Guest post by Evan Horowitz, business advisor at Evan Horowitz Advising.
So many sites and so little time! You could spend hours a day with likes, pins, tweets, +1′s and more! Freelancing is busy enough as it is, so here’s how to spend LESS time marketing–and get better results.
Principle #1: Don’t Try to Do Everything
When it comes to social media, it’s better to do one thing well than have a skimpy presence on many sites. Because each post only lives for days–or hours–in viewers’ newsfeeds, focused efforts will yield much better visibility with clients and prospective clients. If you’re being stretched thin, cut some social sites off of your list.
Principle #2: Go Where Your Clients Are
Which sites do you focus on? Go to the ones your clients use. If you’re selling professional services, your clients are on LinkedIn. If you’re selling to engaged couples, your clients are on Facebook. If you’re selling to home makers, your clients are on Pinterest.
Here’s a quick review of the main sites, with tips on whether to use it or cut it.
With 750 million unique visitors every month, Facebook is the behemoth of social networking. As such, it should get strong consideration for any business. Also, don’t make the mistake that Facebook is only for young people. 65% of Facebook users are 35 or older!
However, if you only have time for one social network, and you’re selling to businesses, you don’t need to be here.
Often overlooked, LinkedIn is an extremely powerful platform for finding clients in the professional world. With 110 million unique monthly visitors whose average age is 44, this vibrant community is a must for B2B companies. At the same time, if you’re business is consumer–or lifestyle-oriented, I don’t recommend that you spend your time here.
Twitter has the most committed users of any social network, who send half a BILLION tweets every day. If you’re a natural at social media, you’ll be able to mobilize and inspire a following here. If you don’t love social media, you’ll quickly find Twitter exhausting, and you’ll simply be lost in the noise.
The Other Guys
Very underutilized, this is an excellent platform for people trying to share products or expertise. Check out my article, How to Use Video to Promote Your Business for suggestions. Keep in mind that even the simplest video takes a hundred times longer to create than a status update on other sites.
Now officially one of the most important social networks, Pinterest is a valuable place to reach high-income women and creative people. If that’s not your target, or if your business isn’t easy to represent visually, you don’t need to get on this bandwagon yet.
In my view, Google’s social network still hasn’t gotten enough traction to warrant attention, unless you’re selling to technology buffs. That said, Google appreciates your creating a page, and it’s rumored to help your search rankings…so why not?
Depending on your business, there may be specialty networks that would be better even than the biggies. Going after moms? Check out CafeMom. Visual or lifestyle business? Think about Instagram or Tumblr. Doing business in Europe? Join Xing. Those are just a few. But remember, don’t get carried away. It’s about quality, NOT quantity.
What networks are you going to focus on? How will you become more efficient online? Let me know in the comments below!
About Evan Horowitz
Evan Horowitz Advising, based in New York City, empowers successful business owners to grow their businesses faster and smarter. Horowitz, who earned an MBA at Harvard Business School and has more than a decade of experience in advising busiensses, works with talented, driven entrepreneurs whose dreams are bigger than their business experience. To sign up for his free busines tips, go to www.ehadvising.com