March 23, 2016
/ by Susan Guillory
Social media management has become a hamster wheel for many: lots of work with little to no payoff. If you’re running on that wheel, overwhelmed with the effort it takes to update as many sites as you’re trying to maintain a presence on, you’re probably also not getting the results you want.
When social media first took off, you were quick to embrace any and every new network that came out. Maybe you figured you’d ride the wave of each new platform until it petered out like Friendster and MySpace did (I don’t care what you say: unless you’re in the music industry, you shouldn’t be on MySpace).
Only, the big players haven’t gone away, and now you’re inundated with work updating your half a dozen accounts. You’re about ready to throw in the towel and do the social media version of the Paleo Diet and go into caveman mode (aka radio silence on all channels).
I think the reason brands are on too many social media channels is that they’re worried they’ll miss out on potential business. If they put all their energy into Twitter, what about all that money they’re leaving on the table over on Instagram? The truth is: they’re not leaving money as long as they choose their social media channels carefully.
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Just the same way brands signed up for too many social accounts in the early days, so too did many consumers. But now they’re zeroing in on the sites that deliver the best value for their needs. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to figure out which sites those are.
If you’re in the travel business, it’s a no-brainer: Instagram. You know your audience likes visuals, and they dig seeing photos of places around the world. So you’d do better focusing your social media attention there than, say, LinkedIn.
If you don’t have enough data to know where your audience is spending time, here are two places to find it:
Most social platforms have some data that tells you who’s liking and engaging with your content. For example, Facebook’s Insights can tell you the age, gender and location of your audience. If who’s visiting doesn’t match up with who you’re trying to reach, it’s not the right channel.
And your website is a huge asset here. By seeing which social sites sent the most traffic to your website, you know which are the most successful and which you should put more energy into. You might be surprised to see that Google+ is sending you little to no traffic. Still, this information is helpful, because you can stop updating your account there and focus on the one or two other sites that are sending people your way.
It’s time to jump off that social media hamster wheel and take control of where and when you interact with social followers. You can have just as good of an impact — if not more — if you focus your attention on the channels where your audience is more likely to be receptive to your message.
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