Social Media Gone Wild: Too Many Platforms, Not Enough Focus

Social Media Gone Wild: Too Many Platforms, Not Enough Focus

Unless you have been in a coma for the past 2 years, you’ve probably heard the term Social Media on more than one occasion. If you are in the industry, you’re probably just as sick of hearing about it as we are. Don’t get me wrong; it’s a powerful marketing tool and a great way to stay in touch with friends, clients, family, and customers.
At this point a social media presence is becoming something that is as necessary as website or a business card. As a web designer, I am starting to see instances where it is truly being overdone. More importantly, I am seeing more and more of my clients trying to use social media as a replacement for content, rather than using it as a way to share their content. In my experience, doing so only contributes to information overload, rather than sparking the reaction from the site users that they really want – which is selling their product or service. So, my advice to my clients is as follows:

Focus on where you need to be:

In my opinion, every business should have some sort of a presence on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. But where you go from there should depend on what your business does. For example, if your business is headquartered in your living room, then you probably don’t need to worry about your social media presence on Gowalla or Foursquare. Or if you are a CPA, you don’t need a Flickr account. When it comes to social media, the first thing you should consider is how the platform will help you connect to your customers and potential customers. Focus on what will allow you to distribute quality content to your subscribers and customer.

Don’t over advertise:

Many of my clients come to me wanting to add a Facebook or Twitter feed to their sites. Which is actually great fro SEO purposes, but some clients don’t know where to stop. I had one client ask for both of the above mentioned feeds; a link to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, YouTube, ShareThis, and their blog – in both the header and the footer; a Facebook friend badge, and like buttons after every piece of static content. Not only does that make a site hard to design, but also it becomes something that hinders your ability to focus the user on the main call-to-action you want them to perform – which is to buy what you are selling. Keep your social media integration easy to find, but not garish or you run the risk of spreading your users feedback to thin. The same goes for your business card – you really don’t need all of your social media addresses on there.

Don’t forget what makes social media successful:

Social media is not successful because of how much of it you leverage. It is successful because your business value and site content are worth sharing. If you are diluting your message with site comments, feeds, and social widgets, then it becomes difficult to show the world that product/service/concept that makes you unique. Focus on your message and your knowledge to create your site content; and if it is valuable, people will share it regardless of whether there is a “Like” button next to it.

Create, then Curate.

Content is just the beginning. Even though social media has become ubiquitous, it’s already changing in a big way. It’s not how much social media you have working for you or about how many friends and followers you have. It’s about curating a discussion, creating a community around your business and/or industry, and creating opportunities for your business and your customers.

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