There is certainly no shortage of social networks where you can spend your time online these days.
Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin, Pinterest, and now there’s even a new platform starting up called Medium.
Then if you’re into photography you might want to throw Flickr and 500px into the mix.
Then for your video options you’ve no doubt checked out YouTube and Vimeo.
Do You Really Need to be Everywhere?
Actually it can present a problem if you spread yourself too thin in your online presence.
Where you really get the benefit from social networking is by developing real followers. To do that you need to spend a reasonable amount of time on a given network so that you are genuinely participating; you really are being an active member in the community.
If you try to do that on too many networks you won’t have any time left during the day to actually run your business.
It’s best to pick 2 or 3 that you like and give them your attention.
How to Choose
It’s good to test the waters of each one. That way you can see what is the best fit for you.
Here are a couple things you can use to help you decide which networks to spend your time on.
Where are your customers/clients?
This isn’t always easy to know, but in some industries their clients gravitate towards certain platforms. If you can find this out, then that particular network would be worth taking a look at.
Which networks do you enjoy spending time on?
I think this is important. You really do have to enjoy the networks you’re on.
If you do enjoy spending time there you’re much more likely to be more active, put more into it, and very likely get more out of it.
If you don’t enjoy spending time there it’s just going to be more of a challenge to reap the benefits of that opportunity. You won’t really want to do it. It will just be another “Thing I have to do today… ugh!”
Don’t Like Any of Them?
Having the opportunity these networks provide; to be able to develop your brand online and interact with your customers FOR FREE, is priceless.
If you just can’t get into it, maybe you can assign the task to someone else in your business.
If that’s not an option then you’ll need to think long and hard to come up with other options. Maybe like local networking groups and other face to face opportunities if that’s more your cup of tea.
I’m not saying that you have to use the social networks, but most likely your competition is, which will give them an advantage. I don’t really like to use that line of thinking but I’m really just trying to show you how important it is to use these online tools to your benefit.
You’ve got a lot of options.
So get out there, give some of these networks a test drive, and pick what works best for you.