Companies and professionals have tried to spread their social networking presence across hundreds of different websites and services. For some, particularly the superhuman ones, it seems to work out. However, for most, keeping up with hundreds of news feeds, inbound messages, and status updates is an absolutely Herculean task. It comes as no surprise that most companies new to social networks look for a thin, wide spread rather than a thick, concentrated social media presence.
The problem with spreading yourself too thin on social media is that it is almost always ineffective. Social media influence does not come with 100 accounts each connecting with 100 people — almost all of whom will be duplicated connections. True social media influence comes from one account, a single social media reference point, that connects with other 10,000 people on its own. It is concentration, not spread, that results in a wide social media influence.
For companies and brands that value real, measurable influence, there is only one way to succeed: create a manageable presence. These five tips will help you design a social media presence that is low maintenance, easily manageable, and scalable to your business…
1) Do not make promises that you can’t keep
If you can’t connect with users every day, do not ever tell them that you can. In the online social world, managing expectations is just as important as being there all the time. When your audience knows that you are only available during certain parts of the week, they will be much more forgiving and flexible. However, if you claim to be around all the time, your audience will quickly grow disappointed when they can’t contact you.
2) If necessary, outsource parts of your customer contact
Hiring assistants for simple tasks like message responses and customer service is inexpensive and convenient, both for customers and your business. When you force yourself to answer each and every social media question, you lose time to create real online influence. If your audience is happy to get a response from an assistant or representative, do not be afraid to use them to control and manage your networking media accounts.
3) Connect infrequently, but always bring quality
One great blog post a week is worth much more than six poor ones. When you are promoting your own work, it is best to value infrequent, high quality content above all else. Your followers will always be grateful for quality, but will quickly grow tired of low quality content, no matter how frequently you push it.
4) Establish behavioral patterns that build a reputation
When your audience is used to once-weekly status update, they will come to expect them. Again, when your audience is used to once-daily updates, you are in for trouble if you want to take a week off. Establish patterns that allow you room to breathe and live your own life. For example, in the weeks preceding a vacation, slowly lower your update frequency until your audience grows to expect infrequent updates.
5) Be direct, honest, and upfront
In the online world, everything you’ve ever said is archived, blogged, and available to all. If something catches you or your audience off guard, it is best to be completely transparent and upfront about it. Lies travel fast online, especially when they are something that can bring your reputation apart. Focus on transparency, and be completely honest when communicating with your audience.
Photo Cred: LICDN.com