Get Ruthlessly Simple With Social Media

Jeff Graham

One of the biggest mistakes I see companies make in social media is spreading themselves too thin. There will be a Facebook page for every product (all 27 of them), along with a Twitter account, a Google + Page and a plethora of blogs to support the effort. The flawed thinking behind this is the idea that the more you put out there, the more likely people are to stumble across you and become a customer… and that it’s less confusing to have multiple dedicated websites and social media properties to support your individual efforts.

This is Crazy, Don’t Do It!

The problem with creating a lot of different online properties is a total dilution of resources and brand understanding. How are people supposed to understand you if they need to look in 27 different places to find out about your services? Also, how are you supposed to do 27 different things really well? You are much better off having 2700 people engaging on one online property, than 100 people engaging on 27 different online properties.

Pick One Space to Excel In

I’m an advocate for initially picking one social media space, and being great at it. Some people might think this is folly, but if Steve Jobs were still with us today, I’m pretty sure he’d take my side. When Jobs took over as Apple’s CEO again in 1997, the company was a disaster. They were bleeding cash, creating crappy products, and had gotten totally away from the founding principles of what made the company great – execution and simplicity.

Shockingly, one of Jobs’ first moves when he came back was to can almost all of the projects they had going on. This meant dozens of products and 10′s of millions of R and D would be up in smoke. So what was the big plan? He famously drew a quadrant on a whiteboard – on one axis it said business and personal, on the other it said laptop and desktop. His plan was to make four products – a desktop and a laptop for business users, and a desktop and laptop for personal use. The iMac and iBook were born.

Needless to say, Apple nailed these products. They were able to put their best people on them, and re-capture the execution and simplicity of the early days of Apple Inc. By being great at a few things, they were able to grow their customer base dramatically, and when they were ready, branch out into new territory like the iPod, iPhone and iPad.

With Social Media, why not think follow a similar path? Pick the space that fits you, or your company, and focus on it. Once you have an established following, move on to the next space and master that.

I Practice What I Preach

Despite trading on being a social media and marketing expert, I am only in one Social Media space. I have a personal LinkedIn profile that I’m on every day – constantly growing and nurturing my network. I don’t Tweet, I don’t have a Facebook Page, and I I'm not on Pinterest. I’m an operation of one, and know I can’t do more than one thing really well. It’s a hard decision, but being simple always is.