Help Me! I’m Drowning in Social Media!

It seems like every month there’s a new social network. Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Ping.fm, MySpace and countless blogs. No sooner does one fall off the radar, such as MySpace, than another shows up, like Pinterest! Then there are the vertical social networks such as GovLoop here in DC. We are so awash in social media, that many organizations are not only overwhelmed, they’re beginning to question the ROI on their investment. The frustration is unnecessary.

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Corey McCarren

Interesting post. At first glance, I’m not so sure maintaining a presence on all social sites to increase odds of success is always the best strategy. If you’re there, but not invested enough to be a part of the conversation –just sourcing hyperlinks to another page– it is inviting criticism without the resources to respond effectively. I think it’s safe to say be on Facebook, be on Twitter, be on LinkedIn, and keep an eye open for the next platform that’s worth being a part of (such as Pinterest or G+). The people on Myspace are on Facebook as well, so it doesn’t hurt to pick and choose.

However, your point about the SEO benefits of being on multiple sites is very hard to deny. Looking at it with that lens, I would say you may be right. I think when it comes down to it, it really depends on the individual organization. NASA, for instance, might not want to risk being lazy on one social media channel, so its best to just not be there. A small business, however, may value that SEO more than the potential for negative social media attention, so your method would benefit them greatly.

David R. Schulman

Excellent points Corey! I completely agree with you that one risks peeling back the curtain by not investing fully in the established platforms. However, from an organizational perspective, these are marketing and stakeholder engagement platforms – and as such, I believe the focus should be on bringing the conversation back to one’s office where the person you are conversing with is surrounded by your framed licenses, awards, examples of prior work, and the testimonials of your clients/stakeholders. This doesn’t mean that you can’t reference the comments and responses back out on the platform where they originated if one so chooses.

With the sheer number of social media platforms out there, it is too easy to spend untold hours keeping them going. It reminds me of the plate spinning performers that get 20 plates spinning on the top of wooden dowels, and then furiously run around maintaining the spin of each plate to prevent them from falling. I believe that most of us feel that there are not enough hours in the day as it is, forcing us to seek 80/20 solutions. So, does perfection trump pragmatism or vice-versa? The answer may be different depending on your organization and resources.

Corey McCarren

I would have to agree that it depends on the organization and its resources. I’ve learned from working with various companies/nonprofits that each organization needs their own social media strategy. What works for NASA isn’t going to work at the lab I work for back home.