Flipboard: Everything in One Place

December 3, 2012

by Jeanine Vecchiarelli                             return to JayVee Media Link LLC 

Have you tried Flipboard?  I recently added the free app to my smart phone.  It has quickly become one of my favorites.

Flipboard opening screens

Flipboard is a social network aggregation application for iPhones, iPads, and Android devices.  It collects content across various partner websites as well as the social media channels we link to the platform and presents it all in magazine format for easy viewing.  A user browses the headlines and synopses by flipping through them, literally as though reading a magazine.  If he/she wishes to read a story in its entirety a tap on the desired headline brings up the whole post.

Flipboard Facebook and Twitter stream options

Social networks that are linked to Flipboard are broken down into various component streams, such as pictures, news feeds, mentions, links and friend/follower posts.  Each can be individually added to form user customized viewer channels.  And each permits user interaction via likes, comments, sharing and replies.  So a user can monitor and interact with all his/her linked social media platforms as well as keep up to date with the most current news stories in and out of his/her field, all in one place.

Flipboard news story from MashableBecause Flipboard offers a quick, easy way to keep informed about the latest news in our niche areas, it is great for finding current, compelling topics for content creation.  Being that kind of quality resource as well as allowing monitoring, sharing and interaction across our social media channels all in one easy to use platform makes this app a must have!  If you haven’t tried it yet I highly recommend you take it for a spin.  If you have, please share your feedback in the comments section below!

See also:  Meet Flipboard

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Likes and Recommendations – Real, or Illusions?

October 8, 2012

by Jeanine Vecchiarelli                       return to JayVee Media Link LLC

Open trenchcoat with Wanna Buy a Like sign insideWhile doing research last week to compile data for a new client’s media evaluation, I came across one of his industry competitors’ Facebook pages.  What I saw made me sit back and shake my head.  It was fairly new, having been launched about six months ago.  The first month boasted five new followers.  The second month:  23,740 new followers.  WOW!  This business must have a rocket propelled marketing department, right?  I HAD to look at the page’s activity.  There was no interaction at all; just a smattering of posts here and there about services the business offered.  Seriously; do subscribers to practices like this think we are that naïve, or are they hoping we won’t scroll far enough down their pages to see how all those likes came in one giant lump during the pages’ second month of existence?

I’m not condemning anyone personally for buying likes or followers. I’m just saying that doing so is not as covert as he/she would hope.  And considering the bulk of these bought numbers consist of phony accounts as well as disinterested people who will never engage with the page, the practice cheats him/her of business credibility.  Engagement and genuinely valuable activity define the success of a company’s social media sites, not a suddenly huge number of “fans” or “followers.”  Instead of the anticipated boost, this practice serves to negatively flag a social site; it also illustrates wasted money, since Facebook and Twitter have begun cracking down by purging phony likes and follows.

Another faux strategy has emerged recently: buying positive recommendations.  This practice evolved from do-it-yourselfers who compelled others in their employ to write glowing reviews for them.  Many of these are easily spotted for what they are, especially when they are exaggeratedly fawning.  There is actually a question of legality here, as the law requires disclosure of the circumstances behind a recommendation that is motivated by anything other than true satisfactory personal experience with a business, its product or service.

It is tough to launch a social media business.  How do we gain our footing among thousands of peers who already have established pages with huge numbers of valid fans and followers?  The temptation is great to buy ourselves an illusion of competitiveness, even temporarily while we work frantically to build our businesses legitimately.  Although we don’t like to acknowledge it, the reality is that slowly and steadily playing by the rules is the only true avenue to solid social relationships, credible business standings, and ultimately success in our fields.  The reality is also that having a couple of hundred likes who are actively engaged with us on our pages trumps thousands of silent likes.  That’s a metric that can’t be hidden; one needs only scroll down a business page to see the level and quality of activity – or lack of it.

person hawking bought likes is vanquishedPatience truly is a virtue here.  When we realize the only thing that separates our new launches from our successfully established peers is length of time investment, we may be less inclined to take shortcuts that will undoubtedly backfire with negative consequences.  At that point we should realize that taking the time to do things legitimately and correctly is the more direct route to our own successes.

What is your take on the practice of buying fans, followers and positive reviews? How do you handle new clients who want to see giant numbers of fans and followers instantly appear on their social media sites?  Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below!

See also:
Davey Winder:  “Why Buying Social Media Reviews is a Recipe for Marketing Disaster
Mallie Hart:  “ Say No to Shortcuts

The Privacy Issue Stirs Again

September 24, 2012

by Jeanine Vecchiarelli                                    return to JayVee Media Link LLC 

covered up computer monitor with KEEP OUT signThere have been a number of social media news stories over the past couple of weeks that have brought the issue of privacy back into focus.  Businesses that have offline relationships with Facebook-using customers are now able to access those users’ profiles in order to target advertising messages to them.  Mobile marketers are making use of GPS software to customize apps for specific deals triggered by a person’s geolocation.  And of course we can’t forget the pilot program called Facedeals – cameras mounted at the entrances of stores that record people’s faces, check to see if they have approved the Facedeal app on Facebook, and then use that information to target instant ads to them.  These new capabilities must be a marketer’s dream come true; the internet allows access to more consumer data than was ever possible before.  But at what point does it become apparent even to the marketer that a line has been crossed?  And what option does a consumer have to protect his/her privacy from those prying eyes?

SO MUCH of our personal information is floating around in cyberspace these days.  It is virtually impossible to guarantee anonymity.  While we can’t insulate ourselves completely, we can take steps to limit access to our private information.  Ultimately, we are responsible for remaining vigilant.

It is very easy to let our guards down while cruising around on our social media sites.  When we do, we risk divulging more personal information than we should.  Even if we are talking to trusted friends, we must remember that the forums can be seen by other people we probably don’t know so well.  Would you shout private information to a friend across a crowded room full of strangers?  If not, then you shouldn’t do it on a Facebook or Twitter page, either.

JayVee Twitter page Edit Profile buttonMany social media users are unaware of the ways to change their settings for increased privacy.  The steps are not difficult, as they follow a menu driven order.  The trick is knowing where to look for the settings.  In Twitter, we can access them from our profile pages.  Click “Edit your profile.”  A list appears in the left column with a series of choices.  Click “account.”  Go down the list of settings, changing whichever ones will yield the desired level of privacy.  Save changes when done.  We can repeat JayVee Facebook profile with edit privacy option shownthis procedure for any other setting listed in the left column under “account,” making changes wherever we desire.  For each menu we change, save before exiting.  In Facebook, click the arrow to the right of the “home” button at the top of the page.  Click on “Privacy Settings.”  There we find an explanation of all the levels of privacy we can enact, and are given the chance to do so.  Save all changes before exiting.

It is important to remember that changing our privacy settings is not an airtight solution.  It gives us an edge; it is NOT a guarantee.  We still must remain vigilant about what we share. The safest rule to guide us: remember that once we click the share button we lose complete control over a post.  It takes only one person to save it, and its fate is out of our hands.

One further suggestion:  consider a paid email service.  Most are inexpensive; for that small investment they will not use or sell email addresses or other personal information.  Services are “free” for a reason.  They monitor our inboxes and keep track of our personal preferences in order to target ads to us.  They also place their ads all over our emails for THEIR advertising purposes.

Is it odd that a person working in the social media field would take such an interest in protecting people’s personal information?  I am receptive to the many ways unfolding everyday that allow us to more accurately target our marketing messages to potential consumers.  But I also feel there is a point where the information mining becomes too intrusive.  That line should not be crossed.

What are your feelings regarding all the new methods to collect personal information in the name of social media target marketing?  Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

Twitter Makes Some Marketing Changes

September 10, 2012

by Jeanine Vecchiarelli                               return to JayVee Media Link LLC 

We have been hearing a lot lately about innovative ways to advertise on Facebook.  Well, Twitter is not about to let Facebook monopolize the marketing limelight!  Over the past few weeks the microblogging platform has introduced several tweaks to its advertising opportunities.  Since the changes are new, it’s too early to tell how effective they will be.  But they do sound promising!

Twitter Promoted Tweets logo

One change Twitter has effected is that the rule requiring “promoted tweets” to be sent only to a business’ followers has been lifted.  Businesses can now target ads to a variety of different interest categories, as well as to people who demonstrate similar interests to the companies’ accounts.    With a little imagination, we can see how broadly this new allowance opens up the field of potential recipients for marketing ads.

Another change is that Twitter has dropped the price of its promoted tweets considerably.  While the platform still employs the auction style sales model, the price it charges per engagement for an advertising bid has been dropped from 50 cents to a penny.  This change should dramatically expand the number of merchants who use Twitter advertising.  Be warned, though, that merely winning auctions does not guarantee ad placement into the stream.  The tweets that will be promoted must first demonstrate that they achieve good responses.

Ad Dynamo Get Paid to Tweet service logo

In conjunction with these changes to Twitter promotions, global advertising marketplace Ad Dynamo has added a new twist:  paying Twitter users to promote products.  What better way to appeal to prospective customers than through sincere endorsements from some of their peers?  With the launch of Ad Dynamo’s sponsored tweet campaigns, any Twitter user can become a paid promoter of a company’s product or service.  He or she needs only to register for the program and respond to briefs that prospective marketers prepare.  A price is then set for user promotion.  Of course, those participants with large followings and good reach are able to set higher prices for their recommendations.  The companies have final say to ensure that the right messages are being conveyed in an appropriate manner for them, and Ad Dynamo supplies them with analytics to measure the success of the Twitter users’ promotional efforts.  Authenticity in tweeting is strongly suggested, since hollow endorsements can be spotted fairly easily.  Other than that, the process is pretty straightforward.

I should mention here that Facebook also offers a version of sponsored stories.  However, its version is done differently, and is not very popular with the platform’s users.  In order to employ its sponsored stories ad campaigns, Facebook relies on a frequently overlooked stipulation in its terms of service that new users are required to accept.  In a nutshell, this rule allows the platform to turn a Facebook user’s “like” of a business or product into an ad if that business pays them to do so.  No further permission is required of the profile owner, whose name is then used for endorsement purposes.  Many Facebook users resent this move, believing it to be both a violation of their privacy and not necessarily a true endorsement.  Even those users who don’t mind having their names appear in Facebook’s sponsored stories acknowledge that merely liking a business page is not tantamount to a recommendation.  All things considered, sweetening the deal as Ad Dynamo is doing by offering a monetary incentive AND making participants opt in yields a much higher acceptability rate for Twitter’s sponsored stories over Facebook’s efforts.

The competition between and among social media platforms and their advertising offerings is giving way to more innovation and diversity for businesses who employ the sites.  This is good news for companies who understand the growing importance of these marketing tools and embrace the strategies they offer.

What are your thoughts about Twitter’s changes to its promoted tweets?  Does Ad Dynamo’s sponsored tweets service appeal to you?  Please let us know in the comments section below!

Twitter bird with lots of cash

Viddy – The “Twitter” of Vlogging

September 3, 2012

by Jeanine Vecchiarelli                             return to JayVee Media Link LLC 

It’s no secret that video blogging, or vlogging, is essential to successful social media marketing campaigns.  Nothing connects with potential customers like a video; nothing breeds a feeling of familiarity better than this powerful medium.  Through it prospective clients meet us, either literally or personified through brand portrayal.  They get a sense of our personalities, and so our brands’ human sides are allowed to emerge.

While recognizing the importance of video as a social marketing tool, we must also acknowledge that brevity is the goal for which to strive.  We want to capture our target audiences’ attention and stoke their enthusiasm, not cause their eyes to glaze over because we are too long-winded.  Enter Viddy, a fairly new iPhone app that is geared to just such a style of creation and delivery.  I like to refer to it as the Twitter of vlogging since, like Twitter, we are limited in the length of our posts.  As we need to think and plan the most effective way to deliver our messages within the 140 character limit of Twitter, we must also hone our video communications to hit their points within a maximum of 15 seconds for Viddy.

Viddy screen shot

In actuality, Viddy’s qualities are more like a cross between Twitter for its brevity and Instagram for its easy editing and sharing capabilities.  With the iPhone app it is very simple to shoot footage, edit by using filters, soundtracks and other special effects, and then easily post our finished products to Twitter, Facebook, blogs, or to send them via emails and text messages.

I do want to mention that there is a sister app named ViddyMe for Android.  Unfortunately, that version does not provide edit functions, and the video quality is poor to fair at best.  Unless it is markedly improved, I see little use for the Android app beyond casual personal sharing.

According to Mashable, Viddy had 26 million users as of May, 2012.  Pretty good considering the app is just about a year old!  With all the features it offers, and the ease with which it allows us to create and share our all-important videos, I foresee a long, robust life for Viddy!

Are you using Viddy?  What are your thoughts about the application?  Please share your perspective in the comments section!

Viddy logo

To Follow or Not to Follow? That is the Question

August 20, 2012

by Jeanine Vecchiarelli                                return to JayVee Media Link LLC

Twitter bird kicking another out of a treeA well respected colleague of mine recently posed a question on her company’s Facebook page:  What makes you unfollow someone on Twitter?  She received a good response, with a diverse list of reasons.  Among them:

–those who provide little value to me

–I can’t build a relationship with someone who can’t see my posts

–if they are not what they seemed

–if they are vulgar and offensive

–if they are inactive for more than 15 days

–if they only autopost and never engage

–if they don’t follow me back

My colleague’s question got me thinking, and I realized that I couldn’t reply with just one choice.  Most if not all have merit to justify an unfollow.  Some, like people who are vulgar and offensive, are no brainers. But other reasons may benefit from a little more latitude, depending on the perspective of the individual Twitter user.

While Twitter is pretty generous in its follower allowance, tying up our numbers with others who never engage or are inactive for long periods of time doesn’t do us a lot of good.  There is a school of thought that teaches us to focus on numbers of followers – the more the better.  That thinking is still popular, but its prevalence is steadily waning.  Social media needs to be social!  Most Twitter folks who may be scouting out profiles in our niche don’t care about seeing thousands of followers.  Instead, they are much more impressed by the engagement and overall quality of activity they see there.  What is the conclusion to be drawn when a profile boasts high numbers of followers, but shows no real engagement?

Quality of interaction is another make or break factor when considering whether to unfollow Twitter accounts.  Actually, it’s well worth our time to take a look at a profile’s stream before we even consider following it – regardless of whether or not the account already follows us.  What do we see?  Nothing but endless automated posts?  Is the stream dominated by spam?  Does the account tweet in a one-sided fashion, issuing information in an edict-like manner without ever encouraging or becoming involved with engagement?  Such factors should weigh heavily in our decisions to follow or unfollow other Twitter accounts.

Some respondents to my colleague’s question said they would unfollow an account that won’t follow them.  A very good point was made in that regard:  how can we engage with someone who can’t see our Twitter streams?  I agree with this important argument.  As a general rule of thumb, it is an acceptable reason to unfollow.  That said, I give this factor a little more latitude.  Some very knowledgeable peers in our field offer so much value in their Twitter profiles that I want to follow them.  I do so without the expectation that they will follow me back; sometimes I am pleasantly surprised to see that they do.  But from a didactic point of view, if they don’t it is not a deal breaker for me.

What are some reasons YOU unfollow Twitter accounts?  Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below!

Twitter owl asking about unfollowing

Social Media Marketing Not Good for Ages 25+?

July 30, 2012

by Jeanine Vecchiarelli                              return to JayVee Media Link LLC 

baby using a computerA social media firestorm was set off last week, when Cathryn Sloane of the University of Iowa posted in NextGen Journal her declaration that only people under the age of 25 were properly qualified to work in the field.  The premise upon which she based her claim was that, because her generation was the “right” age when platforms such as Facebook and Twitter began, and hence she and her peers grew up with them, their knowledge of the social media sites’ operations made them more qualified than any other generation to use them for social media marketing.

Reaction to Ms. Sloane’s assertion has been swift and unrelenting.  Much of it hasn’t been very nice.  I think we need to cut her some slack for her inexperience in all life areas OUTSIDE of social media, and acknowledge that she does make some good points.

It is hugely beneficial when marketers have an intimate knowledge of the tools at their disposal as they ply their trade.  When it comes to platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, You Tube, etc., the undisputed champions are indeed those members of Ms. Sloane’s generation.  They have an inherent knowledge of virtually every aspect of the sites’ functionality, and they are quick to grasp and make optimal use of the changes that are continuously rolling out.  However, understanding a tool’s functionality doesn’t necessarily impart knowledge of how to best apply it as a situation demands.  As one commenter wisely stated, “I am a great driver; I know how to use my car better than most people do.  Does that mean I am qualified to run the car company?”

I also agree that the people who comprise Ms. Sloane’s generation have unparalleled experience with using social media to be social…a fundamental concept of social media marketing that often eludes more seasoned marketers.  But what these young computer whizzes may lack is training in marketing techniques and applications, including elements such as timing, wording, and response etiquette, as well as the keen insights that only come from years of experience.

With all factors taken into account, I believe the best answer is a social media company that balances BOTH demographics, making optimal use of the best that each has to offer.

adult showing baby how to use computer

What is your response to Ms. Sloane’s assertion?  Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Twitter: Terrible…or Terribly Misunderstood?

July 9, 2012

by Jeanine Vecchiarelli                                    return to JayVee Media Link LLC

Twitter new logo“Twitter?  Ugh!  I HATE Twitter!”  That is the reaction I often get when I recommend the platform as a business building tool in new clients’ social media marketing toolboxes.  In spite of its wild popularity among business owners who grasp the vast potential Twitter holds, those who are less well informed about social media marketing seriously misunderstand the channel…and underrate its value to their companies.

The biggest complaint about Twitter that I hear from new clients stems from their notions that everyone on the platform does nothing but tweet nonsensical minutiae about their personal lives.  The second biggest grievance I hear is that the channel spreads users’ messages too widely to ever be useful to them.  Objections like these are quickly put to rest when my clients learn a few facts about Twitter:

Targeted Searches

It is easy to build a following that is very specific to one’s niche by using Twitter’s search tool.  There are other related sites, like Twellow, that also offer this service.  But the one built into the platform is very easy to use, and returns the best results I have seen.  Just type in some relevant keywords and click the search button.  While not necessary for this activity, it is helpful to precede the words with the hashtag symbol (#).  Follow any accounts that look like good potential matches; Twitter etiquette dictates that the vast majority will follow back.  Of course, be sure to message a note of thanks to those people who do, which helps set the stage for engagement.  But don’t try selling right off the bat.  On Twitter, as on every other social media platform, the name of the game is relationship building.  Pitches must come later.

Twitter search example

Sharing Information

As we build and engage our targeted Twitter followers, we become immersed in a constant stream of the freshest industry information available, posting almost as it is breaking.  Think of it as the most valuable instant messaging system we can join.  We can contribute our expertise as well as benefit from that of our peers at the uppermost levels of our niches.  The best way to grow our following further is to demonstrate our knowledge, and to be willing to help by freely sharing it.  The best way to service our clients is to operate with the most cutting edge information we can find.  Twitter is one of the best resources for both sides of this business equation.

Hitting proper targets for our expertise

We can target our messages to those who will potentially benefit the most, and hence stand the best chance of becoming clients, by using one of the same tools that helped us locate relevant followers in the first place.  Hashtags are invaluable for this process.  They also categorize our messages by subject or niche, making them easy to find.  As with all great tools, however, be sure to use them wisely – and avoid overuse.

Twitter hashtag and driving traffic examples

Driving traffic

By posting links in our tweets, we can use Twitter to drive traffic to our websites, our blog pages, and to our other social media platforms.  In fact, Twitter has the potential to drive more traffic than almost any other channel.

Brand identification

Twitter allows much latitude for businesses to advertise their branding.  Almost everything from a profile’s background image to the colors of its text can be configured to match a company’s branding.  This is very significant, as uniform appearance across a website and all social media channels strengthens a company’s identification and instills confidence in its customers.

Twitter branding example JayVee Media Link

Whether new to social media marketing or not, every business owner needs to understand the importance of using a Twitter account.  For any of the above mentioned necessary activities, the platform is an invaluable tool.

Do you get pushback when you speak of Twitter to your clients?  How do you handle a negative reaction toward this important social media tool?  Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Automation: A Dirty Word?

May 14, 2012

by Jeanine Vecchiarelli                                               return to JayVee Media Link LLC

social media automation tools pictureToo many people feel that automation is a dirty word in the social media field.  Yet if we are honest with ourselves, we also know it is a necessary evil.  My feeling is that automation provides much needed assistance for our responsibilities, as long as it is used wisely. You will hear that refrain throughout this post!

There are so many good automation tools out there today.  Some cost money to use; others are free.   Both can be equally valuable.  In most cases, the only trick to picking the right one for you is to consider the one that accomplishes exactly what you wish it to do, in a layout you find most appealing.  Once again, though, how you use automation makes the difference between it being good or bad for business.

Auto posting

There is a very contentious ongoing debate about whether or not auto posting is a good idea.  I see valid points on both sides – as long as the feature isn’t abused.  Our followers and potential clients aren’t fools; they can easily detect the absence of a human voice behind a generic auto posted message.  And it is a big turn off.  Why should anyone stick around when we can’t be “bothered” with them enough to post for ourselves?  However, if used judiciously, there are times when auto posting can work.  If, for example, we wish to thank our new Twitter followers via direct message, and we become so swamped that doing so prevents us from doing our more pressing tasks, I believe it’s okay to send an automated message.  But that message should be crafted in as personable and congenial a manner as possible.  For myself, as of now I choose not to use this automated tool.  Because I subscribe to the “quality over quantity of followers” school of thought, my methods do not tend to generate hundreds of them a day.  Hence, I can take a moment to personally thank each new one.  And believe me, MANY of them let me know that personal touch is much appreciated.

Twitter tools for auto follow/unfollow

There are many tools for the purpose of automatically following or unfollowing people on Twitter.  In theory, they are a Godsend because of the time they save us.  Manually searching for and combing through hundreds of profiles to find a good potential fit for ourselves or our clients can take days on its own.  All of our other duties would of necessity fall by the wayside.  But using these tools to Twitter automation toolsindiscriminately add hundreds of followers based on the mere mention of your search keyword in their “about me” blurb or worse, somewhere among their tweets, is not a good way to find quality.  The tool that I use searches based on my specified keywords, and returns the results to me.  I then go through each profile found and vet for compatibility myself.  Yes, it does take time.  But I want to make sure the resulting connections are potentially fruitful.  And the process is a lot quicker than it would be if I had to first manually search for the profiles before vetting them.  Tweet Spinner, the program I use, cuts my time spent on this duty by better than half.

Social media dashboards

Hootsuite owl

The only downside that I see to using social media dashboards like Hootsuite, Seesmic or Tweetdeck is that postings via them are not always given a ranking equal to those put directly on the profile pages.  While I can’t say for sure, I have heard that algorithms are changing to reevaluate these postings for a more favorable ranking.  That is good news,Tweetdeck bird logo since these dashboards are lifesavers.  Someone unfamiliar with their use would be astounded by the time savings we enjoy just by not having to individually log in and out of each profile account that we own or manage.  And the vast majority of our duties for these profiles can be accomplished via these social media dashboards.

Content curation

Another important duty that social media managers undertake is sharing valuable information.  In addition to the posts that we create, a well rounded selection of passages composed by other industry experts is a must for circulating.  Scouring the internet to find, evaluate and curate posts for distribution can be a full time job in itself.  To cut down on that time commitment, I use a content curation program that brings relevant posts directly to me.  I still need to evaluate them and set them up for posting, a task that routinely takes me a good number of hours.  But at least I am not losing days chasing those passages down all across the internet. For that reason I am very grateful to Robert Caruso and his automated Bundlepost program.
Bundlepost logo

As I have stated throughout this post, it’s not so much automation in the social media field that is bad; it is how we use the wealth of automated tools available to us that determines the positives or negatives of the issue.

How do you feel about automation in our field?  What tools do YOU use in your business?  Please share your thoughts by posting them in the comments section below.

See also:  Social Media Automation: Right or Wrong?  Yes!  by Social Media Today’s Allen Mireles

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!