Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, Reddit…where in the world do you even begin? You want to get the word out about your business, find your target audience, get them to love you, build an empire, figure out how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop, etc.

But here’s the thing: You can’t, you won’t, it’s IMPOSSIBLE. This isn’t reverse psychology, and I’m not trying to tell you that you can’t so you’ll be compelled to prove the world wrong. The fact of the matter is: you simply can’t do it all. At least not well. You can sure as hell try to be on every platform, schedule your posts, shoot those posts into the dark abyss of the internet and hope for the best, but if you’re expecting success, you’ll probably come away pretty disappointed. You’ll then get sick of the disappointment, because you’re overworking yourself to the point of exhaustion with nothing to show for it. Results keep us motivated and get us through the difficult times of being small business owners. Without results we can’t thrive.

So, I’m suggesting a very simple tactic for the sake of your sanity and your business’s success: pick one social media platform and commit. Just one. You likely have a favorite platform, or at least one you’re the most familiar with, so go with that one and immerse yourself in it.  

Imagine social media marketing as a round of speed dating (just follow me on this one). You go on date with Twitter and he was okay but talked way too much about himself– no real spark there. A couple of nights later you take Facebook out, but he had a lot of emotional baggage that you weren’t ready to handle; you don’t call him back. Snapchat was a fun date, but you couldn’t take him seriously, and just when you’re about to give up on love — BAM! — you meet Instagram, and he’s charming and loves lattes just as much as you do. And just like that, you’re no longer interested in seeing any of the other platforms, because Instagram has swept you off your feet — you’re ready to commit and grow together.

This is what you should be doing: committing to one platform and growing.

Pick your platform of choice and learn everything you can about it. Not all platforms are created equal. This concept may seem obvious, but so many brands — even big brands, like Coca-Cola big — choose to cross-post content thinking it will have the same efficacy on Facebook as it does on Twitter, and that’s almost never the case. It’s pretty obvious when companies clog users’ feeds with content that doesn’t belong there. You may think “Oh, well. Hey, it’s exposure and any exposure is good expo…” nonononononono. This tactic can hurt your brand’s reputation, make people roll their eyes at you, and cause (former) fans to subconsciously tune you out in the future. Don’t water down your brand for “exposure.” Eyeballs on your content aren’t doing your brand any good if they are being rolled. There’s no value in your content if it’s not being consumed or shared.

Back to committing to your one true social platform. There are thousands of free blogs/YouTube videos/webinars/books written about social media marketing, but you’ll have to do some work: research ideas to find the best of the best advice and tips that focus on the platform you are trying to master. Familiarize yourself with these details and how said platform works. While you likely already know the basics about the platform, it’s these nitty gritty details that will make the biggest difference.

Here’s a personal example to make this a little more relatable. I have a side business called Holy Thrift where I sell vintage clothing items that I’ve found during my travels. Cool, awesome, fantastic. There are literally hundreds of other people doing this, so I wanted to brand myself. So what did I do? I created an Instagram, a website, a Pinterest, a Tumblr, and even tried to create a Twitter (why?!). The plan was to get my name out there by scattering my content all over the world wide web. I was speed dating, and swiping right every chance I got. What did that get me? A sense of failure and inadequacy, combined with zero sales. I was spinning my wheels and wasting my time trying to jump between all of these different websites, and I wasn’t really doing a killer job on any of them. I was just throwing a wide net out into the internet to see what I could catch, and that was a mistake…So, to turn things around, I decided to settle down and commit myself to my one true love — Instagram. I learn something new about this platform every day, whether through research or through actual use. I’ve learned that hashtags are corny but can connect you to your target audience if you test and retest and figure out the right ones to use. I’ve learned about all the different tools that can help you measure engagement, what my optimal posting times are, etc., etc.

Learning about these small details — that add up into actual results — is a much better use of my time than when I tried to be on every platform at once. So maybe I’m not on Facebook (aka “the king of social media,”), but he’s not my type anyway. With that being said, I’ll always be working to master Instagram, so that with each new day, I can attempt to harness this incredibly powerful social media platform. Every day contains a new lesson, and every day I make a new stride. It takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert, and I’m dedicating my 10,000 hours to one platform rather than five.

Small business owners of the world, this Valentine’s Day, I’m asking you to break up (or take a pause*) with your 7 irrelevant social media accounts, and commit to the one that’s going to treat you right. In return, treat your chosen social media account with love — learn everything you can about it, and post quality content that makes sense for that platform. Pick your favorite social media platform, settle down, and build a life together. First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes that social media engagement, baby!

*At Smarter Searches, we love all forms of social media, but we also believe in helping your business find real success. While many companies thrive on multiple social accounts, others find better success when they commit to building one heartfelt account at a time. Once you master the intricacies of one platform, share the love by working on your next favorite (or business appropriate) social account.

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