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For years marketing gurus have pretty consistently advocated two viewpoints:

  1. You need to cast as wide a net as possible and be everywhere so you can meet potential customers as many ways as possible. Anything less is a woeful missed opportunity.
  2. Attach your social media channel platform choices to wherever your customers spend the most time.

The trouble with those as guiding principles is that they lead business owners into frustration, distraction, and feeling overwhelmed.

A better piece of advice I used to share was, “Only be on the channels you can do well.” But I think we can even go a step beyond that by remembering something vital to being a business owner or entrepreneur.

Unless your reasons for being in business are 100% monetary and have nothing to do with interest — unlikely — one some level you need to enjoy the things you’re doing in your marketing. If you don’t that will come through in the messaging whether you mean it to or not.

I believe the most efficient and sane way to approach your social media marketing is to instead work with a different blend of the above points, which looks something like this:

Being where your customers predominantly are is important, but only if it also fits with your vision and style. Obligating yourself where there isn’t a fit can dilute your efforts and enthusiasm.

For instance, Gary Vee has said many times that if you’re not on Instagram you aren’t relevant. While it’s true that when he first said that it was the hot new platform and lots of people were becoming influencers there, we need to be careful with logic that essentially says, “People are winning here; so be here too no matter what.”

What if very few of your strategic partners are on Instagram, and you don’t really see yourself taking and sharing photos/pictures often enough to make an impact? What if being on Instagram to the degree people tell you to comes at the cost of not doing your email campaign, or not creating other content you were excited about?

I feel like some “gurus” would retort, “Those are excuses! Knock it off and just do it!”

But that attitude really comes at a cost after awhile.

Marketing is time consuming and our natural tendency is to make excuses to put off things we see as time consuming. If aspects of the marketing begin to feel annoying, dull, or for whatever other reason becoming something we dread, we won’t do it. Or we’ll do it but it’ll be half-assed.

We’ve all visited a profile page where there haven’t been any updates in 6+ months. Or worse, when people have publicly asked questions or left comments that have gone totally unaddressed. What did that say to you about that brand?

Not to mention that spending your time repeatedly on things that don’t excite you, day after day, really takes a toll on your mood and general sense of purpose. Arguably you do more good for your brand to remove those activities as much as feasible.

Some people have a few profiles but specialize in Linkedin and love it. Other times that focus is Instagram or Tik-Tok. But other than major brands with whole teams of people managing their marketing, I can’t think of a single time I’ve seen a business successfully show up on every major platform. The ones that try end up watering down their efforts and being forgettable, or they sacrifice the quality of their actual work to chase social media stardom.

Trying to look awesome versus be awesome, if you will.

Anecdotally I kept a Facebook business page for various ventures for years. I often thought it’d be nice not to have to spend time on that platform, but guilted myself into staying with it because of silly reasoning like, “What kind of marketer would I be if I didn’t even have a Facebook?”

It’s been simpler without, and the unproductive time I’d spent there became far more useful on other things.