Stop the Insanity! I hate to say it, I really do, but the number of social media options borders on insane. How can a person keep up with it all? What about businesses? Unless you have a huge social media team, it’s almost impossible. Need I mention that if you’re busy scrambling to keep up you’re going to make mistakes?
Case in point. I recently retweeted a link to an excellent infographic. It’s colorful and pretty; it looks in depth and like the marketer knows their stuff. We have a Twylah account, which pulls our top trending tweets into the Level343 section of their site auto-magically. When I retweeted the link, it showed up on our Twylah page, where people who visit the page can now click and be taken to the infographic… supposedly.
Here’s what happened:
Level343 RT’s a link to the post, where the infographic is contained.
Visitors go to the post and see the infographic in fairly small print (you can’t read anything but the years).
They click on the infographic to make it bigger.
The infographic link leads them to Pinterest and the same small (and unreadable) version
They click on the infographic to make it bigger.
The link on Pinterest leads them back to the site, where, *gasp* the infographic is still small and unreadable.
In other words, the visitor gets stuck in a social loop.
Now, I’m not going to embarrass the marketer. That’d be bad form. They seem to be top of the line. After all, they’re active on PearlTrees and have the embedded code to prove it. They have a lot of Kred, evidenced in the sidebar with a pretty badge. Their Scoop.it page is also featured, along with the all mighty Google + account. They’re active on Triberr, YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, and Twitter. Oh, and let’s not forget Amplify (now Clipboard), Tumblr, Quora, Posterous, LinkedIn, Klout, Foursquare, Xeeme, Gowalla, and LastFM.
Why? Because relationships matter and you need to be able to instantly connect with what matters to you, including everything you want to know about. You need to be able to share smarter, and amplify your interests. Share the places that mean the world to you. Pin those up on a board so everyone else can catch the scoop. Plus, it helps you build kred and klout with your tribe. So, wear your pearls proudly, post your pictures and put your face on the world’s largest catalogue. Be there, or be square.
Are you exhausted? I know I am.
It’s Not Marketing; It’s Insanity
Let’s be honest for a minute. I have my own slew of social networks I interact on (or don’t, as the case may be). –And, there’s nothing wrong with any of these social media platforms. It all depends on your market and where they can be found. Some are highly visible on Quora, while others are skimming YouTube and Twitter on a regular basis.
As was mentioned in my SNC article about Google Plus for SEO, it behooves any marketer to know their stuff and learn the platforms. You need to know how each one works, and which markets are most active, where. But, do you need to be active on all of them?
While talking about the marketer above, I mentioned 19 different networks. Nineteen (MS Word had a hell of a time swallowing all those odd-looking names), and they’re active on all of them. – And that, my friends, is where marketing turns into insanity.
Here’s an example. Steve Gerencser (Steam Driven Media) wrote “Why Pinterest Should Be On Your Radar” (excellent, in depth post, Steve). Reading the article – if you’re even slightly interested in seeing what it can do and/or how to use it – is worth the time.
However, Terry Van Horne’s SNC article “Seriously, Pinterest! A Meta Tag to Stop Pinning?” points to the natural problems that crop up from such a network. When a new social platform rolls around, users are going to use it – with the idea of “share and share alike” buried in their heads.
In other words, with every new platform, there are going to be marketers, site owners and so on jumping on it like spastic little kids at a candy store. However, there are not necessarily going to be target markets.
Stop the Insanity! Testing, Trials, and Research
Ladies and gentlemen, I have to ask… isn’t it time to stop the craziness? Isn’t it time (or hasn’t it always been time) to act like grown people and show some restraint? Here are a few suggestions:
Take the Trial
Yes, when a new social platform comes out, jump on board. It’s okay; it’ll only hurt for a minute. Test that ride out and see how she performs. Ooo and Ahh all you want… and then stop.
Look at it logically
Can this platform help any client out that you currently have? Is there anything viable about it, other than pretty colors and buttons? How much can it help; is it worth their expense and your time to use?
Test the Truth
Your time and your client’s money isn’t of infinite supply. You need to be able to maximize on both. Find the truth – if it’s viable, which clients is the platform viable for? Where you’re trolling for clients isn’t necessarily the same place they’re trolling for customers. Test it, keeping your current and potential clients in mind.
Quit slacking, and start researching. Learn about the type of users each platform has, so that – when a client does come around and say “where can I socialize” – you’ll have a short list of [topic-user] type platforms for any given industry. The more you do ahead of time, the less chance you’ll have of being flat-footed.
Now…. I’m going to climb down off my soap box and clean out my social media closet!