Social Media Platforms – So Many; So Little Time

March 19, 2012

by Jeanine Vecchiarelli                                            return to JayVee Media Link                    

overwhelmed by social mediaFacebook; Twitter; You Tube; Linked In; Google Plus; Pinterest; Foursquare; Chill; WordPress; Posterous…  The list grows longer and longer every day.  How on Earth to keep up with all of the platforms?  How on Earth to manage your own PLUS your clients’ when there are only 24 hours in a day?

I shake my head in disbelief when I see advertisements from some of my peers stating that they will set up and manage 20, 30, 40 plus profiles for their clients.  Unless they have access to very large teams of workers, the only thing they will accomplish by trying to maintain a presence on that many sites is major burnout.  And poor quality output will result, as their efforts will become more diluted with each additional platform they take on.  These profiles aren’t called time suckers for nothing!  It’s easy enough to lose hours on any one of them alone!  Do you dare to imagine what it would be like to build a successfully engaged presence on even 20 profiles a day, PER CLIENT?  The truth is it’s just not possible.  The essential answer is to emphasize quality over quantity.

There is never a need to try and impress by throwing around unrealistic numbers and claims.  If anything, that is a recipe for losing your credibility.  When first formulating a strategy with your social media client, the cardinallisten carefully rule is to LISTEN ATTENTIVELY.  Take notes based on what you hear.  Ask questions to seek clarification.  What EXACTLY does your new client wish to achieve?  Think about how you can help him/her to reach that goal.  Only after taking those steps should you start putting together a marketing strategy with him/her.  Based on those expectations and the strategy you develop, you should pick just a few of the multitude of available social media platforms that are best suited to your combined needs.  By targeting a lesser number of more suitable platforms, a stronger, more engaged presence may be cultivated.  A good social media manager knows the best uses of each of those platforms, and in what capacity they will deliver the best results.  Your strategy must build from there.

From my experience, the two platforms that most reliably deliver across virtually every social media strategy are Twitter and Facebook.  More times than not, I start with them.  Depending upon the needs and expectations of my client, and his/her field, we build from there.  Sometimes we add only one more profile; sometimes more.  Other times we work only with those two.  The key is to get the best results within our strategy, and there is no rule that says you can’t have a great one with only two profiles.  Put another way, what counts is not necessarily how many platforms you accumulate; rather, it is knowing how to optimally apply the ones you use.

To figuratively put a punctuation mark on my views, I’d like to share a link to my friend Robert Caruso’s blog post on this very issue.  It is both entertaining AND informative!

How do YOU cope with the constantly expanding world of social media platforms?  What are your thoughts on strategy building in the midst of these ever emerging channels?  Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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7 thoughts on “Social Media Platforms – So Many; So Little Time

  1. Pingback: Social Media- How much is too much? « The Young SEO

  2. Great article Jeanine! I think the reason some agencies throw all these social networks at their prospects, they want to make them feel they are getting a lot for their money. This is a red flag for anyone trying to a hire social media professional. these people end up wasting their clients money and make the rest of us look bad.

  3. I agree 100%, Sherry. Truth is, the social media field is scary terrain for a majority of businesses, and even to most individuals except for our youth. It angers me to see disreputable companies taking advantage of their prospects’ fear and lack of information. That activity does indeed give our profession a black eye, because these companies promise the moon…..but fail to deliver even half the distance. I am routinely asked by new potential clients how many profiles I will set up, or how many likes/followers I will guarantee per week, etc. I ALWAYS stress quality over quantity. I explain how non-interactive fans/followers will actually cost them in rankings. And I show them proof of the quality over quantity rule in the clients whose profiles I currently maintain.

    Thanks so much for posting your insights, Sherry! I appreciate the value you ALWAYS add!

  4. I agree – I always get to know my clients industry and target audience first before making recommendations on what social networks to maximize on. Most often I end up with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn – other times it could be LinkedIn and Google+. It really depends on the clients’ business. I agree with Sherry that it’s a red flag when a social media “professional” will make promises for so many social networks even when some don’t apply to the clients industry and won’t bring ROI.

    Good post :)

  5. Thanks so much for validating my viewpoints with your own experiences, Denisse. More is not necessarily better; chances are it could be worse! As you point out, the most important ingredients are listening to and working with our clients to determine the best strategies for their social media needs. Then and only then should we begin building from the few platforms that will deliver the best results for them. :-)

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