Social. Media. I am doing this. Been doing this. For years.
Is it working? Am I succeeding with it? This is one of my tasks to analyze over the next month or so.
OK, let’s back up. Which social platforms am I talking about?
Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
I work at one or two every day, a little bit. I work this effort week after week, month after month, year after year. Are there results? How do I know if I’m succeeding?
Are you doing social media for your small business on any of these platforms? Are there results? Are you succeeding with it?
Because, frankly, I might be ready to let go of several.
Marketing goals are essential.
My goal has always been to generate connections with potential or current clients, get to know each other, and maybe end up doing some business together. I aim to connect primarily with creative pros from advertising, marketing, video/audio production and instructional design.
A secondary goal is creating strong alliances with other pro voiceover actors and talent agents. And there’s the preset that I am not near any of these people geographically. I’ve been remote working within this strategy for over 10 years.
Perhaps it’s this saturation of everyone doing everything virtually in the last few months, but I feel like it’s time to cull the wheat from the chaff among the platforms. Of course, I need to think this through.
Input & Output Experience differs per platform.
I’ve had good experiences with some platforms only, in relation to my above goals. I’ve cultivated many wonderful connections, clients and VO allies. I’ve also experienced a lot of frustration with wasted time and money.
Creating content is the most time-intensive. I created 20 topics to post about monthly. I hired a company which creates custom content from my ideas, and sets it up in a monthly calendar for my final approval or editing. Each unique post is set on the same day, in the same way, for each platform. I know this isn’t a best practice. I’m already frustrated with time spent to get these posts created and branded. Perhaps I need to rethink this?
Here is a mini-dive into how I feel about each platform I’m currently using.
LinkedIn – Highest true, tangible value. I find excellent professional, direct interaction within a professional community of clients, potential clients and other VO allies. Most of the LinkedIn Groups were very vibrant in 2007 and for many years. Now they seem like ghost towns. Active posts in the home feed and direct messaging are interesting and professional for the most part. I’m very satisfied and grateful for this platform and expect to continue finding value there.
Instagram – I started with skepticism, long after many had already lauded its perfection as the newest and next best shiny social place. It sort of felt like everyone I already knew was simply jumping to Insta. What’s the point of creating the same community on a different platform? And since this platform is about images – and now stories – it feels difficult to master with my vocation as a voice actor. I’ve positioned my Insta as a business account. I’ve not found it fruitful. I feel like I don’t have time to customize content the way this feed needs, and I’m not confident I know the best way to take advantage or if there really are opportunities here.
Twitter – So many changes have happened. Seriously, I used to be in a LinkedIn group that was called ‘Twittering’ in 2007! It was a baby then, quite effective and fun. Those were precious times. Since then, I’ve seen the best and worst of times. I have a nice following but limited interactions, primarily with people I already know. I’ve positioned my twitter as a business account. Although I also do what I can here to tweet, re-tweet, and engage, I’ve not found the right business angle during the many years since its heyday. Again, I’m not confident I know the best way to take advantage or if there really are opportunities there.
Facebook Page – This place isn’t my personal profile. It’s a lonely, lonely page. So sad! Friends and other voice actors take notice of my posts, here and there. This wasn’t true back in the day when Pages meant something and got traction. Then they changed the algorithm, and you don’t get eyeballs unless you do paid promotions. Ugh.
Facebook personal profile – I created this to be in touch with family and friends. My ‘friends’ have evolved to include real friends to distant acquaintances in voiceover. Over time I have included a tiny few clients and VO agents into this mix – and I’m always unsure if this is wise. It’s that blurry line that all the ‘specialists’ say you shouldn’t cross. I wonder if it’s a line I simply should stay on one side of? Whatever the answer is, I do not use this for business purposes as much as is possible. Lately, however, due to the Page being so low performing, during the moments I have thought to close my Facebook page down, I have shared from my Page to my personal profile. Wrong? Not sure that’s the right question. Ineffective? Probably.
YouTube – This is a repository for my work, a sort of online portfolio of work where I’ve been able to accumulate copies. Someone just recently suggested that I might want to pursue activity here. That’s never been a goal of mine. Am I missing something?
Best Practices per platform?
I’ve done my research, my content calendar and branding – as much as I have time to devote. Over years!
I found a company I enjoy working with to help me create content custom for my brand. I’ve read and re-read materials about ‘doing social media right’ and generating content. I’ve played with analytics but so much seems based on consumer vs business demographics. I follow experts that show tips and tricks for actors, and I do a lot of that right. I’ve hired so-called and real experts for paid promotion campaigns. I found one experience full of baloney. I was really mad that I wasted my money but at least I learned.
I know there are lots of best practices. The problem is, most seem geared to larger companies than mine. That’s why I’ve started to feel that a lot of advice out there simply isn’t worth the time it takes to read it. I’ve even studied and done the work about identifying my ideal client/s. It takes so much time. It feels so unscientific. It feels like a treadmill rather than a path to a goal.
What’s my opinion?
I know I’m succeeding with LinkedIn. YouTube is only a repository, with no further expectations. Twitter and Facebook are seemingly time-wasters at this point. Insta is an enigma and leaning toward feeling like a time-waster.
Back in 2007, when Twitter was new and LinkedIn was fresh, it felt good and really authentic. In 2020, it feels very different. My opinion is that LinkedIn is still a robust enough platform. The rest? Not especially worth the time. They’re fun to observe, see what others are doing, and to keep in touch with associates, friends and family. And enjoy very funny memes! I’m going to do some analytics again, and a little more deep diving on content value. At this point, my mind can be changed. Professionally though, I don’t see the value except with LinkedIn.
Do you agree? Do you see something wrong with what I’ve described? What’s your experience and opinion? Please leave a comment and answer social media Qs here: https://forms.gle/16qNPgrEmCZPTnba6