Multi-Platform Brand Marketing CAN Maintain Focus And Energy!
There’s been a lot of discussion across my peer group, of late, about what it takes to build and bolster a bangin’ brand. There’s a lot of advice being shared, some good, some bad, some stellar, some scandalous and some that’s just downright confusing.
There’s a movement to “own one platform” that seems to be on the top of the galpreneur tip list. The basic premise goes a little something like this:
If you’re trying to market your business across multiple platforms you’re, in essence, spreading yourself too thin, and you won’t be able to make a significant impact with your brand and business sharing.
While I ABSOLUTELY agree you don’t have to be everywhere online, I do think you can balance a multi-platform brand building campaign without brain drain and fatigue.
Multi-Platform Marketing Needn’t Be Multi-Headache Marketing!
A failure to plan is a plan to fail. We’ve all heard that one, right?
While I’m not generally a fan of cliches or blanket statements, this is a truth I stand firmly behind.
[clickToTweet tweet=”With a sound plan, multi-platform #marketing need not be migraine-inducing marketing! #SMMsmarts” quote=”With a sound plan, multi-platform marketing need not be migraine-inducing marketing!”]
A plan doesn’t have to be iron-clad, nor does it have to take hours to complete. A plan can be as simple as necessary in order to remain effective. I’ll be sharing how I plan my various platform campaigns and strategies in future reads.
No, You Can’t Market Everywhere …
A brand stretched too far is rarely able to showcase its expertise.
You cannot possibly manage the day-to-day running of your business, keep your clients happy AND maintain a strong and consistent presence on EVERY SINGLE social media platform. It’s just not possible.
That being said, you can and probably should maintain a presence on more than one social media platform.
Because even though you’ve dialed in your target audience and your prime prospect, they’re human beings, with nuance, ever changing interests and they’re often restless.
Yes, you’ve done your research and realized that a significant and sizable number of your prime audience spend A LOT of time on Instagram. But just like you can’t spend your entire day on Instagram, neither can they.
And let’s be honest, most of us have target audiences, plural.
Your target audiences have their own target audiences, and that means considering that they spend some of their social media time on platforms that might not be your number one.
No, You Can’t Be Online ALL The Time …
And this is why successful multi-platform marketers have plans that include scheduling.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Smart #scheduling is the savior of multi-platform marketing! #socialmedia” quote=”Smart scheduling is the savior of multi-platform marketing!”]
So, What’s Smart Scheduling?
You can and should schedule the sharing of your own content and the content you’ve curated with your audience and top prospects in mind.
And when I say you can schedule your own content, I don’t just mean your published articles. This includes graphics and images, as well as any ideas that come to your mind.
I actually schedule what might appear to be my random musings. Why schedule them? They’re still my musings, even if I schedule them. Unless the musing or bit of snark is especially time sensitive, there’s no need for me to post it in real time.
What you absolutely CANNOT schedule, though, is interaction and the conversation you hope to cultivate with your carefully crafted and curated shares. Your real time brand marketing focuses on these conversations, when you reply and advance your scheduled thoughts.
Scheduling those shares opens up the time for you to interact and engage in conversations in real time, on more than one channel!
Your Brand Can’t Bang In A Vacuum!
If you narrow your field and focus too much you force your brand into a vacuum of sorts.
This is not to say that you should set up social media accounts for multi-channel brand marketing in a willy-nilly fashion. That’s not smart or savvy.
Balance, Intent & Purpose Make Multi-Platform Brand Marketing Possible & Powerful!
I’ve used those three words a gazillion times and I expect they’ll be parceled out in future blog posts at least a squijillion times more!
[clickToTweet tweet=”Balance, intent and purpose make up the backbone of many a multi-platform marketer’s success.” quote=”No matter how often they’re used – balance, intent and purpose make up the backbone of many a multi-platform marketer’s success.”]
You must balance frequency of posts so that you don’t feel overwhelmed and stretched thin.
The articles, images and ideas you choose to share must be chosen with the proper intent. Will they provide value or entertainment to your prospects, peers and clients?
There must be a purpose to every single ding-danged item you share, no matter the platform. Sharing simply for the sake of sharing, in an attempt to keep a feed full, provides no value to your brand or your audience.
A smart combination of the three is imperative to keeping the interest in your brand alive, no matter your chosen social media marketing platform.
Can a brand effective balance presence across multiple social media marketing platforms? If so, how best to do so? If not, why not?
I’m looking forward to some great discussion in the comments!
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Dear Marketer: Your Tweets Are NOT Your Own!
Are you ever amazed by the willingness of many a marketer to hang on to outdated and ridiculous concepts, even after they’ve been proven woefully inaccurate and even dangerous to the successful management of a brand or business?
I find myself amazed several times a day, sadly.
One of the most amazing, long-lived and ludicrous concepts is the idea that adding, “my tweets are my own,” to your bio somehow gives you a pass on sharing something potentially volatile.
Scott Slams The Silly Disclaimer
Although I’d seen those five little words on plenty a Twitter profile, I didn’t really think about them all that much until I started listening to the Unpodcast, hosted by Scott Stratten and Alison Kramer.
In one of their awesome Moron Mountain segments (bring back the mountain, pretty puh-leeze) they shared this reprehensible social media saga.
Ding, ding, ding! When you share socially, you’re sharing publicly. And guess what? Once you put something out to the public, you lose any chance of pussyfooting around about your intent and purpose.
Privacy is only possible when you keep an idea, concept, tweet, rant or other ridiculosity to yourself!
Once It’s Published, It’s No Longer Private!
Let me drive the point home … it ain’t your own if you choose to share it on a public platform!
Once that idea is published it takes on a life of its own. When you put it out for public consumption it then has the potential to be shared, discussed, dissed, misconstrued, maligned, talked about and even torn apart.
Much like there’s no such thing as a social media marketing ninja, there’s no way to publicly share a thought and at the same time keep it private and protected.
I often post a pithy phrase when I see something that bothers me. I never, however, expect that everyone in my feed will agree with my sentiment. I’m always prepared for discussion and dissension in the ranks.
If you can’t back up your idea, if you can’t handle dissenting opinions and direct discussion, maybe you should rethink that specific share.
You Can Rarely Lock It Down Once You’ve Let It Loose
Once it’s out there, there’s little chance that you can make it completely disappear. It’s been retweeted, screen capped and shared to Facebook, even discussed in a blog post or a popular podcast.
Undoing is MUCH harder than taking the time to think through what you plan to share. It’s MUCH easier and MUCH smarter to choose not to share something if you think it has the potential damage your personal or brand reputation.
A disclaimer isn’t going to deliver you from the potential backlash.
Ownership Comes With Obligations!
While your post has lost all potential for privacy once published, you still own it.
Your name or handle is attached to that original post, and is passed along with each retweet, each share and each screen grab.
Are you ready to own up to an idea that has the potential to create some serious dissent. If not, it’s time to consider shutting up rather than sharing!
ENOUGH! There Is NO Single Best Time For Social Media!
Why is it that so many awesome things are endangered or facing extinction – the black rhino, the Iberian lynx, the Tasmanian devil, numerous native tree and plant species – but we’re flipping bombarded with craptastic social media marketing advice?
I’ve had it. Enough already! To quote Popeye …
That’s all I can stands, I can’t stands no more.
What’s got me on this tear?
The publish and promotion of social media articles and infographics “sharing” the best time to post for maximum reach, reaction, engagement and more.
There are SOOOOOO many reasons these articles and infographics grind my gears, but I don’t really have the time to write a novel and don’t think you’re game to read tens of thousands of words on the subject. So, I’m sharing just a few!
Let’s Talk About Time Zones!
So, let’s think about this. Let’s say we’re told that 9:23 AM is the BEST time to post to Twitter (I’m just making this up, of course).
But is the 9:23 AM Eastern? Central? Mountain? Pacific? And that’s only spanning the time zones that cover the continental United States. What about daylight-saving time?
You get my drift, right. I’ve never seen an article or infographic detail the differences in “best time” social media sharing based on audiences that span multiple time zones. Most people running a digital business find themselves with a following that spans countries, if not the globe.
9:23 AM for me, in my EST space, is 6:23 AM for my family and friends in California (PST). While many of them are early risers like me, there’s no guarantee that they’re sitting ready and waiting to see what I’ve posted as the sun rises on their day.
Wow, That’s A Wide Window …
The most recent “best time” share, the one that prompted this article, shared lots of best time information for the big social media platforms. It detailed the “best” times to post to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Linkedin and even Google+.
Then, and this is what I found ludicrous and laughable, the author turned his back on those “best” times and touted a smart posting window that stretched from 9 AM to 7 PM. What?
[clickToTweet tweet=”The ‘best time’ to post to #socialmedia channels spans ten hours? #captainobvious” quote=”The ‘best time’ to post to social media channels spans ten hours? Well thanks for the info, Captain Obvious.” theme=”style3″]
A ten hour window is pretty wide. You wouldn’t accept that from a service provider. Imagine if you were getting cable TV installed and you were told the installer would arrive between 9 AM and 7 PM. No bueno.
It’s not one bit different when you’re lead to believe you’re going to get the golden goose and finally know the absolute bestest single time to post a scintillating social share for your audience. Even less bueno!
Let’s Look At Lifespan!
The lifespan of a single social media post depends on so many factors. The platform. The size of your audience. The speed and breadth of that audience’s feeds. The time of day your audience is active. The popularity of any hashtags used. The addition of a visual prompt. The value or vibe of the post itself.
The lifespan of a tweet is different than the lifespan of a photo shared to Instagram. The likelihood of you seeing a specific Facebook post is different than the likelihood of you seeing a specific Google+ or Linkedin post.
And, digging a little deeper, you can’t easily compare the lifespan of one tweet, post or share with another. Did they have the same hashtag? A photo? Was it a conversation starter like a question or a link out to your content?
The Scariest, But Most Honest Answer To Social Media Timing Questions …
That response might sound wishy-washy and passive aggressive in other applications, but when it comes to the “best” time to post social media shares in order to “best” impact reach and engagement, it is the BEST answer.
Because the best time for my audience might not be the best time for your audience. Even within my own circle of influence, the best time for my audience in June might be vastly different from the best time in January.
It’s all about putting in the time and effort to craft the kinds of social media shares and posts that suit the needs of those you’re trying to reach. Then you gotta monitor your most important metrics to see what works and what doesn’t. And you’ve gotta do that over and over and over again.
Social media marketing isn’t a set it and forget it kind of endeavor. The practice, the strategies, the tactics evolve over time. As do the “best” times to reach your audience.
I can get on board with a one-size-fits-all scarf. It make sense. But there’s nothing sensible about a one-size (or time) fits-all solution for social media marketing.
Too Simple Twitter Tip To Increase Reach & Engagement!
As a curator of content, I spend a lot of time seeking out great reads that are worthy of sharing with my readers and followers. It’s a big part of my daily social media strategy and interaction. Sharing great content sparks conversation. In the end, that connection and conversation is why we’re all spending time online, right?
Yet, as I peruse and post throughout the day, I find myself shaking my head when otherwise smart and savvy social media marketers fail to take seriously one top tenet when it comes to top-notch Twitter tactics.
Put A Feather In Your Social Media Cap!
And get the online recognition you deserve!
Make sure your Twitter handle shows up when I, or anyone for that matter, click on your social sharing button to tweet your captivating content.
Seems pretty simple, right?
Yet everyday I click to tweet great content and I get one of the following:
- Great intro and link, but no attribution
- Great intro and link, third party plug-in attribution
- No intro and a long, ugly link
Credit Yourself For Your Content!
I’m guessing you put a little, or a lot, of time and effort into crafting that content. Wouldn’t it be nice to reap some extra reward when that killer content is shared on Twitter?
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve clicked to tweet only to see the attribution for the share go to Shareaholic. Sure, they provide a great product and service to many a blogger, but the tool doesn’t deserve the recognition for your content creation efforts!
I also see a lot of people who’ve take the time to set up their click to tweet attributions, but without their interactive, clickable, handle. Your company name is nice and you can certainly monitor Twitter mentions of your company name. But wouldn’t you like to allow interested parties to easily access your Twitter profile and maybe add themselves to our growing list of fabulous followers?
K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple, Savvy!
Your time in the social space slips away in seconds. You’ve got to take advantage of every opportunity to showcase yourself when it comes to creating connections and enabling engagement.
You’ve taken the time to add a social sharing plug-in, because you want your content both read AND shared. But failing to properly set up your social sharing, especially for Twitter, is quite silly.
Take a minute, right now – don’t delay – and check out your social sharing set-up. Is your Twitter handle, interactive and clickable, showing up when you click on the little bird? If not, take the time to sort it out. Missed opportunities are silly at best, and I won’t tell you what word I’d use to describe them at worst!
You’re a savvy, not silly marketer, aren’t you?
You’re Not The Social Media Silverback!
Have you ever been involved in a discussion, via a social media channel – maybe in a Twitter chat or in a Google+ post, when a single party decides they’re running the show and will slap down any detractors?
If you haven’t experienced this, you’re lucky. And I dare say your jig is up. It will happen soon.
I’ve coined a phrase for that type of behavior: Social Media Silverback Syndrome
noun sil·ver·back ˈsil-vər-ˌbak
: an older adult usually dominant male gorilla having gray or whitish hair on the back
In gorilla society, the silverback rules all. He decides the pecking order. He decides where the group sleeps at night, where they go in the morning to forage and he gets to mate with all of the ladies.
The silverback rules with an iron fist, and he’s quick to raise the fist at any signs of dissent in the ranks. He chases and chastises those that don’t do his bidding in a timely fashion.
For the silverback to fall a more dominant male must beat him in battle.
Unlike gorilla society, the silverback isn’t always the oldest, strongest, most dominant (has the most followers, the most shares, etc.) member of the group.
Social media silverback behavior is showcased by men and women alike. Young and old, big followings and small.
Leave Your Alpha Male (Or Female) Attitude At The Door!
Don’t reprimand those you feel are beneath you in the social order. You’re not the dominant male (or female) of Google+ or any other social channel.
It’s perfectly A-OK hunky dory for you to disagree with a post or discussion topic. It’s not at all acceptable for you to intimate that any individual taking part in the dissenting side of the discussion, “doesn’t know what they’re talking about.”
Your opinions aren’t facts, even if you believe you have the numbers to back them up. Opinions are often about feelings and personal preference. You’re allowed your feelings, I’m allowed mine. We may not share the same feelings. And that’s okay.
It’s not okay to tell someone their opinion, their feeling, is incorrect, outdated or stupid. Especially in a public forum. This kind of chest beating bravado has no place in a social media discussion.
NOTE: This advice goes both ways. If you post up a topic for discussion, you should expect just that. And discussion often brings around dissenting opinions. Don’t post an opinion if you’re not ready and willing for that opinion to face some friendly debate.
Want to try to sway them, though – like you, they’re adamantly standing their ground? Take it private!
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good dissenting opinion. I love the chance to openly debate. Go ahead and engage in discussion, even heated discussion. But you’ve got to be open, honest and direct. And you must be able to agree to disagree!
And here’s one just for the fellas! Stop correcting the womenfolk when they use “feminine” terminology which you feel “degrades” your vaunted and lofty position within your industry.
Twitter Chat Tyrants NOT Wanted!
I see this kind of behavior far too often in Twitter chats. A single individual attempts to shine the spotlight on themselves, struggling to show themselves the expert on any and all topics discussed.
It doesn’t matter that, generally speaking, the chat organizers have invited a specific individual to play the role of expert. These tweetchat tyrants are intent on one thing – proving that they are more knowledgeable than anyone else taking part in the discussion.
They create their own mini-chat, usually drawing a small handful of attendees away from the intended discussion, trying to add to their own clout and following.
Seriously? Stop it!
Want your chance to shine as the undisputed champion of the chat? Ask the chat owner if you can co-host a future chat. Dive into the discussion and embrace the group, don’t detract from it.
Corrections Can, And Should, Be Shared Privately
Occasionally you’ll see a typo, improper word choice, a link to an outdated stat or some other small error.
If your intent is to help, then it’s perfectly okay to point them out, PRIVATELY.
Take it to a DM, PM or to an email message.
It’s time to put the hammer down on the power play that is the public address of simple errors.
Beware, Too, The Marketing Matriarch
Stepping away from the gorilla example, I want to look at elephant society briefly.
Elephant packs (are they packs?) are led by an elder female. It is her job to memorize the paths to watering holes and places to forage for food. Survival of the pack depends on her getting this right.
Social media packs are different. It’s not simply survival of the fittest. It’s about adapting to the lightning fast changes in reach and engagement and understanding what works for your specific audience.
Occasionally you’ll see the marketing matriarch. This is the old school influencer, holding on tight, with both fists – and possibly her teeth, to past influence and marketing mojo, despite that fact that all around her (or him, though matriarch and male aren’t a match) have moved on. Even more occasionally these matriarchs stand their ground by calling out anyone and everyone that disagrees with them, throwing around the overused and very abused “hater” moniker.
AGAIN … KNOCK IT OFF!
If you can’t stand the idea of new ways and new mediums, I dare say a career in social media wasn’t a smart choice. While it’s fine to stick to your guns if they work for you, it’s not fine to put under fire anyone who simply dares to disagree.
How Do You Handle Discussion Dynamics?
Strong opinions and social media marketing go together like peanut butter and jelly! Have you ever gotten into a heated debate or discussion? Have you ever felt bullied or slapped down?
It happens to all of us, sadly.
But if you can hang in and remember that opinions are like a-holes, you’ll be able to finish the “fight” with aplomb. Simply state that it’s time to agree to disagree and you can hold your head high!