Are you overwhelmed trying to grow your business and manage multiple social media channels? I am too! Which is why I’m cutting out the chaos and focusing on mastering JUST ONE social media channel in 2017. Read on to learn why I’m making this drastic decision and why you should too!
In 2016, I finally started the marketing consulting blog I’ve been dreaming about for years. I never do anything half-assed, so I enthusiastically set out to learn everything there is to know about starting and growing a successful blog. If you are an online business owner or blogger you know first-hand what a daunting task this can be.
To build a successful blog you need traffic. Social media is a great way to generate traffic, but each social channel has different strategies to master, tricks to learn, and influencers to follow. It’s a full-time job to learn and stay engaged on all the social channels. Unfortunately, I already have a full-time job and social media is just a small piece of the blogging puzzle.
The other pieces of the puzzle include creating great content and beautiful images, building an email list and a loyal tribe, increasing engagement and driving traffic to my website, optimizing my website to increase conversions, building trust and loyalty, and much more. It’s an art and a science to fit all the puzzle pieces together into something resembling a profitable business.It’s an art and a science to fit the puzzle pieces together into something resembling a business.Click To Tweet
Needless to say, it’s overwhelming! The internet is an ocean of information. Each day, I find a new blogger with great resources to share. Naturally, I want to learn everything I find and immediately implement what I’ve learned.
I know I can’t boil the ocean, so I gather little droplets of information and pour them into nice little pots to be boiled later. It’s time to get real with myself. There is no way I am ever going to find the time to boil all those little pots!
As I write this, I have a massive backlog of resources waiting to be read, listened to or implemented.
- 13 emails in my inbox with free videos, e-books and checklists on a variety of subjects
- 25 courses on my Lynda.com playlist
- 26 podcasts downloaded in my Stitcher app
- 10 different article or video links in my OneNote to-do list
- 13 items pinned to a private “Ideas to Implement” Pinterest board
- 33 business books on my library and Amazon wish lists
- 22 PDFs, ebooks, templates and checklists saved to my desktop
Did you add that up? I did. 142!
142 things to learn and implement! Good grief. It’s no surprise I had a mental breakdown. Managing it all is too much. I would love to throw in the towel and call it quits. But you know what? I’m not a quitter. That’s not in my nature, never has been.
After wallowing in a state of depression for a couple hours, Trevor talked me out of my funk and reminded me that it’s usually best to focus on one thing at a time. Right now I’m a Jack of all trades, master of none.
As I said earlier, I don’t do anything half-assed. But the reality is, my current approach IS half-assed. I can’t possibly master anything if I’m trying to learn everything.You can’t possibly master anything if you’re trying to learn everything.Click To Tweet
That is exactly why I’ve decided to stop the insanity, delete my massive “to learn and implement” list, and focus exclusively on Pinterest. The rest will come with time and hands-on experience.
How did I select Pinterest? I would love to tell you that I created customer personas, researched keywords, analyzed all the channels and reviewed the statistics. But that’s not what happened. In reality, I followed my gut. Simply put, I guessed! Now don’t act all surprised. Marketers and business owners make guesses much more than you think. I talk more about guessing in my post 10 Reasons Perseverance, not Perfection, is the Key to Social Media Success.
Just to clarify, when I say I followed my gut that does not mean I threw darts at a board to make my selection. I based my gut decision, or my guess, on eight things:
1. Previous Pinterest Experience
I’ve been a Pinterest user for years. I’m comfortable using it and I’ve seen first-hand how it can open up a world of possibilities. Every single blogger I follow and email list I’m subscribed to was found through Pinterest.
2. Results of Others
I’ve consumed a ton of information this year. Nearly all the experts I follow have credited Pinterest for their growth. That right there is enough to sell me, but a few other factors did weigh into my decision.
3. Facebook’s Pay-to-Play Model
When you look at the number of active users across social media channels, Facebook is the clear winner. In 2016, Facebook had more than 1.6 billion active users. Compared to Pinterest’s 100 million active users, it would seem idiotic not to choose Facebook.
When you look beyond the stats and factor in trends, behavior, cost, and shelf life of content, Pinterest is the clear winner. Pinterest is a search engine, not a social channel. You can build in some keywords and your content is found organically, meaning free! Facebook has undergone a number of algorithm changes that forces business accounts to pay if they want their posts seen by their followers. I’ve heard too many stories from other bloggers that their engagement has plummeted in the past year and they now have to promote posts if they want engagement. Pay-to-play for a new start-up? No thank you!
4. Shelf life of Content
Because Pinterest is a search engine, not a social channel, your Pins last forever! When you post content to Facebook it has a shelf-life of about five hours. Check out this chart from Wisemetrics:
Yikes! That chart is enough to scare me away. I spend way too much time creating valuable content to have it disappear in the abyss of Facebook after five hours. And it’s not just Facebook. Instagram’s shelf life is about 48 hours, Snapchat Stories is 24 hours, and the shelf life of a tweet is about 24 minutes! Which brings me to reason number five.
5. Twitter is a Fire Hose
Twitter is insane! I could end right there, but I’ll offer up some facts for my analytical friends. According to Internet Live Stats, approximately 6,000 tweets are tweeted every second. This equates to around 500 million tweets per day. If you’ve jumped on Twitter in the past year you know it’s like drinking from a fire hose. It moves extremely fast and it stresses me out. It’s an amazing platform, but it’s not the right one for me to master first.
6. Limited Experience with Instagram, YouTube, and Snap Chat
I’ve spent the majority of my marketing career working for a commercial HVAC company. As sexy as Commercial HVAC may be, it just isn’t a visually rich topic for channels like Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat. Unfortunately, this means I have limited experience on these channels. Compared to Pinterest, the learning curve of these channels felt too steep.
7. I’m Connected to Co-Workers on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the primary channel I use for my HVAC job and the channel in which I have the most experience. There are so many amazing features on LinkedIn and it’s a treasure trove of marketers and business owners – my target market. These facts alone should make LinkedIn the perfect channel for me to focus on this year. However, there is one major problem.
I use LinkedIn daily for my company and I’m connected with hundreds of co-workers and thousands of customers. To be clear, there is absolutely no conflict of interest with my day job and my blog, and I want to keep it that way. If I focused solely on LinkedIn for my blog it would be too easy to blur the lines and enter into “conflict of interest” territory. That doesn’t seem wise, which is why I chose Pinterest instead of LinkedIn.
8. Spam & bots & trolls, oh my!
The final reason I chose Pinterest is the genuineness of the channel compared to the other social media channels. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are flooded with spammers and internet trolls. Additionally, the use of automation on those channels is heavy. The number of bots following, unfollowing, liking and commenting on posts is out of control. Of course, Pinterest has its share of spam, bots, and trolls, but it’s not as prevalent as the other social channels.
Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying the other social media channels don’t have value. They absolutely have value! I’m also not saying that I won’t have a presence on these other channels – because I will.
What I am saying is that I am FULLY immersing myself in Pinterest. I plan to learn every strategy, every nuance, and every trick there is to know about Pinterest. I plan to master Pinterest and then produce amazing content and tutorials to help my audience also master Pinterest.
And if I come across an e-book or webinar touting “10 strategies to drive traffic with Instagram” I will not be drawn in. I will say, “No thank you, not today!”
Because here’s the deal. There is no shortage of information on the internet. Once I’ve mastered my Pinterest growth strategy and feel ready to immerse myself into the world of Instagram, I know those same resources (and possibly new and better versions) will still be available.
I challenge you to narrow your focus in 2017 as well. Stop trying to be a “Jack of all” and focus on becoming a master of one. Once you’ve mastered one social channel, select your next channel to master.
Comment below and let me know which social media channel you plan to master in 2017!