Programming - - By Miles Burke

Social Saturation Sucks

I believe social media really is awesome. Not the fake “trying to get as many followers just to have a large ego” version, but the “great way to engage with your consumers” version.

In fact, my business has had a social media presence on Twitter and on Facebook since 2007. However, since then, the amount of social media properties has skyrocketed.

If I had a business presence on each one I’d been told to have a business presence on, I’d need to hire at least one full-time employee just to try to keep up. I like to call it social saturation syndrome. So unless you can afford that hit to the bottom line (and many small businesses can’t), yet you see the value in social media, what should you do?

Do you hook your social media accounts up so this API speaks to that API, and the same message gets spread instantly across 30 of your favorite networks? No! If you have followers on various social platforms, the repetitiveness of your posts will soon tire them out.

What you should be doing is becoming choosy as to where you invest your time.

You need to find your feet by testing the waters on a few sites, but before doing that, consider for a moment who your target audience is, and how they interact with different brands. It’s pointless getting on Facebook if your prospects aren’t there, or jumping on Twitter to find you just spend all day talking to yourself.

A great way is to ask some of your existing clients. Find out which social media they engage with, and how. You’ll discover varying answers; however, if you ask enough people you’ll start to see a theme.

Next, sign up, establish your presence and give it a go. If you find after spending a reasonable amount of time that you still aren’t getting any traction, then slow down and take a more irregular approach.

The ones that do catch on, great! But keep in mind what you are there for; business. If you spend every waking hour updating your status, and all you get is responses from people clearly not the types to ever engage in business with you, then you need to start analyzing how you spend your time.

I’m not for a moment advocating being selective with who you interact with; you should embrace the “social” part of social media. However, if, after six months of posting daily to a site, you’re still not getting many followers or interactions, you should consider investing your valuable time elsewhere.

Contemplate using different services for different purposes. We use SlideShare for presentation sharing, Flickr to post recent screen grabs of our work, Facebook for longer messaging and Twitter for short status updates and links to interesting sites. That way, there’s different content on different services, and yet it all links back to our central hub; our website.

There are plenty of services, both paid and free, that can report metrics on how you go from the numbers, but you’ll find with a little time investment you’ll get a great sense of where the action is for you without needing to resort to charts and graphs.

I wish you the best of luck reducing social saturation and getting back to the core of your business getting social – within reason – by using only a handful of sites that work best for you.

What social media services work for your business? Share your experiences below; I’d appreciate your insights.

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