With so many social media platforms out there today, it can be overwhelming when trying to decide where to spend or not spend your time…especially as a blogger. Since this month is all about creating Social Media Smarts, part of creating those “smarts” is by choosing where to focus your time. You can’t be everywhere all the time on social media AND your blog AND homeschooling AND keeping house AND…AND…AND….
Even if you don’t homeschool or blog, deciding how to spend your social media time is still something to consider. While many of us choose to hang out where our friends are, there are actually a few other very important considerations to think about when choosing a platform or group of platforms on which to spend your time. Time is valuable and we don’t want to be caught wasting it. With that said, let’s explore some different ideas for how you can go about choosing some platforms that are right for you and your time.
How to Choose Which Social Media Platforms Are Right for You
- You should at least create an account for the top 6 or 7 social media platforms available so that others can begin to find you. From there you can use a plugin or service such a Twitterfeed or Jetpack to automatically post updates on the platforms you later choose to not focus on. As mentioned in infograph below, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest were the top platforms in January of 2014 with SlideShare not far behind.
- If you have already created several social media accounts and post to them regularly, go to your Google Analytics account and learn which platforms are working best for you (Acquisition>Social>Network Referrals). For example, my top 3 most referring platforms are Pinterest, Facebook, and G+ prospectively so I know that I will definitely want to keep these platforms in the forefront of my mind as I narrow down my social media focus.
- Consider what you want to obtain from your social media involvement. Is it engagement with your readers? If so, you may want to invest in Facebook or Instagram. Is it the sharing of content? Your blog may benefit most from G+ or Pinterest. Is it connecting with niche experts and potential affiliates? Then G+, Twitter, and LinkedIn may be the platforms you want to pursue first.
- Limit your selection to the social media platforms you love. As Jimmie Lanley mentioned in her interview, it’s not worth it for you to spend time on a social media platform if you despise it. You will not enjoy yourself and neither will your followers.
- Consider your demographic target. For instance, are you focusing primarily to females? Then Pinterest might be your best bet. Do you want to connect with those in their 40s and beyond? Then Facebook or LinkedIn might be your best bet. For a more detailed look at social media demographics, this infograph provided by OnlineMBA.com may be helpful.
- Decide how much time you have to devote to social media and when that time will occur. If you don’t, social media will quickly consume your time; you could easily spend hours online and not even realize it. Set aside a time each day to be on social media and then make a commitment to stay OFF of it until that time. You may even want to set a timer to keep yourself focused while online.
- Decide how many platforms you can connect with personally and effectively given the time you have established in #6 and the information you gathered from #2-5. The key is being personal. Social media is just that–social–so if you can’t take the time to be social or personal on those platforms, then it’s not worth your time. Instead just use those automated services as mentioned above to leave your minimal mark.
- Occasionally experiment with other social media platforms. While Twitter may not be your social media platform of choice, try experimenting with it for a week, posting regularly and in different forms (picture, question, link, etc.) to see if it might be a worthwhile platform you previously overlooked. If after a week, you look on your Google Analytics account you don’t see a substantial change, forget it and move on to another experiment the next month.
Social media is always changing so it is likely your social media platform focus will be a constantly changing landscape too. Just keep in mind that social media is NOT your life and that it can be either a positive tool or a negative chain depending upon how you choose to use it and spend your time on it. Finally and above all, pray about your social media involvement. If you are becoming a social media junkie and spending more time online than with your family or housework, then maybe you should revisit #6 and #7 before continuing down your social media path. Only you and God truly know how much time you have to devote to social media so listen to Him. He usually knows best. 😉
Which social media platforms do you consider the most important in your niche and why?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on which platform is most successful for you and why. Or, if you have any social media time management tips, I’d love to hear that too! Please share away in the comments below.
Take it to the next level with these resources:
- Today’s infographs are provided by Visually. Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.
- 500 Social Media Marketing Tips by Andrew McCartney
- My Social Media Pinterest Board which includes tips for everything from Pinterest to G+ and more.
This post is the 2nd of 12 in the 144 Plan to Social Media Smarts. To learn more about the 144 Plan or catch up on a missed post, check out the complete 144 Plan Training Log.
So teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12)