My Social Media Experiment
I sometimes get social media fatigue even though I love being online. Some days I’m just tired of all the endless status updates, content creation and needing to be “ON” every single day of the week. This happens a lot with social media, either because we have FOMO (fear of missing out) or because we think we “have to” be doing a million things on our social media accounts in order for them to be effective. Be on this! Be on that! Update! Update! Update!
When I teach people about social media, the first thing I make a point of saying is that we live in an incredibly noisy digital space. Sadly, this means you not only need to talk louder but also WAY more often in order to be heard above the cacophony of tweets, likes, shares and follows. It’s simply not enough to be loud. You’ve now got to talk more often than the others do, too.
I decided to test out that theory using my preferred platform – Facebook – as well as 4 other platforms (Google+, Pinterest, twitter, Instagram). Normally I would post 7 days a week, twice a day – 14 a week. I noticed that a page I admire was posting no less than EIGHT times a day (that’s 56 posts a week, or a new post every 3 HOURS!) so I decided to see if it was worth making that kind of effort. I couldn’t manage that kind of output so instead I decided to double mine, to 4 post a day across those 4 platforms plus as much as I could manage on Instagram (so minimum of 28 per platform). I also decided to give this experiment 3 months and see what would happen in that time.
Result: My following across ALL platforms increased significantly as did my reach, shares, newsletter sign ups and so on. It did not happen overnight, but it definitely happened (I know, I watched the numbers go up.) In that time I also did a lot of work on increasing my online visibility via guest blogging, interviews and other profile-raising activities. I have to say that while I’m happy with the result because my theory proved correct, it also saddened me about how sheer volume alone (let alone good quality volume, because I don’t like to just put crap out there!) is required to get any traction. It was also interesting to see that in order of effectiveness, out of the 5 platforms, FB was best for me while G+ was the least effective.
What does this mean for you? It means that if you want to be using social media as an effective marketing tool, you can’t just throw up a post every once in a while and hope for the best. No, I don’t think you need to do it as much as I did, but I think small business really needs at least a post a day and that post needs to be a good quality one (more on that in a future blog post.)
The second thing I tell people about social media is – you don’t need to be on EVERY platform that pops up. You need to pick your platforms (the ones your potential clients hang out on) and ROCK those platforms rather than be a little bit on every one. So for me, based on that experiment – I’d ditch G+ and see about doing better on the platforms that performed best (for me that was FB and Pinterest.)
What happens when a new platform comes along? A few months ago I started to use Periscope – not going to lie, I started using it because a whole lot of business mentors I follow use it, and it started to get a whole lot of attention from people I admire. Periscope (for those new to it) is an app that allows you to live stream from your phone – it’s just live video that people can interact with by typing into their phone. Broadcasts (or ‘scopes’) remain live on the app for 24 hours and after that are gone. As the creator of a video you can choose to keep it and then upload it to YouTube, use it on your website and so on. So for a few weeks there I LOVED Periscope…and then I very quickly realised that it’s a MAJOR time suck. It became totally overwhelming to need to broadcast daily, come up with a topic, make sure I looked halfway normal, watch other people’s scopes and so on. I also started to get really overwhelmed with all the scopes I wanted to watch, because several times a day my phone would ping to let me know someone I followed was live broadcasting. I ended up spending WAY too much time watching scopes about everything from how to make more money online to how to make guacamole (not kidding. And I already know how to make guac.)
In short, I got Periscope fatigue really quickly and so I’ve hesitated to jump back on it again. I do think there are plenty of my potential customers on there so I’m going to get back to it – but not until I’ve worked out some sort of plan for how often I’d like to broadcast so that it does not get out of hand again. For right now, I don’t see a massive amount of marketing value in Periscope for those of you making cakes for your local area … but it’s a new platform and I suspect this will evolve as time goes on. It also requires a very high degree of visibility, you can’t hide when it’s just your face on a video screen talking to people. The visibility factor alone will stress many of you out (if you prefer to hide behind the cake, Periscope is your kryptonite.)
What does this mean for you? It can be tempting to jump on board every single platform that comes out (and lord there are a lot of them!) My advice remains the same – see what platforms are out there, poke around a bit with them, but if they either don’t suit your style or your clients don’t hang out there – don’t do them. You will not miss out on anything – because one of the beauties of social media is that most people are across more than one platform, so if they can’t find you on one they’ll find you on another.
So many platforms, so little time… choose yours wisely because time is something we all need more of but can’t get (unlike social media platforms, which we do not need more of but we can get more.)
My marketing and social media class is coming out later this year – so if you’d like to be on the VIP Launch List to be the first to know and get early bird special stuff, just sign up here: Marketing Class VIP list. I won’t bug you till it’s ready to go.