You're Wasting Your Time on Social Media

Reddit. Digg. Wiki. Youtube. Wordpress. Quora. Instagram.

Each year, the list of social media outlets grows. It’s easy to become bogged down deciding which new site to include in your marketing strategy.

Social Media Prism.jpg

This flower’s petals are about to fall off from the weight.

What to do? Stop wasting your time. Unless you have a full-time social media or digital brand manager, trim the fat. If your focus is B2B professional services marketing, stick to the Big Three: Facebook (1.44 billion users), Twitter (236 million active users), and LinkedIn (364 million users). Create fully formed, cohesive profiles for your business and update daily across platforms.

Still worried you will miss out on valuable opportunities to promote your business?

Don’t be. Your target audience likely already uses the Big Three, as they are the most widely used social media platforms for working professionals. Any content or lead generation you launch on those sites will draw from a much larger audience than niche sites.

Focusing on the Big Three gives you time to do the most important part of the job: content creation. Content generation is the most time-consuming aspect of social media management. It involves either generating new media (writings, video, photographs, etc.) or posting carefully curated media that is unique to your brand. By limiting your outreach to three platforms, you need only to tweak well-developed content a couple times, not a half dozen.

Bottom line: the time you spend outside of the Big Three is mostly wasted effort. Use these super-networks to mine contacts. If you generate good content, they’ll splash it for you. Allocate your time to performing smart searches for professionals in your field who would benefit from your content, or on leads who may need your services and appreciate a smart discussion. Take the time to recommend posts and interact with them. Build your network strategically over limited forums and it will yield results.

Building a vibrant B2B social media presence takes time. Be patient, stick to your strategy, and don’t be lured by the latest shiny bauble. Remember, 100 highly interested followers is better than 1,000 random followers who never engage with your content.

Exception: If you’re a professional services firm that would like to establish a trust brand, consider substituting Instagram for one of the other Big Three. The photo-sharing site ranks at an impressive 300 million users, though millennials and Generation Z make up the bulk of that number. Behind-the-scenes content is invaluable for connecting with those generations, who tend to make decisions based on transparency and authenticity. If your target demographic falls in that age range, consider using strategic picture content in your B2B strategy or lose a valuable market.

Jen Hand is a social media manager, small business consultant, project manager, and writer. Find more great content at @jayhizzfoshizz.

#socialmedia #networking #branding #marketing

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