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Don’t Be A Social Sybil

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A strong online presence is pretty much essential in the digital age, but the phrase “too much of a good thing” is as relevant as ever. And, although it’s tempting to be everywhere at once, signing up for every social network you come across is usually counterproductive. Here’s why:

You’ll stretch yourself too thin.
It’s much better to select a few social networks and do them well, then try to do ALL the networks and fail. Some hospitality businesses can really benefit from using Snapchat, for example, whereas a B2B company will find it useless. Be smart about your choices.

There’s no point.
Seriously, you have to draw the line somewhere, or “thinking outside the box” becomes “acting crazy” and, before you know it, you’re trying to sell life-coaching courses on Tinder.

It’s a lot of work.
For each social network you’re on, you’ll need to find content. Sure, you can get away with some overlap (Instagram and Twitter, for example) but ultimately, you need variety. If this new network you’re thinking of joining doesn’t fit into your marketing campaign, then leave it be.

There’s more to go wrong.
A messy, incoherent social media presence is social sabotage. If you can’t keep track of what you’re doing, scale down. You’re more likely to mess up and post something inappropriate if you’re working too hard and not giving each post the attention it requires.

You have to go were your customers are.
Local businesses don’t need to be on Pinterest, or be constantly active on Google+ (although setting up a page for the Google juice is definitely advisable). If most of your business comes from nearby, then opt for platforms that can help with that — like Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare.

Of course, some businesses CAN benefit from being everywhere online — businesses that specialize in online marketing or social media, for example.

How many social networks is your business on? Have you tried being a social Sybil — and if so, how successful was it? Let us know in the comments below!

You can find Mary C. Long on Twitter or connect with her here.

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