How Many Social Networks You Should Be Using
Your schedule is packed full. If you’re a parent then you oversee several other schedules that are jam packed – packing yours even further. Life becomes a delicate balance of picking and choosing which activities you can commit to and which opportunities you will need to forego or postpone. You can’t do everything and thus you have to decide what one or two things you will take on and dedicate your full energy and attention to. If you aren’t selective you run the risk of falling short in all your chosen activities.
Being active on a social media networks is not much different. Looking just at the networks which are, more or less, the major players you have approximately 10 social media networks you could be contributing to. Add multiple profiles to any one of those networks and the activity becomes out of control.
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You’re anxious to grow your social media presence, you want to gain more exposure for your product or service so you ask, “how many social networks should I be using?”
Unfortunately there is not an answer to this question. Anyone could give you a number but there will be individuals or brands that would prove that given number wrong. Take Gary Vaynerchuk for instance. The guy is a prolific social media user and appears on every major platform – and uses each one well. You could say Gary is an anomaly, and though you’d be right about his personality, his ability to capitalize on multiple social networks is not unheard of.
The question you really need to be asking yourself is, “Where is my audience?”
You do not need to stretch a mile wide and an inch deep – you need to put your attention and energy where you can be most committed, most consistent and most effective. From there you want to be an inch wide and a mile deep.
So, Where Is My Audience?
That’s the money question, isn’t it? You are going to know better where your audience is than any anybody else would. You understand your niche, you know the pains and aches of the people you can and want to help. I have a few suggestions that may help you confirm where your audience is.
Where Are Your Social Savvy Competitors?
You have probably located the social profiles of your competitors and chances are one or two of them does social pretty well. What networks are they on? Where are they experiencing the most engagement?
Find your competitors and monitor their networks. We’re not looking to duplicate what they do, rather, we want to see if your audience is truly on a particular platform.
Where Have You Found Learning and Community?
You are not your target audience – but as you have sought to increase your skills, improve your results you have sought out examples and training online to help. So, where did you find learning and encouragement? Each network attracts a certain type of person and the networks that attracted you may also be attracting an audience ready to listen to you.
Don’t discount the networks you use as only for “the pros.” Your audience is savvy as well – they’re looking for you so why would they not find some of the people you’ve sought out?
Where Have You Experienced the Most Success Already?
This is the most obvious one. Have you already been able to generate some momentum and build an audience on one platform but every time you try your hand at a second or third you can’t seem to duplicate the success?
As easy as it may be to forget about the success we’ve already had and keep hustling when it feels “beneath” us, chances are you could throw your efforts 100% behind the platform where you’ve already experienced success and multiply the audience you’ve already amassed.
Don’t discredit it.
More Questions You Need to Consider
Here are a few more thoughts to help you come to a conclusion on how many and which networks you should be attempting to use.
Which platform/s do I enjoy using? If you don’t enjoy using a platform it’s going to take precious energy and buckets of time to invest into it. I’m not telling you to NOT invest in it, but if your resources are limited, perhaps you should limit your social media efforts to only platforms you enjoy using.
What platform offers the greatest potential for growth? Even if you don’t enjoy a platform, sometimes the potential for growth is too great to ignore. So which platform has the largest potential for you to grow your audience. If you do well when you are face to face with an audience, Periscope may be worth exploring. If your work is incredibly creative, Instagram may be too visual for you to ignore.
How much room do I have for a new platform? I try not to inject too much of my story into my posts but I can’t stay out of this one. I like Instagram. I don’t have room to make Instagram work for my business. I have Twitter and Periscope that I use regularly, Facebook is coming along and if I try to inject Instagram my impact on these networks will suffer. I do not have bandwidth to add a new social network and so I do not. Instagram remains a “personal” network for me.
Am I consistent on the platforms I am currently using? This is huge. If you cannot be consistent on the platforms you’re already committed to (especially if they are generating engagement) you will not be consistent on a new network (there are always exceptions, but this is generally the case). Focus on working into a system or process that allows you to be consistent where you already are spending time and once you get into a rhythm it may be a good time to add another network.
It’s Okay to Use Minimal Social Media Networks
No matter your answer to these questions, you’re most likely going to feel some level of guilt or compulsion to branch out. There are too many “experts” saying not to ignore this network or that network. Don’t let them stress you out. They are right – you need to be on certain platforms but the timing may not be right.
Back to Gary Vaynerchuk for a moment.
Gary was taking questions at the end of a keynote talk he gave at a conference. Someone asked him if he would be creating a course for entrepreneurs to help them build their brands like he helps his clients at Vayner Media build their brands.
His response was fascinating.
He said something to the effect of, it is always on the back of my brain. I’m always thinking about it. It’s like there is one piece that I haven’t figured out yet and as soon as that becomes clear to me I’ll do it. Until that happens, it’s something that I think about, I’m aware of but not ready to do.
Those were not his words verbatim but again, they capture the essence of what he was getting at and I want to extend that same response to you.
Don’t Stress Yourself Out, It’s Not Worth It
The thought of using that new network creeps around in your brain and you haven’t figured out how it fits in your strategy or how you would make it a part of your schedule. It’s there but until you can figure out how it fits in, just leave it as a thought.
You may have questions and if I can help you, please Tweet me. If I can help you get unstuck, I will! You can send me a Tweet here.
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