Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Anti-Shotgun Approach to Social Media (Source: Mark Evans)

Social Media Today had a post recently with the provocative title, "When Not to Have a Twitter Account", which is a sacrilegious thought to all of us social media junkies.

The post reminded me of an important social media tenet: that it's alright not to have a Twitter account or, for that matter, a blog or a Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Flickr or MySpace account. In other words, you could take a "popgun" approach to social media as opposed to a "shotgun" in which you try to be everything and anywhere (aka a recipe for failure).

And while it is, heaven forbid, possible not to embrace social media, a more reasonable approach is that it's perfectly fine to have a small social media presence.

Yup, your digital existence can be happy and fulfilling by only embracing a single social media service. It could be Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or a blog as long as it meets your goals and objectives and, as important, the needs of the target audience.

The key – and I stress this point to clients – is that whatever social media service(s) is deployed, it has to be used consistently and done well. In other words, if you do only one thing, do that one thing great.

It's like deciding to open a bakery to only make cupcakes. As long as those cupcakes are delicious, you're not going to be penalized for not baking pies, cakes and muffins.

Too often, social media is seen in terms of quantity rather than quality. There's too much focus on the number of tweets, likes, comments, page views, comments, etc. rather than the quality of the conversation. The same approach goes for social media services. It's far better to do one thing really well, rather than many things average.

This is not to suggest some people and companies can't have a social media arsenal with several tools but less can sometimes be more.

(Note: This post originally appeared on the Sysomos blog.)

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