This is the second part of a seven part mini-series looking at how and why to turn your blog into a social media hub. You’ll be able to find the complete series here.
Yesterday we looked at why you need a social media hub, and why your blog is the ideal platform. There were some great comments left on why a website should be your hub, and the blog just another spoke. While websites are still used and useful I prefer the blog approach, as outlined in my response to Mark W Schaefer’s valid comment:
I guess I view websites as the storefront for the business relationship that’s built from the blog. You still need the emotional call to move from consider to intent, and I feel that a blog is that bridge, or hub. The site is therefore another extension of the blog.
Hopefully as this series continues, the value of a blog as your hub as opposed to a website will become apparent. But if not, then that’s fine as well – like any good tool, you use the platform that’s right for you and your needs. For some, that may be a website.
Today, we’ll look at how you declutter your social outposts so you can start using the strong ones as building blocks to fill the holes in your social media hub.
Analyzing. Prioritizing. Socializing.
We’ve all done it. A new social network comes along and we create a profile to check it out, just in case we’re missing something valuable. We like to think we’re getting in on the ground floor, and becoming an early adopter that can help define a platform and its use.
The truth is, there are more platforms that are stuttering along than there are platforms with really substantial numbers. Time spent on these networks is simply a time suck that you can’t afford. And the more time you spend on the wrong platform, the less time you spend on the right ones.
The ones where your customers are.
It’s the equivalent of having your best product ready to sell, then taking it to a garage sale across town and offloading it for less than the cost of the gas you used to drive there. So you need to do three things, and each will dovetail into the next:
- Analyze. Look at each network you’re on. Look at how often you’re on it; how you use it; why you use it. Most importantly, analyze why you need to be there. Ask yourself what value you’re getting from it, or have had from it. Ask what results you want to see from your outposts in the next 6 months, 12 months, 18 months and more. This will help you…
- Prioritize. Your social outpost needs and wants will define how you prioritize which ones to focus on and which ones to spend less time on (or even ditch altogether). For instance, my priorities are my blog (home-base), Twitter (connections, conversations and research) and Posterous (sound-bites to test ideas and thoughts). These three priorities guide my blog posts, my strategies and ideas for Maritz Canada, and where I need to spend further time exploring. Which leads nicely to…
- Socializing. Look at the words “social media” – 50% relates to media, and the other half is social. It’s this social aspect that’s changing the way we do business with brands and with each other. The conversations; the instant feedback; the thought processes on where we operate and where we’re found by operators. Basically, it’s a key part of social media success, so having less clutter will allow more effective participation in social media. Which, once you have the hub in place, again is the relation to the sale.
The Danger of Over-Subscribed Fatigue
Look at many conversations around social media, and one of the key discussion points is the time factor involved. Hours spent online when you have an offline business to take care of. The response times needed; the nuances of the individual platforms; the confusion of non-filtered conversations.
Confusion leads to disillusion; disillusion leads to apathy; apathy leads to fatigue. As a business person (and even using social media from a personal point of view), you know that fatigue leads to less concentration and mistakes being made. Mistakes being made personally can often be overcome; mistakes made in business maybe not so much (just ask Toyota).
By decluttering your social outposts prior to setting up your social media hub, you’re paving the way to a clearer path on social without all the side distractions of too many networks and noise. This allows you to set your hub to its most effective; both as an incoming and outposting resource.
Be mean; be vicious; take only what you need to go to the next step. It’ll only benefit you in the long run.
Takeaway: Cull your networks. Focus on three or four where you’re really strong. Make a bucket list of what you want to achieve on these networks (customer service, sales, marketing, thought leadership, etc). Demote the rest to secondary. Tomorrow we’ll look at maximizing these choices and connecting them to your hub, and back out to your connections. To make sure you receive the latest from 7 Days to Turn Your Blog Into a Social Media Hub, feel free to either subscribe by RSS feed or email subscription.