Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Foursquare, and YouTube. That’s the list of social networks that I spend “some” time on.
Wow, when I write them all down like that, it looks like a rather long list. Oh, boy. I’m going to be in trouble when my wife and my boss see this. I can hear them now. “Geez, Craig… don’t you ever work??”
To be clear, I do spend an hour (or so ~wink~) per day on social networks for work purposes (marketing, sales, research, learning, networking, etc).
I also spend probably an equal amount of time per day surfing social media to follow my personal interests and connect with friends and family.
If only I had more time
The interesting thing, and the inspiration for this post, is that I SHOULD be spending MORE time on social networks! I know, that sounds ridiculous to those closest to me, but perfectly reasonable to others.
Here’s the thing: There are too many social networks and not enough time.
How do people do it??
To get the most out of a social network, and to maximize your effectiveness as a social media marketer, you have to dedicate an enormous amount of time to search for, find, and then “follow”, “friend”, “circle”, or “connect” with a lot of people who share things you’re interested in.
I don’t know about you, but I just don’t have time to do that on ALL the social networks.
Social media can be overwhelming
I use Facebook on a daily basis because that’s where all my extended family and close friends are. Actually, I don’t really like FB anymore, but I have no choice since most of those people I want to interact with there aren’t in my other networks.
I use Twitter a lot, not only for marketing, but also to find and follow the latest and greatest information on dozens of business topics, personal interests, and of course current events. I also use it to network in a more public forum where you can connect with people you wouldn’t normally be able to.
Since I love photography I spend a few minutes most days on Instagram, “liking” probably 50% of the pics I see from the talented and creative people I follow.
And finally, I end up spending some time on YouTube because I love watching short videos that are fun, compelling, heartwarming, amazing, or informative. I suppose YouTube isn’t really a social network, but I lump it in there because it’s so tightly integrated.
So in summary, I’m actively building a following and networking on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. That’s all I have time for.
Need to spend more time on LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest
The problem is that from a marketing perspective (both personal and in business), I NEED to be spending more time on LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest. And ideally without negatively impacting the time that I’m already spending on the other networks.
Alright, I admit that I could probably spend less time looking at awesome pictures and fun video, and I do sometimes reluctantly get sucked into looking at too many “shares” from my friends on Facebook, but that time only amounts to 10-15 minutes a day, and quite frankly I think it’s really important to follow your interests and stay connected with your friends and family.
Is Google+ the Future?
Google+ is actually a really interesting technology. I see it sort of like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram all in one. Google+ apparently has the 2nd largest active user base behind Facebook, and mark my words, they’ll figure out how to unseat Mr. Zuckerberg from the social networking throne. They didn’t become a gazillion dollar company by accident.
Same thing with LinkedIn. The Groups functionality is a really great way to connect, network, and build relationships with birds of a feather. More importantly for marketers and salespeople, although there are conflicting opinions on this, LinkedIn is arguably the most effective network for generating leads and driving revenue for your B2B business. B2C is a bit different. I might be wrong, but I think Facebook takes the cake there.
Pinterest is underrated
And then there’s Pinterest. It’s been long considered the social network for women who are interested in fashion, travel destinations, or home interior design. Not entirely true. While it’s a fact that at least 60%-70% of Pinterest users are female, there is a vast sea of amazing imagery on topics that guys are interested in too. Most men just haven’t taken the time to give it a chance.
More importantly, Pinterest (if used in the right way; and that’s a blog post for another day) can be a really effective way to market either your B2C or your B2B business. 50% of the humans on the Internet are primarily “visuals”. What better networks than Pinterest or Instagram, or YouTube to market your business?
So, knowing all that, in order to improve my personal and business marketing efforts, I really need to spend more time on LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest.
What about You?
As a Marketer, are there any social networks that you’re neglecting? I’m curious. Which social networks do you feel you need to spend more time on?