When it comes to social media, the biggest mistake I see business owners make is starting a Twitter account, a Facebook account, launching LinkedIn, and a blog. What’s wrong with all that? It’s simply too much at once.
I’m a big advocate of the “do one thing well first” philosophy. Choose the social medium that makes the most sense for your business and dedicate yourself to it for, say, 3-6 months. Ignore the people who tell you that in addition to that medium, you can easily spend an extra 10 minutes a day on this medium or that medium and increase your reach. It’s a great idea in theory, and some people might actually succeed, but the majority of us mortals will eventually slack off. Slacking off begets more slacking off, because once you get behind it seems impossible to catch up.
I know this sounds familiar to many of you.
So buck the emerging trend that you must be doing all these social media thingies at once. You don’t. Choose one. Do it well. Once it becomes second nature, add in another medium (if it makes sense to do so) and start the process all over.
Doing One Thing Well – A Real-Life Story
I recommend this to all my clients, and occasionally one will actually listen to me. One of my clients is an online retailer who owns two brands, a western wear shop and a casual leisure shirt shop. When we first started working together she wanted to blog and do Facebook and do Twitter. I shared my “do one well first” philosophy, and she listened.
We started with Facebook. Anyone who’s created a company page knows how frustrating the platform can be (which is when I remind myself that it’s free, and I have no right to complain). My client and I read e-books and articles on creating engaging company pages. We experimented with ads. We worked hard to build a fan base. One of the brands did better than the other, at first, and the fan base shot up. We then brought on another person to help engage the struggling page, and watched as its base finally started to inch up. We worked and experimented and failed and won and tried again. We’re now humming, and both fan bases are over 1700 people each, which isn’t bad for a small business that’s had a presence on Facebook since late last fall.
My client didn’t bring up Twitter at all during this time, but we recently talked about whether we’re ready to add it in. And that’s when I heard my words coming back at me. My client said, “I listened to you about doing one thing well, and you were right.”
Warmed the cockles of this copy bitch’s heart, let me tell you.
So follow my advice: when it comes to social media, focus on one thing first. Do it well. Get really good at it. Then consider your next step.