You’ve probably heard from a lot of people that in order for you to really make an impact on social media, you have to “be everywhere”.
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Is “Be Everywhere” really a good social media strategy?
I’m not convinced this is true.
In fact, I think your social media strategy will be far more effective and way more manageable if you choose to only be in some places. Especially if you’re just starting out and don’t have a ton of money or additional resources to help with your work load.
Even though it’s in the title, let me just clarify one thing:
The be everywhere strategy that you’ve probably heard Pat Flynn talk about is about being everywhere through different mediums, and if you have the ability to leverage multiple mediums like podcasting, YouTube video creation, writing books and blog posts, then that’s awesome. Pat has obviously proven that, when done well, this is very effective.
But the be everywhere strategy I’m talking about is the one that I think a lot of people assume is the strategy people are referring to when they say “you should be everywhere”, and that’s on social media. This includes, but is not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and so on.
So, with that clarification in mind, let’s continue…
Who has the time?
Who can actually manage to be everywhere on social media? If you don’t have a team of people helping you out, it’s simply impossible.
There is a new platform or another hot Internet resource being released pretty much every day (or so it seems anyway). In order to keep up with it all, you’d have to make being everywhere on social media your entire business and that’s it.
But if you don’t have a business that you’re building your social media strategy around, then it kind of takes away from the whole point of having a presence there in the first place.
That’s why the best way to manage your social media strategy and presence is to be in some places.
Being in some places
There are two to three social media platforms that work best for any given business, and those two to three platforms are going to be different for everyone.
Where to start?
You should start by knowing where your audience is hanging out.
This is as simple as asking your audience which social platforms they use the most to interact with businesses and brands that they like.
How do you ask them? Put together a simple survey and send it out to your email list, or better yet, join a free online community related to your industry or niche and ask for feedback there.
Once you know where your audience is hanging out (they’re probably in multiple places, and that’s okay), then start testing.
Where do you get the most engagement? What sources are contributing to the traffic on your website?
Once you’ve found two to three platforms to focus on based on where your audience is hanging out, your social media strategy will not only be more manageable, it will also be much more effective.
Still not convinced?
3 Reasons why “be everywhere” is not a good social media strategy
1. You’re spreading yourself too thin
No one person can manage seven or eight social media accounts effectively, and in all honesty, your ideal audience member isn’t even on seven or eight social media platforms themselves.
You might be able to manage setting up scheduled posts on this many platforms, but the important thing about social media that we all have to remember is that it’s all about the engagement. If you have seven or eight accounts to manage, you’re going to be spending your entire day on social media.
People are on social networks because they want to connect and engage with others, not because they want to see you post and then leave. Leverage your presence on the two or three platforms you’ve chosen for your business in order to maximize the relationships you can build with your audience and others in your industry.
2. You’re letting your goals slip away (and therefore, your focus)
If you had time to set 15 goals for your business and actually follow through on all of them, then sure, the “be everywhere” strategy on social media might help you achieve all 15 of those goals.
Maybe you want to use Facebook to run a contest, and Pinterest to gain greater brand awareness, and Twitter to drive traffic to your website, and LinkedIn to promote your role as a thought leader… But are all of these things honestly a part of your overall business goals for the year?
Don’t get me wrong – these are all great ways to use these different platforms, but you have to ask yourself:
“How does each one of these actions satisfy – or contribute to – my overall business goals?”
If you can’t answer that question very, VERY directly, then you might want to rethink the time you’re spending on learning exactly how to accomplish all of these things on these different platforms.
3. All we have is time
Social media is constantly changing. New Facebook rules for contests, the ability to put videos on Pinterest, Vine for Twitter, promoted posts on LinkedIn… If you have the time to learn every one of these strategies AND implement them effectively, then I want to talk!
If you’re working on a specific marketing campaign within one social media platform in order to accomplish a specific business goal, then that’s fantastic, and I’m in no way, shape or form discouraging that.
What I’m trying to get at here is that there is not enough time in the day to be working both on your business AND being everywhere on social media.
Again, focus on two or three platforms where you:
1. Know your audience is hanging out; and
2. Where you receive good (or hopefully great) engagement from your audience.
Then, really work hard on building engagement and growing your reach through these platforms.
Building an online presence is integral to your success, and social media is absolutely a big piece of the pie. But in order to effectively build your online presence, you have to focus on the platforms and the activities that are going to help you reach your target audience, and ultimately, your goals.
Every new social media platform that you join, every new group that you start, every new update that you try to tackle is potentially taking you away from focusing on the goals that really matter. Make sure you think about that next time you start putting time and energy into trying to grow your following on a whole new platform.
What’s your social media strategy? Do you tend to focus on two or three platforms, or do you believe you can “be everywhere” effectively on social media? Let us know in the comments section below!