Three Keys to Simplify your Social Media Conversations

As more and more web services “socialize” themselves, the landscape is becoming more confusing. Gone is the day when you could just have a Twitter account and Facebook page, and consider yourself highly engaged in social media. Now there’s LinkedIn, Google+, Foursquare, and Instagram.

But does your business really need to be on all of those platforms? Good question. The Social Media Examiner asked a number of social media experts this very question in their post 30 Social Media Predictions for 2012 from the Pros, and it was interesting to see what they had to say.

In particular, I was struck by what Michael Stelzner‘s comment. He said,

“The old mantra of ‘be everywhere’ will quickly be replaced with ‘be where it matters to our business.'”

And he’s so right.

Just think about it. Imagine having to post on 5 different services several times a week. You have to generate the content, see what’s appropriate for each service, then post your content, track the posts, craft responses, monitor who’s retweeting your content, see where your content ends up. And on, and on. Phew, I got tired just typing that up.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m guilty of doing this, trying to juggle a couple of Twitter accounts, LinkedIn, and Google+. In fact, I resisted getting on Google+ for the longest time because I wasn’t sure how to use it, so it sits dormant.

The keys to simplifying your social media conversations

Key #1: Know who your audience is

I talked about this in a previous post, Who’s Your Audience, and it’s worth mentioning again because it is just. that. important. More than that, it can help your business in a number of ways, like targeting your message to the right readers, talking about the subjects that interest them, and knowing what moves them to buy.

Key #2: Know where your audience is

Are you talking to a B2B audience, or a B2C one? Your answer will dictate where you post. B2B companies tend to stick to more “formal” social media services like LinkedIn and now Google+. B2C is definitely the domain of Twitter and Facebook.

But don’t just stop there. Really drill down into your audience and see where they’re most active. What you find may surprise you. Your B2B clientele may be hanging around on Twitter because that was one of the first services, and they were an early adopter. So it’s a good place for you to be. Or maybe your B2C customer has a great Google+ site, and is really connecting with their audience there. Continuing to build on those relationship is important.

Key #3: Join the party and be where the cool kids are

Now that you know who your audience is and where they are, the next step is to be there too. After all, you can’t have a conversation with just yourself, right? If your audience is on Twitter, you should be there. If they’re on Google+, you should be there too. If they’re talking to customers on Facebook, “like” their page and start talking to them.

What social media services are working for you? Hit the comments and let me know.