In terms of social media strategy, there are a few buzzwords that get thrown around a lot. I hear a lot about ‘engagement’, a lot about ‘community’, and a fair amount of ‘influence’ and ‘thought leaders’. What I don’t hear much about, though, is ‘omnipresence’, which is the cornerstone of any successful social media executive’s successes.
Being an expert on, say, Twitter, is a wonderful thing. What it doesn’t give you is the flexibility to meet a specific client’s specific needs.
Here’s why being on every platform, in every community, and in every discussion is important.
1. Collation vs. Conversation
There is a huge difference between sites like Pinterest and sites like Twitter.
Broadly speaking, social media platforms divide into sites that are good at creating collations of your links and content, and sites that are good at creating conversations around your links and content. Twitter belongs to the latter camp, and Pinterest belongs to the former.
Each platform has crossover potential, but for efficiency’s sake it’s best to use as many platforms from each camp as possible, so your content has long-term and short-term viral potential.
Collation: Pinterest, Tumblr, Twylah, Google+, Quora.
Conversation: Twitter, Facebook.
In general, collation websites are slower-moving and more niche, while conversation websites are fast-moving and very broad.
2. Community Crossover
Seemingly different communities often have a lot more in common than you might initially think.
Without wanting to stir up too much drama, imagine that these two forums are fictional…
Forum A is very snarky, witty and sophisticated. Its users like to think of themselves as an elite, and some pay money to join. They tend to be around twenty-five to forty years old, mostly western and mostly male.
Forum B is very nerdy, geeky and awkward. Its users think very little of themselves, and the whole site is built around freedom of use. They tend to be around thirteen to twenty-three years old, from a broad range of sexualities and genders, mostly asian writing in English with a significant minority of western posters.
The hardcore users of each of these very different forums absolutely hate each other, and the content of Forums A and B could not be more dissimilar – yet, underneath all of this, the things that they really liked and the things that they buy tended to be the same things.
Demographic tastes overlapping in this way is extremely common, and over-narrow focussing on specific demographics can lead to missed opportunities and substandard social media performance.
An advantage that mostly belongs to “Collation” social media platforms is that users of other social media can find particularly striking Pins, blogs or questions and Tweet them or post them to Facebook.
This means that something going viral once then has the opportunity to repeat the pattern, or at the very least expand on it, on a completely different social media platform!
Essentially, your omnipresent social media strategy is causing your social media to cross-pollinate and create new, hardier strains!
Different combinations work for different people, but in general you’ll be looking to cross the most static social media (blogs, tumblrs) with the most active (Twitter!). This means that you can make use of a permanent slow-burning base, but still respond quickly and effectively to new developments and opportunities.
So How Do I Stay Everywhere?
I’m not going to sugarcoat this: to be everywhere, you need to work hard and smart. You need to have influential friends, and to exploit those friends’ connections as much as you can.
In short, you either need to be a full-time social media manager, or you need to have a social media manager. There’s not really another way.
- License: Creative Commons image source
James Duval writes about social media and online technology for strategyinternetmarketing.co.uk, a digital marketing agency focussing on SEO, CRO and Social Media.