I’m addressing this issue because this alarming infographic made its way onto the UK’s Wallblog and has made the rounds on twitter.
This infographic by Gordon Macmillan illustrates the oft-frustrating and overwhelming number of social networks that we as digital marketers need to keep track of and understand how to use them. Which is fine. It’s our job and we love being able to keep these things on a mental Rolodex whenever a client needs a specific solution.
But what about the do-it-yourselfers who don’t really have time to manage 10 social accounts at a time? These aren’t just small business owners either. Many people are finally jumping onto the personal branding bandwagon and social media is a great place to promote your brand. But with so many options and so many “experts” pointing in every direction, it can be tough to cut through the noise.
Here’s a quick checklist of things to think about when you’re developing your social media strategy:
1. Have a strategy. It can (and should) continually evolve with trends in your industry, but
you need to have one.
2. Find out who your target audience is and where they are. If they are mostly on Twitter, make sure you’re spending lots of time there. Same for Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
3. If there are any “niche” networks related to your field, join them! If you are a graphic designer, you probably can afford to skip over YouTube. However, you will probably want to build a presence on Behance. Industry-specific networks can help you fast-track your way to great connections.
4. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Know your limits and know how much time you can spend each day effectively using these networks. Don’t get Google+ if you only use it once a month (pot-kettle here. Learn from my experience…) and don’t feel pressured to get a Twitter if you can’t condense your thoughts into 140 characters or less.
For most people, my recommendation is to limit yourself to 5 networks. If you use them effectively you will steadily build influence and gain many useful contacts. Stay professional, stay positive, post often and good things are bound to happen!
Have you experienced social media overload? What is your advice to those just getting started? Let’s chat in the comments.