Everyone gets busy. Some people more than others but we’ve all spread ourselves too thin at one point or another, making all the areas of our lives suffer as a result.
What happens in business when you spread yourself too thin? We’re not talking about dollars and cents, although that is incredibly important. We’re talking about choices based on staff size, available staff hours and effective online marketing.
It’s a well known fact that if you aren’t using social media (SM) to promote your business then you’re missing out on a huge audience and free marketing that works. In today’s rapidly growing online world this means an increasing number of SM services that Internet Marketers will tell you “you just have to be on, or else…”.
This is a half truth.
We believe it’s far better manage 1 Social Media account well, rather that manage 5 accounts poorly.
Assess Gains vs Expenditures
If you were to do what you were told by marketing Gurus then you’d have a Facebook page, a Linkedin profile & page, a Twitter account and both a Google+ account and business page to boot, not to mention accounts on social bookmarking sites like Digg, Delicious, Reddit and StumbleUpon.
A business can spend 40 hours a week on social media alone. Obviously, if you’re part of a small team or starting a small business you don’t have those kinds of hours to burn. Conversely, spending a few minutes a week on each SM account isn’t fair to your online reputation or your loyal fans.
So what’s the solution, the happy medium?
It’s actually pretty simple.
Concentrate on the SM account that will help push your business forward the most. Then spend your time there.
Which Social Media is Right For My Business?
Facebook – Best used for business to customer promotion. Facebook’s personalized and casual social feel let people communicate and share with their friends. The drawback is that your Facebook page only speaks to people who choose to be members, there is little to no ability to speak to new and unknown people. That’s what Twitter is for.
Twitter – We equate Twitter to a soap box on a busy street corner. You can simply stand up and yell your issues to the audience at large. Those that like your message will approach you to find out more. Of course you can gradually collect an audience of people who like to hear what you have to say. But a simple Twitter hashtag search for a specific topic and you can instantly see other users already talking about the exact same topic. You can speak to these ‘soft leads’ directly and you don’t even have to be friends to do it.
Linkedin – Linkedin works in a similar fashion to Facebook but it’s focus is almost the polar opposite of FB’s functions. It works much as a professional Facebook, good for serious business, B2B operations to market and professional networking opportunities. Posting the same updates on FB and Linkedin will yield much different results.
If Facebook is the online version of you then Linkedin is your professional self online.
Google+ – Google+ is still in it’s infancy. In the early going it looks like it’s trying to be a bit of everything. You can build pages like FB and Linkedin and then orient that page to people or business. Likewise the people that connect with your account can be grouped to see only your business or personal info, effectively segregating social contacts from professional ones.
As it sits right now Google+ simply doesn’t have the volume of users or daily activity that any of the other social medias can boast. But it will in time. Once it has a larger audience Google+ is probably the best social media for sole proprietorships and small businesses run by one or two people. Being able to manage a bit of everything from one account is time efficient and cost effective.
Regardless of which social media suites your personal needs or the needs of your business it’s a safe bet to concentrate on one and to do it well. Once you’ve got your first SM account running smoothly there’s no reason you can’t start building other SM accounts.
*Note: Social Bookmarking can absorb time with little results. If time isn’t an issue then we advise using them to bookmark your sites and blogs. It does help your overall traffic and web presence but everything else should be running smoothly before you add it to your plate.*
Waste of Time or Return on Investment?
Of course the investment we are talking about in this blog post is time. In business, time is money so it’s really the same issue. Social Bookmarking is a great example of one or the other.
New Services vs. Time Wasters
There’s always something new on the market. Will the next social media be the next big thing? Or will it swell and crumble, wasting your social media time put to better use on more stable platforms.
How do you choose which ones to explore and which ones to ignore? There’s no hard guideline, but as mentioned before, you first should assess what your online business is trying to accomplish. If the new service or social media allows you to accomplishment your goals then it’s probably worth a second look.
If a new SM service isn’t doing what you’d hoped don’t feel that you should invest more time to force it to work. You could be wasting even more time in the long run.
If you have a larger team being the first business to truly understand a new SM service is a huge bonus to your team, but the research and development time can be painstaking. It’s a safe bet that loads of others are using this new SM service and in a few short weeks someone will have blogged the basics.
It’s nice to be the first to do something but not if your small business can’t afford the time, effort or hourly wages to get the job done. If you build your business right you can lead the way on future beta tests and new SM services.
Remember, no one appreciates someone who isn’t really there. Don’t spread yourself too thin. If you don’t have time for everything, don’t even try. It’s better to do one thing very well than ten things poorly.
Need help managing your accounts. We can help. Take a look at the links below for more info.