Becoming a T-Shaped Social Networker

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T Shaped

If you’ve never heard the term, T-shaped, let me give you a quick description. Being T-shaped means you have a broad understanding of many things, but you go very deep on a few specific topics.

So, I consider myself a T-shaped marketer. I have a broad understanding of all digital marketing mediums, but I got deep on content marketing and SEO.

The top of the “T” is your broad base, the shaft of the “T” is where you go deep in your engagement.

In this way, I would suggest that marketers and small businesses become T-shaped in their social media presence. They should have a presence on as many social media platforms as possible. But optimize one or two of them as their main network.

The reason I suggest doing this is that it’s incredibly difficult to be everything to everyone. The things that make you successful on Twitter may not work on Facebook.  Likewise, the methods you use on Linkedin may make you a rockstar on that network, but I can almost guarantee they won’t work on Pinterest.

The Basics

So, how do you develop a T-shape to your social networking strategy?

First, create a presence on each social network and optimize it for your branding and your messaging. This is the step that will take the most time. The reason you’re doing this is for SEO and online presence purposes. It’s great to have your brand own the first page of the Google search results because you have so many branded properties.

Next you’ll want to utilize a scheduled posting software, either HootSuite or GroSocial (there are dozens to choose from).

From there, you want to ensure that all of your social media properties are receiving regular updates. So, populate the scheduled posts to ensure that none of your social networks become a ghost town.

Identifying Where you go Deep

Now it’s time to choose the social network that you decide to go deep with.  To do this, spend some time exploring who you are as a business and who your ideal customer is. Each network has its own unique demographic of users.

For instance, Linkedin is a great network for B2B sales since all of its members are there for business purposes. Or, you might find that your ideal customer is a millennial.  If this is the case, then Twitter is the site for you. It’s crawling with 20 to 30 somethings.

For more information on social network demographics, I would suggest doing some homework with studies like this one.

Time to Dive Deep

For the sake of this piece, let’s say that you chose Pinterest as your go-to social network.  The reason you did this is: you are a beauty supply company that targets women from age 20 up to 60.  Pinterest’s user base is around 80% female, so you chose wisely.

This next step is where you’ll put forth most of your time and effort. Start optimizing your main network. To start, you’ll follow other pinners, you’ll repin popular posts, you can send messages to popular Pinterest users and create relationships with them.  Most of all, you’ll want to make Pinterest a second home for your company.

The techniques are different for every social network, and it would take much more than one article to go over all the ways you can optimize each social network.  But there are dozens of articles on Social Media Today that explain each network and how to optimize.

Why you’re doing this?

You’re becoming a T-shaped social networker because you don’t have all the time in the world.  You weren’t born with three heads and six sets of arms.  Therefore, you don’t have the wherewithal to spend all day, every day, optimizing a dozen social networks and managing communities on each.

Larger businesses don’t have these same limitations and often times do have optimized presences for every network.  But I can assure you that they also have a small army of social media managers working for them.

If you truly want to become great at something, you have to dedicate yourself to it.  This is true for social networking.  If you want to become the best Tweeter, Facebooker, Pluser, Pinner, or Instagrammer, then you have to choose to dedicate yourself to one of them and go deep with your mastery.

What are you social media platforms of choice? Share with us in the comments below.

Much success,

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