Imagine you were retiring in a few days and you decide you want to have a big garden full of different flowers to care for every day. But you have never done any gardening work, so you will have to start from scratch and learn along the way.
You buy a book about roses and plant a few plants but then see some beautiful orchids in the neighbour’s garden and you want to have them too. You get a book about orchids, plan another plant or two and fall in love with lilies you saw on a gardening show.
So now you are planting several different flowers without putting it all into each of them. So instead of having amazing garden of roses, you have semi-nice garden of different flowers. You are simply watering down your efforts.
Well, guess what. Social media is exactly the same. And if you want to be all over the place, you probably won’t have great results as you could by focusing on one item at the time.
When you get into social media, you will see people having profiles on 20 different social sites. And you will want to do the same, be everywhere at the same time and get thousands of visitors from each profile.
Hate to break it to you, but it is probably not going to happen like that. Social media doesn’t just happen, you actually need to work on it.
So if you are just starting out, you need to approach it strategically. You need to research which network would bring you the best results, pick one or two to start with, master them and then move to more of them.
How to start with social media?
First thing to do is research your competition. See which social networks are they using and which are bringing great results.
So if you wanted to get into the dog training market, you would do a Google search for “dog training”, go through several pages of results and visit each site that comes up.
Usually, the sites will have links to their social profiles somewhere in the header or sidebar of the site. Visit those profiles and see how many people are following them and what type of activity do they have.
If they don’t have any social profiles listed, you should do a bit of digging to find them.
Some sites will have great presence on Facebook, with active Facebook fan pages and a lot of fans. See how are they engaging their fans, what type of posts are getting a lot of feedback, etc.
Once you go through all the sites ranked in first 1-4 pages of Google and see how they are running their social media campaigns, it is time to analyze and pick winners.
If most of them are doing great on Facebook but really bad on Twitter, that is a sign you should probably start with Facebook. You may be able to make Twitter work for you, but they have probably tried it before, and decided that Facebook is better for the market they are targeting. Instead of doing your own testing at the beginning, start from the place you see works for your competitors.
You should pick 2 social media sites and start learning about them. Find out if there is a book recommended by power users of those networks, get it and learn all you can from it.
Once you know how to use certain network, start using it heavily, promoting your site and constantly doing testing to see what works and what doesn’t. Everything that brings no results needs to go. Keep only those activities that bring a lot of visitors back to your site.
So in the dog training example, my guess is that using Facebook and Youtube would be two networks to start with. Youtube hosts videos and there is nothing better to show dog training tips than videos. Then share them on Facebook and engage all the pages and users that love dogs (there are billions of them on Facebook).
Building a large following when focusing on only one or two social networks will be much easier because you can focus your efforts and instead of doing all networks in bits, you will be mastering the two you chose at the beginning.
Once you master the two chosen network, it will be much easier to expand to another one. So if your third pick is Twitter, it will be easy to ask thousands of your Youtube and Facebook followers to hop over to Twitter and start following your new account. That will give you the initial push for the third network.
As your brand grows, it will be easier to expand to other networks.
How are you running your social media at the moment?
About the author: Brankica Underwood is a social media sharp shooter and online business coach, helping you build your online business.