As General Custer learned the hard way, you should never divide your forces.
All too often, entrepreneurs think that in order to market effectively, they have to maintain a strong presence on all social media platforms. We Facebook, we Twitter, we Insta and we Snap, but we just don’t get the overwhelming results we hoped for.
We think we have to build huge followings everywhere from LinkedIn to YouTube to iTunes, yearning for that one big “viral” moment.
In truth, if you’re spreading yourself across multiple platforms and dividing your efforts across too many channels, all your hard work is going to waste. Worse, it might even be counterproductive. To create the best chance of marketing success, it’s a better idea to choose your battles, niche down, and focus on one or two platforms you can truly dominate.
The Multi-Platform Problem
Don’t “divide and conquer” yourself! Being everywhere is likely to get you nowhere. Here’s why:
It’s time consuming. You can only create so much content in a day. Creating 5 platform’s worth isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but what are you neglecting while you’re crafting all those clever Tweets? There just isn’t time for a busy entrepreneur to spend all day interacting across multiple channels.And before you go thinking you can just “repurpose” content for multiple platforms, think again. This is almost guaranteed to come off as robotic and insincere, which is why most content marketers eschew the practice – and why platforms like Twitter are cracking down on repurposing.Remember, genuine content beats the mass-produced kind, every time.
It creates option overload. Whenever I see the bottom of a blog, email, or business card crammed with social media icons, I’m smh. When it comes to marketing, giving your audience too many options can lead to them choosing “none of the above.”If you want them to follow you on your preferred platform, by all means include your Twitter or Facebook handle in your content — but that’s it. Do you really need to include your G+ profile? Do you actually have a G+ profile?
It’s harder to convert. It’s much easier to funnel followers from one platform to your website, rather than from 4 or 5.If you have a strong following on Instagram or Facebook, you have a great chance of drawing them into your space, which is the only real value of social media. The ultimate goal is to bring people to your website, get their contact info, and start moving them down the funnel to a sale. Speaking of which…
Keep Your Eyes On the Prize
All the “Likes” in the world won’t grow your business if your audience is scattered across half a dozen websites that aren’t yours. Your website, not Mark Zuckerberg’s, will ultimately earn you sales. It’s the content you create and the value you offer under your own domain that turns someone into a contact, a lead, a customer.
That means we should never overestimate the value of social media.
We certainly shouldn’t spend too much time chasing casual affirmations of our content like follows and likes, which really don’t move the relationship between you and your audience forward. Instead, we should focus on turning one or two social media platforms into a traffic feeder for our own URL.
Remember: effective social media marketing isn’t just about throwing posts and updates into cyberspace and stopping there. To really utilize any platform, you should do more than just post — you should interact. That means thoughtfully cultivating your following in a way that’s designed to get them off the platform and into your little corner of the Internet. You can only realistically do that on one platform at a time.
Go All In
Instead of being a jack of all platforms, we recommend you make yourself a master of one. Choose a single platform that’s best suited to your business, talents, and audience preferences. Then, consolidate your efforts there.
For example, a fitness instructor might take advantage of image and video-based platforms, dominating Instagram with before & after pics or short workout tutorial vids. A writer might offer clever commentary or interesting articles on Tumblr. A club promoter might use Snapchat. A great photographer might not want to focus on text-based platforms, while a great writer would.
It all depends on what you’re selling, and what medium you’re most skilled in.
It’s all about finding where the Venn diagram of your talents, your type of product, and your audience’s preferred platforms meet. If you’re chasing hip young millennials, you might not find them on Facebook. The opposite holds true if you’re selling to Generation X (remember them?).
Once you’ve identified the platform where your content will have maximum impact, go for it. Don’t waste your time on other platforms. Instead, cultivate your following and tailor your content for the one platform you can best excel in.
Then, move those followers onto your website, capture their email addresses, and start the real conversation — the one that goes beyond Likes and Shares.