Changing Your Approach to Social Media Marketing

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.

Thoughts?

 

RECENT DISCOVERIES

Adrienne Smith at http://www.adriennesmith.net/

About a month ago, a friend shared with me a link to Adrienne’s website. At first, I thought, “Blogging? That’s a topic that’s been done to death.” That said, I kept reading and after an hour or so I thought, “Jim, you should start blogging again.” I keep most of my communications in-house, between myself and my clients. That said, people email me and ask me questions all the time. So…

The point is, I’ll liken Adrienne’s thoughts and ideas to be the fresh bread section of the blogging world. I even went back to her site and downloaded her free gift with my real email address (the non-junkmail one). If you want to be a full-time blogger and don’t want to comb through a bunch of fluff and junk, she has some of the better “real-life” advice out there. Actually, she sort of inspired yours truly to start blogging more 😉

Jim Galiano

Jim Galiano is an online consultant and author who began doing business online in 1998. His consulting, marketing and publicity services are focused in the area's of SEO and website publicity. Jim has been interviewed by variety of media sources including the Wall Street Journal and CBS News in New York.

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6 thoughts on “Changing Your Approach to Social Media Marketing

  1. Excellent article. I’ve become frustrated with the changes in social media and wonder if I should invest my time/money in placing ads instead on these platforms instead of regular posts?

  2. I’ve been wanting to start a blog for awhile. I used to have one on blogger but this time I’m seriously thinking about going the self-hosted WordPress route. Do you suggest any particular theme for a starter?

  3. Facebook ads are fairly inexpensive. At least – testing them can be. I’ve tested several ads for clients over the last year. Instead of buying a course, I jumped right in and followed the instructions Facebook provides for their customers. When I got to the point where I came to a “fork in the road” (so to speak), I looked up how-to videos on YouTube. A simple “how to target the right audience on Facebook” did the trick. From there, it was all about testing. One last thing… I definitely recommend focusing on a single platform to get the most out of it.

  4. When you’re just getting started, find an existing design you already like. Copy the URL and paste it into one of these two sites – http://whatwpthemeisthat.com/ or http://www.wpthemedetector.com/. That will show you what WordPress Theme the person is using. If their theme has been customized to the hilt, you may not get any results… but most of the time you will. If you’re not comfortable working on Theme customization, you can hire someone on Fiverr.com to set everything up for you very inexpensively. Just look for someone who has a lot of great feedback from previous jobs. This will save you time and money as well as help you launch your blog quickly. When I first started with WordPress back in 2006, I did everything myself and burned an incredible amount of hours. Today, if I were starting over, I’d work smarter – not harder 🙂

  5. Hey Jim,

    Well what a pleasant surprise. First we connected on Twitter and then I saw your comment on my blog and I had yours loaded up already to stop by and check out. Then I get here and you’ve mentioned me. How flattering so let me thank you for that first.

    I agree with you, people are always introducing some new great social site telling us we just HAVE to be a part of it. I get scolded a lot, I might be using a much harsher term but it feels that way to me, that I’m not more active on certain social platforms. I can’t be everywhere all the time and I don’t want to be. Okay, some are great and those people love them so good for them. I’ve chosen the few that my audience is on the most and I have become rather proficient with them and they are my favorites.

    I still 100% believe that you should do your best to get them back to your blog or site. I mean it’s the only real estate you actually own and of course our goal should be to get them on our list and hopefully a future customer.

    Thank you for grabbing my free report by the way and hope you enjoyed that one. 😉

    I can appreciate this post and what you said about building up a following and then those people eventually lose interest and they are now off to another one. Never build your following only on social media or you might find that happening to you too. Great advice Jim, thanks.

    Hope you have a great day and enjoy your week. I’ve already shared your post.

    ~Adrienne

  6. Thank you, Adrienne 🙂 I appreciate you stopping by and for sharing. I really enjoyed your report, “The True Power of Blogging and What You’re Missing.” I’m looking forward to keeping up with your work!

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