Slow Down Professor

Posted by David Chism | Wed, Sep 28, 2011

 Slow Down Professor
Too Many Social Net­work­ing Sites! Did you know there are over 200 active social net­work­ing sites on the web? What do I mean by active? Pop­u­lar and still in busi­ness! This num­ber does not even come close to all the small, no-name social net­work­ing sites that exist, prob­a­bly num­ber­ing in the thou­sands. The big name sites are famil­iar to most of us: Face­book, Google +, Twit­ter, Yelp, Linkedin, deli­cious, XING, Win­dows, Live, Tum­blr, and MySpace. Whoa! Slow down, pro­fes­sor! I’m try­ing to keep up!” Isn’t that what you are think­ing at this point? If you are like me, you’re over­whelmed. It seems like every week I get invites to join a new social net­work­ing site. Some­times I’ll join for a lit­tle while just to see what is going on and what it is about. Yet many of the sites I join won’t last. So what should you as a small busi­ness own­er do when faced with so many choic­es of social media sites? Two years ago, I was a fan of hav­ing one’s brand on the top 10 social net­work­ing sites. I thought like many online mar­ket­ing guys did, I want my clients to be #1 every­where!” Yet I real­ized that good social media eti­quette means to be real with peo­ple and con­nect as a human being. I now believe that by hav­ing your com­pa­ny brand on too many sites makes it almost impos­si­ble to 
  1. Be faith­ful to keep up all of them
  2. Keep it real. Each social net­work­ing site has a dif­fer­ent audi­ence. Not all your com­pa­ny updates and blog posts should be post­ed on all these dif­fer­ent sites. At some point, you’ll get dis­cour­aged that no one is engag­ing with you in return and you’ll burn out with too many posts and updates.
Keep Things Simple My sug­ges­tion is to step back and look at what you are doing. Ask your­self, What do I want to accom­plish by mar­ket­ing my busi­ness online or using social media tools? The pri­ma­ry pur­pose should be lis­ten­ing to and engag­ing with your ide­al customers. Find out what your cus­tomers want to talk about, learn about, read about, watch, and then give it to them. Find out who they are and where they spend their time. If most of your cus­tomers seem to spend time on Face­book (800 mil­lion users now… chances are they do) then focus your atten­tion on Face­book and pull back on Linkedin, Twit­ter and the oth­er hun­dred sites you’ve start­ed to date. If you are a com­mer­cial con­trac­tor who typ­i­cal­ly deals with busi­ness peo­ple, Linkedin is def­i­nite­ly for you. If you are doing mar­ket research and try­ing to see what the word is on the street, or do some net­work­ing, check out Twit­ter. When The Dust Set­tles, My Per­son­al Pick  So what is one change I’ve made in 2011? My job is in mar­ket­ing. So I will still be test­ing out social net­work­ing sites and occa­sion­al­ly you’ll see me on mul­ti­ple chan­nels. Yet I’ve nar­rowed my focus to pri­mar­i­ly using blog­ging and Face­book to engage with friends, as well as cur­rent and poten­tial cus­tomers. I get most feed­back from blog­ging and Face­book. Also, Face­book has done a fan­tas­tic job cre­at­ing THE social net­work. Google is try­ing to out­per­form FB by cre­at­ing Google +. It will not stick. When the dust set­tles, Face­book is here to stay. Why? Because the baby boomers and even many in the silent gen­er­a­tion are learn­ing how to use Face­book – not Google+, Twit­ter or the oth­ers. So I con­tin­ue to spend a few hours a week writ­ing blogs and post­ing use­ful infor­ma­tion here and on Face­book, dis­tanc­ing myself from many of the oth­er social sites. What about you? What do you think about all these social media sites that keep pop­ping up? Have you tried out Google+? What changes have you made this year in your busi­ness with regard to social networking?

About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.


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