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If You Want To Win At Social Media, Stick To Mastering 1 Platform

Jack Martin

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social media

Most companies feel the need to be present on every single social media platform to reach their full marketing potential.

Marketing managers are instructed to create company profiles on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and moreover to keep those profiles active with high-quality, engaging content.

The problem is, most companies underestimate just how difficult it is to try and build a following on multiple social media platforms at once.

Besides, it’s almost a waste of time to try, considering the fact that the real art of winning at social media isn’t building massive followings on every platform.

It’s finding the platform that’s most conducive to your business—and mastering that.

If you really want to be effective on social media, building, managing, and optimizing an organic, massive following on one platform can is a job in-and-of-itself.

You need to decide which type of content—pictures, video, articles—is best for what you’re selling and who you’re selling to. For example, a photographer probably isn’t going to market their photography skills most effectively by writing about it on LinkedIn. While that form of marketing might work for, say, a founder in AI looking to share industry expertise, the photographer is going to post their photos to Instagram.

After deciding on the right platform, the real work begins. You have to put out quality content, be consistent with posting, find the correct messaging. You have to convey your offering without sounding overly promotional, and provide real value to keep the viewer coming back. Figuring out what works for your specific marketing needs takes a tremendous amount of time, energy, and trial and error.

Managing all of that on five or six different social platforms—with different types of content, different audiences, different algorithms—just isn’t worth your time (especially if you’re early stage).

And if you’re sitting there thinking, “Well our company has great engagement on multiple platforms,” you either a) aren’t reaching your full potential on any of those platforms or b) you’ve got a big-ass social media marketing team.

Remember: social media is a powerful tool.

And every company should learn to use it the right way. That also means not going overboard.

The reason you join any social media site is to drive leads, or at the very least, drive positive awareness around what you do. But if you really want to get the most out of it, your content needs to be value-centric.

Essentially, you want to ask yourself: does what I’m about to post position me as an expert, and does it provide the audience with an actionable takeaway?

In fewer words:

Did my post provide real value?

People need to realize that all social media platforms serve their own unique, specific purpose. Instead of trying to be in every environment focus on being in the right environment.

Here’s what I mean.

A friend and mentor of mine is a wildly successful writer. His work has been viewed tens of millions of times—literally—and he’s been published in some of the biggest publications today: TIME, Business Insider, Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur, Fast Company, and dozens of others multiple times over.

He built an incredible personal brand, which allowed him to work as a freelance ghostwriting, consulting on content marketing efforts for major companies, contributing columns to Inc.

And he did it primarily by mastering one social platform: Quora.

Quora had exactly what he needed: writing prompts in the form of questions, hundreds of thousands of topics, and most importantly, hundreds of millions of unique monthly visitors who enjoy reading.

For a year straight, he answered one question on Quora in the form of an article every single day. He knew that by using the platform most conducive to the product he was offering (his writing services), he’d be able to separate himself as the leading authority in that space.

My friend is Nicolas Cole, and he’s got almost 30 million views on Quora alone, and over 59,000 followers.

It’s because he wisely chose to master one platform.

Instead of trying to market his writing services via every social media channel he had an account on, Cole (as his friends call him) prioritized mastering the right platform for his business—a business he eventually founded a company from.

Not to mention, Cole’s social following on other platforms inherently grew along with his Quora following. Not at the same pace of course, but almost every follower Cole gained on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook migrated organically from his massive following on Quora.

If you’re thinking of ramping up your social media presence, focus on one platform.

And that goes for everyone—startup founders, people looking to build their personal brand, ice-cream shop owners.

Mastering one platform is enough of a task. If you want to have social profiles in multiple places, go right ahead. With integrations and import features, it’s easy enough to hit “Share to Twitter” or “Share to Facebook” to keep those pages active and engaging enough (if neither are the primary platform you’re focusing on). But don’t worry about building out a huge following everywhere at once.

The more time and energy you put into one initiative, the more you’re able to unlock a social platform’s full potential—and the more success you’ll have overall, being in the right environment. 

Experience is life’s greatest teacher. Writer, advice-giver, and former collegiate student-athlete. Music fan but a hip-hop fanatic. Also, please travel.

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