It's been awhile since I've posted a blog so naturally, I've got a crazy analogy for you today.
Are you ready?
Picture a beautiful jar of raspberry jam that’s a deep red colour, thick and beautiful. It’s a beautiful eight ounces of jam, complete with pretty packaging. Now, picture three thick, crispy pieces of toast. There’s enough jam in your jar to give each slice a hearty amount and make you and your friends a satisfying breakfast, with some jam left over for other meals.
However, you keep bringing out more slices of bread and putting your jam onto them, trying in vain to get your finite amount of jam to cover the many slices littering the table.
Your friends are horrified. Why are you making so much toast? There is far too much, and now there’s barely any jam left for each slice. Brunch is ruined.
This is what you look like when you try to spread yourself too thin over too many social media platforms.
There are so many social networks out there, but you only have so much jam (aka TIME) to go around, so use a little restraint when diversifying your social media presence, or your profiles will be tired and uninspiring.
[clickToTweet tweet=”So much social media…. so little time…” quote=”So much social media…. so little time…”]
Think you may have spread your social jam too thin? Here are some signs that your social media is getting tired.
Your profile/cover photo hasn't changed in how long???
Big mistake. Take a step back and think about who you were and what your brand was like when you started your accounts. Are you still that person? Of course not!
You don’t have to have gone through any major epiphanies to necessitate a profile update, and you should update them semi-regularly just to keep things interesting.
Refreshed content will show your followers that you’re keeping up with your account and care about your online presentation.
Besides, variety is the spice of life, I hear (although I’d argue that cayenne powder should be the spice of life, because that stuff is delicious on everything).
Keep in mind that while change is great, too much change can be confusing to your followers. I recommend updated you social media cover photos once ever 3-6 months. Your profile picture should accurately represent your brand at a glance so change no more than once a year.
You’re spread too thinly across social media platforms
It’s easy to get excited about a new social platform, set up a profile, and then let it lapse into obscurity because you forget about it, don’t have time to keep up to date with it, or just get bored.
Having six or seven different platforms is a lot to manage if it’s not your full-time job; and with too many accounts, you won’t have enough energy or content to keep up with them all.
If you’ve ever sat up in bed one night and thought, “Oh god, I haven’t logged into my X account in two weeks,” then you’re spread too thin.
[clickToTweet tweet=” Any time you feel yourself neglecting a social media account you can do this…” quote=” Any time you feel yourself neglecting a social media account you can do this…”]
P.S. I just did this myself by signing up for Periscope and neglecting it after one scope. OOPS! Poor planning mixed with an influx in business and travel plans led me astray. Never fear! Any time you feel yourself neglecting a social media account you can do one of two things:
- Re-evaluate how necessary having that platform is to your brand. If it's not necessary or you simply can't keep up with it, ditch it now!
- If you decide to go forward with building an engaged audience on a platform, then build a content marketing plan to that fits in with your brand and matches what your audience needs.
Your social media engagement has plummeted
Remember my original analogy where you ruined brunch with your toast debacle? Your friends were irritated because people can tell when you’re not putting your effort into things. Well, the same applies to your social media accounts.
It would take a lot more time and energy on your part to keep up with a bunch of accounts in a way that would make them useful to you and your followers, and they aren’t going to respond to an account with little content that’s useful to them. With no contact, there will be no engagement. No one likes dry toast.
This point really comes down to that big ol' “C” word — COMMITMENT. If you can't commit to it, then forget it.
You’ve run out of things to post
This is the worst. When you’re out of figurative jam, you’re tired and frustrated as you troll social media sites for something, anything, interesting to say. This is a real problem and can happen if you’re trying to generate fun and useful content for your followers every day across five, six, seven social platforms.
Finding useful content is a time consuming job, but you should be aiming to curate content, not scrounge around for it because you’re spread so widely across different audiences.
You’ll do much better if you hone in on your social niches, pick a few select platforms that you like, and cultivate conscious relationships through that. Never half-ass a lot of things. Full-ass one or two things.
[clickToTweet tweet=” Never half-ass a lot of things. Full-ass one or two things.” quote=” Never half-ass a lot of things. Full-ass one or two things.”]
I’m not going to tell you not to try different social media platforms. After all, you need bread for toast, and carbs are an important part of any diet. Just don't buy all the bread with no intention of eating it… Ok, I think that analogy is done now.
My main point is this: Pick 2 to 3 social media platforms that you like, and work your way up from there.
Question: What is your all time favourite social media account of the moment? I'm having so much fun on Instagram these days! Join me there: http://instagram.com/onlinedrea
I get what your are saying, there really is so much unbalance with the social media on the web. Almost each time a new platform is released we immediately run and join to become the first people to test it out and then get lost in the frenzy. The primary social networks that actually deliver for both personal and business social awareness in relationships are your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Instagram and Periscope are so brand new so what we must do is learn to organize on which days to check each account or use a tool such as Tweet Deck that will allow you to view all your social media accounts at once and you can manage from multiple columns. This only applies to social media managers who have to be like everywhere for their clients branding and communication but for personal use I don’t even think we have to be on all 250 + social networks…that’s way too much work for even me.
You’re right, no one even has time to think about being active on the major 250+ social media networks! It’s all in finding the balance between what you can commit to and which platforms work best for your brand.
Great comment, Anastacia! Thanks for stoping by!
Great post, Andrea!
“It would take a lot more time and energy on your part to keep up with a bunch of accounts in a way that would make them useful to you and your followers”
True. It takes so much time to work on many different platforms and, in fact, you see that there are almost no results. I got overwhelmed with my social media too. My favourite now is Twitter, but it’s because I’m more familiar with it. I’m gonna test an advice wich I got a few days ago:
“Pick one thing and once you really make that a habit and you win that battle, then you can add on something else.”
It works well for other things. I’m sure it will work with the social media too.
Andrea, what’s your next favourite social media platform after Instagram and why?
Yes, I tried that as well, Marina. Its difficult for me because it’s my job to know how they all work :-P. I’d have to say my favourite after Instagram is YouTube… it’s my first love for social media and I have made quite a hobby out of it with my other ventures. My plan is to start using it for my business as well, but that is a little later down the road. Baby steps 🙂
Thanks so much for stopping by!
Little by little you’ll pass a long way 😉
A fantastic post the really gets right to the heart of the matter. Especially the things we seem to forget because they’re just little things, like profile pictures. Rock!
Thanks, Peter! Since social media is a marathon, not a sprint, those little details sure do pack a punch!
I appreciate your comment. Thanks for stopping by!
This is THE #1 thing I tell my clients – pick 2-3 platforms to be on at the most and do those really well first. Super post Andrea – we are definitely on the same page.
Yes and Yes! As much as we want to do it all, we literally can’t… at least a first :-P. Thanks for stopping by, Cara! Love your stuff.
Hello, my love!
I really liked the point about not spreading yourself too thin. A lot of new startups and solopreneurs try to be all things to all people on all platforms… and it’s a recipe for disaster.
I’m preaching to the converted though, aren’t I?
Your post reminded me that I should probably do something with that Pinterest account I set up, huh?
Haha! Thanks for stopping by, love!
I actually think our job is a bit harder because we are social media managers by profession… we have to try out all the social media platforms (even the ones that aren’t our favourites). Pinterest is a powerful tool so definitely get on that!
I mainly focus on Twitter and Facebook because they’re the most important to me. These tips are excellent and I’ll remember them! Thanks for writing this article!
Glad I could help, Timothy! Facebook and Twitter are excellent places to start. Let me know how I can support you.