Find out if your company uses too many social media!
They tell you to use Facebook, they glare at you if you don’t have a Twitter account, they push you to Pin, and they’ll send you daily updates on new social media platforms that “will change your life.” Each site seems so similar to something else that came before the tough (Google+ is just a better Delicious, right?). So social newbies and professionals both get inundated with data from every angle about some new app, an awesome cloud service, or another InstanaTweetHootDeckGramSuite that you simply must use because, well, everyone else is.
So what’s a social media marketer to do? Open 25 tabs, download 10 mobile apps and slowly sob in a Tweet-induced confusion? No, what we all need to do is stop looking to keep up with this exploding race, and take a step back. You don’t need all this information and you certainly don’t need to use every platform or service. Here’s why . . .
SOCIAL MEDIA IS LIKE THE HOME DEPOT
You are building the house that is your social media campaign, whether personal or business. Home Depot sure has a lot to offer: aisles of power drills, generators, sanders, grinders, heat funs, soldering irons and, well, you get the point. Same goes for your social media options; there’s Gowalla and Foursquare, Blogger and LiveJournal, Digg and Chime.In, Delicious and StumbleUpon, Google+ and Ning, and then all the platforms to manage your platforms. It is overwhelming but just like taking a trip to Home Depot, you know exactly what you are building so all that is left is finding the right tool for the job. (I mean, no one sits at home trying to figure out what to build that would use an iron solder just because someone online recommended using iron solders.) Tools of any kind are there to help you create something, not dictate what to create. So choose the right tool for the job so you don’t end up standing in your living room with an iron solder checking Quora to figure out what to use it for.
SOCIAL MEDIA CHEAT SHEET
There may not be one tool to do it all, but there is the best for each job. Social Media Today tried to deeply analyze our choices by saying “we tweet to make up for our lack of identity, while Facebook exists to satisfy our need for belonging and self-representation.” I think that’s a little much. Use our chart below to find the platforms that are right for you based on your key goal.
ONE SITE TO RULE THEM ALL
With the infectious entrepreneurial spirit of 2012 running though cubicles nationwide, you have more and more start-ups and social companies popping up every day. Having 25 different ways to update what my dog ate for dinner is just superfluous and annoying (as is the update). So why can’t we have a Hunger Games for social media platforms? Have services compete in different categories (brand monitoring, optimization, blogs, social bookmarking, Wikis, etc.); winner takes all and we are left with the best of the best for each. I mean if American Airlines is going to be subsumed under US Airways, and AT&T was thinking of merging with T-Mobile, why can’t we streamline even more of the companies that fight for our use? (Isn’t that how we got AOL Time Warner and Exxon Mobil?) The only way that will happen is when one company gets big enough and omnipresent enough to combine it all so we don’t have to post one thought in 10 places or use 8 different applications in our online world. If only there were one. . . .Oh wait. . . . Google acquired Motorola, Aardvark, Youtube and GrandCentral and holds the puppet strings to the popularity of all our online content? They’ve taken over the Droid market, revolutionized cloud music and documents and rivaled Skype with Google Voice? Perhaps everyone should finally get around to trying Google+. —Caitlin Connors
Icons courtesy of Apricum.net