Posted on July 11, 2012 in Build Your Brand by Katie Oskin
Last week I was dumbfounded at the number of social networks that I belonged to.It wasn’t that this was a problem…or was it? It has been felt widely by the Etsy community that the more social networks you are on, the better! After all, being part of 1 or more social networks does increase your back links and online presence, right? Wrong.
This past week it was pointed out to me how wrong I actually am. I have several friends who are marketing guru’s. The best of the best and the most informed of anyone I know regarding social media. My one friend said to me, “you know you don’t have to be a part of everything, right?” That was it…this one comment changed my social media outlook and life. And here’s why…
We often feel that because there is a new social media platform out there that we instantly have to jump on the bandwagon and get started on that platform. Even I felt the pressure! Always trying to get in on the new “in” social media tool. Here’s the sad truth…there are far too many for you ever to be able to keep up with them. Social media is about establishing confidence in your brand.
Isn’t it far better to be a big presence on a few sites than to be a almost invisible presence on lots of sites? Look at it this way: social media is about reaching people, forgive me, but there is no way that you are reaching people on 200 networks. Why? You’re not on those networks long enough to establish a solid presence and build your brand. It’s great that you can do 200 networks…but the reality is that in order to establish following base, people want to see you active. If you haven’t tweeted in 2 months but have 2000 followers, what good is that doing for your Etsy store?
Please know that I am not a social media guru like my friends are…however this being said, here’s what I can tell you…I was drained, tired, and out of energy. I was burning myself out trying to “fit in” and find my “niche” on every social media platform. As I perused Wanelo this past week and looked at my paltry and horrible page, I had a fleeting thought…I hate this site. Why am I even using it? Good question Katie, good question. I couldn’t figure it out. Wanelo is Pinterest, but without the user friendliness and might I add no way to delete your account (to which I was sent an email from customer support saying you cannot currently unsubscribe, but I will be put on a list when that option will be made available). ARG! Why did I join this platform…oh yes, that’s right, because I thought it would help me promote and reach people…WRONG! All it did was make me feel like I had one more place to compete, one more network to build, one more thing to do to reach out. But here’s the bottom line…why? And to what end? I have a very strong following on Pinterest, and medium followings on both FaceBook and Twitter. So why did I feel the need to stretch myself so thin?
The secret is simple: if it’s worth doing, you better do it well.
So you know what I did? I gave up. And you can too! You do not have to be on every social media network known to the internet. There may be one thousand social media outlets today, another 10,000 tomorrow, and ten million in a year. The point is, you need to keep a small enough focus that you are in fact reaching people, having conversations with people (remember that we are talking about social media here), and be able to keep up with your primary job: owning, running, and creating for your own Etsy store. As for me and my business, for now we’ll keep with the same 2 we’ve had for many years (Facebook & Twitter) and keep Pinterest as well. This assumes that the center of your social media efforts stem from your blog and do not count as one of the social media “tools.” (We’ll talk about blogging in a future Build Your Brand article.) This doesn’t mean that I don’t see or find value in any of the others, it’s just that this is what works for me and for my Etsy business…different social media options and venues may work for yours.
Stick to 2-3 social media platforms.
The next time someone tells you, “Hey this is a really cool site you need to be on…” Wait, hold on, and see if it has potential first. If the site features mostly fashion and you sell vintage housewares, why would you want to join the site? Remember, the key to using social media is to make it work for you and for your Etsy store. If you are not making it work for you, then what is the point in wasting your time. If you find that the site has potential value to you and to your Etsy store, then see if you can still squeeze that platform into your work day, without dropping the ball on other social media ventures, hurting the reputation of your Etsy store, or getting yourself so bombarded with social media that you lose the will to create, list, and sell on Etsy. Social media will take over your life if you let it…my advice, don’t let it. Pick 3 you like and do well on and stick with them.
Join us next time for our Build Your Brand series, focusing on helping you grow your Etsy store smartly, easily, & efficiently.