One Size Fits None

by · April 1, 20147 comments

Houston, we have a problem. The problem is one of plenty. In fact, we have too much. Too many things to choose from. We have too many channels and networks. Too many opportunities to communicate with our customer. Too many places in which to put our messages. We’ve all seen the graphic that illustrates the mind-blowing number of social media marketing channels. If you add in all of the digital platforms as well, it is enough to make you run screaming from the room.

And when we have so many options one of (at least) two things will occur. We will either become paralyzed from all the options and stand there like we do in the cereal aisle, or we will race and cut corners. Either option is ill advised.

Cat in the HatThe Paralysis of Abundance

When we have many, many choices, it is easy to become paralyzed and not know where to start. It makes me feel like the end of the book The Cat in the Hat. The social mess is so big and so deep and so tall, there is no way to fix it, no way at all! So, we do nothing but stare at the pile hoping for a solution. And as a wise woman once told me: “Hope is not a strategy.” So, hoping isn’t the right path. To solve the paralysis of abundance, we have to plan and be thoughtful and realize that being first is often over rated.

Oh, We’re Already There

The other option is racing ahead and cutting corners without thinking things through. And we are in fast-moving times when we are encouraged to move fast and break things. But the intent of this message, I believe, is to support an agile approach. I am a huge advocate of Lean Methodology and rapid prototyping, but remember, there is a level of rigor in the methodology where you learn and measure and build. Many of our cohorts seem to be missing this rigor when we race to a new channel with the same content that is on all of their other channels.

The point I am trying to make is this: The guy on Instagram is not the same person as the mom on Facebook. And yet, we treat them all the same with the same content. And here’s a secret…it won’t. Because one size does not fit all in social (or any modern marketing for that matter).

One Size Fits Most?

Nope, not that either. The thing is, like anything of merit, we must plan. We should slow down a bit. Look at things a little more strategically. Take our time and form a plan around our channels and our content. When we do, we will reap the benefits of increased fans, followers and engagement. There are simple ways to put forth a plan and we can do it. We should look at our audiences and the channel and think about what they’re doing and how they consume content on that channel. And it doesn’t have to be hard. It shouldn’t mean you create a ton of new content, it means you need to layer that content.

If you want to dive deep on this conversation, join me next week at the Outreach Marketing Summit. And for those who are dying to hear my voice, I’ll be giving a 15 minute talk on this very subject and it will include a number of How Tos and concrete examples. I hope you will join me. To register, click here

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About Tracey Parsons

Tracey Parsons

Since 1995, Tracey has been developing digital solutions. Currently SME Digital’s lead strategist, she continues to be dedicated to bringing cutting edge, thoughtful and measurable solutions to marketers. With more than 15 years in digital, Tracey not only brings vision, but the tools and strategies to execute against complex next generation concepts. She has worked with some of the world’s most recognized brands to develop and devise cutting-edge social, mobile and digital marketing practices.

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Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • Madison

    I interned for a small startup company last summer, and was responsible for managing a variety of their social media accounts. Because my bosses and myself were new to social media for business we struggled to prioritize which social accounts to focus on. As a team we had trouble deciding whether to focus on “popular” social networks, our currently successful networks, or networks where we thought our target market spent most of their time. I’m still involved with this company and would appreciate any quick tips you have for startups!

    Madison Smith
    A.B. Freeman School of Business

    • Tracey Parsons

      Hi Madison! I would say focus on the ones that are going to bring the most measurable benefit (sales). Sometimes niche is the way to go. Sometimes mass is best. One thing to think about is to A/B test the channels and the content to see what delivers in terms of results. Helpful?

      • Madison

        Yes, thanks for getting back to me!

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  • http://www.brand.com/blog James R. Halloran

    Great thoughts here, Tracey! I hear you on the over-abundance of media! That’s why I think it’s best for brands to stick to a few channels, so they don’t come off overwhelming to their target audience. It’s already bad enough many other people do it. It’ll probably help most brands stick out if they don’t do this.

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