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Double Down on Your Social Network of Choice

As the popularity of social networking increases, so does the desire to want to be a part of every emerging social networking trend. People want to be “early adopters” of these new networks whether they know why or not; after all its human nature to want to feel like we’re part of a group, we’re social beings.  Maybe being first to these new networks carries some weight, some bragging rights, a feeling of exclusivity, a new icon to post on your blog, and more often than not an inability to remain effective in engaging with the people you’ve worked so hard to build relationships with in the first place.

This holds true unless you’ve built all of your social networks to look alike, which I see people do all too often. The same people, the same conversations, it’s unfortunately the new norm. Take a second to reflect on this for a minute. Is your Facebook network the same as your Twitter network? Is your Twitter network the same as your Google + network? Is your Google + network the same as say your Pinterest network? You get my point.

I suppose it isn’t necessarily bad, but it’s not doing much to connect you to new people and open your eyes to new experiences and learnings – which is the intent of most social networks. In today’s fast paced world of work, family, and other personal commitments let’s face it; we just don’t have the time to be effective in every social media platform that comes around.

Individuals are not only ones flying like moths to a flame when the newest social networks pop up. I’ve seen big brands also make these leaps just to be first just for no other reason than just that. Be first. How are these new networks fitting into their overall content strategy? Will these networks help them better connect with their target consumers? Are they forgetting about the consumers they’ve already built relationships with within their other social communities?  As I think about it more, this approach of constant social channel expansion could be detrimental to the communities big brands have worked so hard to foster online.

From a brand standpoint, it makes sense to double down on your social network(s) of choice. It’s critical for you to focus efforts on the social channels where your target consumers are. Think about planning content for this channel or in some cases channels, which resonates with these consumers, engages them, inspires them to take action, and builds further interest and connection with the brand.  When the timing is right and thought has been given to how to best incorporate a new social channel into your content mix, then and only then, think about adding a new channel to your businesses social properties. While being first to a new social channel seems cool and cutting edge, it turns un-cool really quick if you’re unable to serve up meaningful content to the consumers that connect with you in this new space, causing them to become disinterested in your brand and possibly loosing them as a customer.

I’m interested to get your take on this too. How do you feel about the ability to remain engaged with the networks you have built as you activate more and more social channels?  How do you manage your content mix to ensure the various social channels you participate in work for you or your brand?  I’m looking forward to the discussion.

4 Responses to “Double Down on Your Social Network of Choice”

  1. Interesting idea Sharif. I love the idea of doubling your energy and attention on the social media platform you find the most engaging. I’d say that could work – if you have a strategy and some metrics for success. Begin by asking yourself WHY you’re trying these new tools instead of the old one. Is it because you’re bored – or because you have a short attention span – or because you haven’t given it enough effort do you need to double down?

    Start with why – then double down.

  2. Sharif Renno says:

    Phil:

    Great point! Starting with why will help identify your purpose for being in the space in the first place. Your purpose(for being there)should influence your content. Next, measure results and KPI’s, are you seeing what you like? If so double down, if not, perhaps it’s not the right social channel for you or the effort is not there yet. Thanks for the thought provoking comment and the share. Great to hear from you as always!

    Sharif

  3. Tom Buchheim says:

    Interesting ideas, Sharif. New social media channels should always provide a re-evaluation point for brands, but there has to be strategy behind any move. Just “trying Pinterest”, for example, is not a strategy. It’s especially perilous when marketing budgets are getting more scrutiny and leadership demands more direct ties to sales from social media activities.

    The next year will be telling for many of us.

  4. Sharif Renno says:

    Tom, thanks for stopping by! 2012 will certainly be a telling year for many organizations which are relying on social efforts to drive business results. Although a sound social strategy is a must, I predict lots of “test and learn” approaches as it’s still such a new medium and way to connect and inspire action from consumers. Measuring new biz attribution from social efforts, and which KPI’s to track, will be some other hurdles for many to overcome this year.

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