance of each to my E-commerce website

  5. says

    Clearly there are a lot of options when it comes to social media platforms you can use to post your message. And it’s really fun when it comes to the new application to be able to discover the capabilities and features and the masses that can be used to grow your presence.

  6. Courtney says

    I’m fighting this battle right now, trying to reel back Social enthusiasts because I know that we do not have the time to do some things well. I would rather have NO presence than a bad presence. Glad I found this article.

  7. VioletFinancialSolutionsInc says

    I use Google Plus because it helps me list higher in Google searches. From what I’ve read it’s almost essential now to have a Google Plus account if you want good Google rankings.

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