Once upon a time, a company could make a healthy living just by advertising in one form of media. Sure, you might invest a minimal amount in radio or TV, “just in case,” but if print ads were how most of your customers found you, then print ads were where most of your advertising dollars went.
Today, social media offers a nearly infinite array of outreach opportunities to help you find new customers — but how do you know WHICH one is where MOST of them will come from?
You don’t (yet).
That’s partly because these tools are still new, and therefore the TOOLS are still finding their audiences at the same time you’re using them to find YOUR customers. It also means that the number of users for each emerging web tool might grow exponentially over the course of a year, and if you don’t invest at least some time and effort in maintaining a presence across multiple sites / tools / platforms, your target audience might flock to one of those services you’re not using — and then you’ll be playing catch-up.
So why get caught at the wrong party when you can be at all the parties at once?
If you’re mounting a social media presence, be sure to use the central, proven tools that are getting the most buzz (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc.), but also set aside some time for the exploration of new services that are just starting to catch on with a wider audience (Seesmic, StumbleUpon, NING). You don’t need to be active on each service every day, but you do need to have a consistent message across all of the platforms. Because you never know when one of these new services or destinations might erupt into The Next Big Thing — and if you’re late to the party, one of your competitors will almost certainly be in your seat.
Next week: HOW to Be Everywhere at Once (Without *Actually* Cloning Yourself)
Photo by tonibduguid.