Maintaining an active presence on multiple social media networks can be time-consuming, and even stressful.
We’re partial to the mobile-friendly connective prowess of Twitter, but there’s indisputably huge value in all the big players: Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, GooglePlus.
Each one serves different purposes and is more effective at certain things. Each one has different impact and influence in different areas.
And that’s exactly why it’s a mistake to put all your social media eggs in one basket – a.k.a choose just one network to be active on. Here’s why.
1. Different content works better on different social networks. To reach the most people, with a diverse base of content, you have to utilize a variety of platforms.
Twitter is a buzz generator, beneficial for businesses in generating a big, visible impact (think: hashtags, trends). Inspirational or news-related content works best. Facebook is a humanizer, with content that emphasizes the human connection being the most shareable. GooglePlus’s superpower comes from its impact on SEO. Google has started to index and feature GooglePlus status updates, author names, and ‘Add to Circles’ buttons in search results, making your activity on Google+ critical for a strong organic search presence.
Pinterest is all about the visuals, including photography, infographics, and graphs. LinkedIn is the most conservative network; content that provides solutions to business-related problems does the best.
2. Different content works better on different social networks at different times of the day. Timing is, as they say, everything. Check out this study for a look at the best, and worst, time to post to each network. The takeaway: each social network has a different “personality,” and requires independent management.
That being said…
3. Social media management tools like HootSuite, Exact Target (formerly CoTweet) SproutSocial and TweetDeck exist to save you time and energy. You can easily share content across multiple channels, monitor multiple accounts on each platform, schedule posts for the future, track analytics. It’s a huge boon, and you should take advantage. We also like Alternion and Netvibes.
4. Social media is an art, not a science. You can read social media studies and pore over analytics until your eyes bleed. You still won’t come away with any hard and fast rules about what works best on which network. The solution: establish and maintain a decently active presence on the core platforms, the combination of which could be different for each person or business. Maybe you focus on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn in lieu of committing to producing videos for YouTube. Maybe you concentrate on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest because you love taking photos.
When it comes to social networking, you don’t want to spread yourself too thin – but you do want to always try to find a way to keep connected to your friends, clients and customers in more ways than one.
What’s your opinion about keeping all of your social media eggs in one basket?
(Eggs image from Shutterstock)