If there’s a constant online, it’s this – everything changes. A few weeks ago I noticed the first Periscope courses being released. If you don’t know what Periscope is, Periscope is a live video streaming app for iOS and Android. So basically, it makes streaming video easy to do with a phone or tablet. New apps are designed to (hopefully) make life and business a little easier. On the other hand, in your case it may very well be just another distraction that could take time away from things that are way more important.
If you find it hard to keep up with the rapid pace of change, don’t worry. Even the people who keep up with technology for a living get burned out from time to time. You can spin your wheels into infinity chasing shiny new objects.
Sometimes, you have to take a closer look at what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. When you do, you might find that it’s time for a change.
A few of my friends built large followings on a singular social media platform only to have the majority of their subscribers lose interest with that platform. It happens. This isn’t a total loss if you’ve been building a mailing list. Even if you hate writing emails, having a list may be the closest thing you’ll ever have to a workable backup plan if a social media platform starts firing blanks (as far as generating new business goes).
My own clients are business owners and business owners “in the making.” And guess what? Most of them don’t have to time to keep up on multiple platforms. Think about how much time it would take to interact with people on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn and other places throughout the day?
A second issue is, we have more people talking and less people listening. Call it info-overload, or maybe something else (ever heard of social media fatigue?). It is what it is.
Last year I noticed my friends on Facebook were also following me on Pinterest. I sort of liked Pinterest, but I really didn’t have enough time to “dig in deep” with it. Do you know what I mean by that?
Take Facebook for example. I boarded the Facebook train back in 2009. Within a short period of time, I connected with a bunch of businesspeople in my community. I’m talking about hundreds of local connections overall. A year later, I knew who was doing what in the community. Many of these people I met face to face at local events. I even met my girlfriend, Lori! That’s what I mean by “digging in deep” with a particular platform.
Facebook has changed quite a bit since 2009. To sum it up, more people are seeing less. I probably see 15% of my friend’s posts at a glance. The rest I never see unless I visit their personal profiles. The bottom line is, it takes time and effort to find out who’s doing what. Unless you’re among the unemployed, time is usually at a premium for most people. The “flow” that used to be Facebook is essentially gone.
Am I blaming them? Not at all. Sooner or later they had to turn a profit and they had to adjust to a massive influx of new users.
SO WHAT’S THE SOLUTION?
Okay, so where to you go from here? First, take out your mental calculator and do the math. You probably don’t have the resources to build a massive following on a variety of social media platforms. On top of that, there’s not enough time to take part in multiple online communities where you’ll have any depth of regular, ongoing interaction. The key is interaction (in my opinion). Remember, this is supposed to be social media, not post and coast.
A few of my friends invest 6-7 hours a day connecting and conversing with people on their social media platforms of choice. As a result, they’re growing larger followings all the time. Some repurpose their content for other platforms, but they don’t get anywhere near the same traction. Are you seeing where I’m going?
Choose one platform and master it. You may have to experiment a bit, but find out where your “people” are spending time. At the very least, they’re checking their inboxes multiple times a day. In other words, even if they’re abandoning social media altogether, they’ll always be checking their email. That’s almost a given. Since starting online back in 1998, I’ve always used SEO as my go-to method to promote myself and my online businesses. In fact, every site I’ve ever built – SEO is always my primary method for getting traffic. It still is. At the end of the day, if you’re in business, it’s all about traffic.
Whether you use social media, email marketing, podcasts or a combination of these things, that’s what drives traffic to most sites these days.
The people who’ve told me, “I’ve tried everything and nothing seems to work,” all seem to have two things in common. First, if they don’t make a splash in 30 days, they’re ready to quit and move on to another platform. Second, they don’t communicate their thoughts very well. Basically, whether it’s text, video or graphics, they’re in the process of “finding their voice.” That’s fine. You have to start somewhere.
To sum it up, if ever there was a time when focus and stick-to-it-ness were critical factors in any level of success, we’re in that time. It doesn’t matter if you’re a newbie or a veteran online marketer adjusting to the changing times.