I recently wrote an article about how you can "crush it" on social media in 2017--and the real truth everyone needs to hear in terms of actually seeing a worthwhile return on your investment.

However, based on the amount of people who have reached out asking how to formulate effective social media strategies for the new year, I thought it would be helpful to dive a bit more into the weeds.

Cutting right to the core, here is the number one rule every single business, brand, freelancer and online influencer needs to remember when it comes to social media marketing:

Don't try to be everywhere at once.

What does this mean?

This means that if you only have an hour a day to devote to your own marketing, or if your marketing department only has a finite amount of resources, or you have a small budget, then you need to take a step back and think hard about what's going to get you the biggest bang for your buck (or time investment).

And the truth is (which is the complete opposite of what most people do), in order to be successful with your marketing efforts you actually need to do less.

The overwhelming majority of "social media experts" and "digital consultants" out there walk in the door and proclaim that you need to be on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, and any other popular platforms attracting attention at that time.

Don't do that.

That's bad. And let me tell you exactly why.

Think of marketing like investing. You have $100 (or 1 hour) to invest per day.

Now, do you invest $20 in Facebook, $20 to Twitter, $20 to Instagram, $20 to YouTube, and $20 to Snapchat?

Or do you invest $100 in one platform--let's say Instagram.

In one month, look at the difference:

$20 x 30 = $600

$100 x 30 = $3,000

If you invest $20 (or 12 minutes) per day on each social media platform, then in a month you'll be less than average on each one of them.

But if you invest $100 (or 1 hour) per day to just one social platform, then in a month that one platform will be worth 5x more.

Now imagine that return over 3 months. 6 months. 9 months. A year.

I point it out this way because people waste so much time trying to be everywhere at once. In a sense, each social platform is its own sport. It has its own rules, its own community, its own sense of humor, its own best practices. If you try to be great at 5 different sports at once, you'll end up being below average at all of them.

But if you cut your losses and focus on being great at just one sport (or one platform), you will end up being far more successful.

The primary reasoning behind this approach is the fact that the vast majority of business owners, and even big brands struggle to allocate enough resources to marketing. It's something everyone, in every industry struggles with. So if the primary challenge is time, then you need to look for solutions that take time into account.

Instead, what most people--internal teams and external consultants--do is they treat time and resources as infinite. And yes, if you have infinite resources, then you should be everywhere. In fact, you should also have a team of people walking up and down the streets handing out flyers, banging on doors, because why not? You have unlimited resources, right?

It's just, that's not realistic. So strategies that treat their most important variable as "unlimited" are doomed from the start. They make no sense and end up going nowhere because they aren't based in the reality of the situation.

What you need to do is flip the equation and make time and resource your primary focus. Ask yourself, "Based on the realistic resources I have, what is the biggest bang for my buck?"

And I'm telling you, very directly, the best way for you to be successful with your marketing efforts is to pick one channel and own it.

Instead of posting sub-par content on five different platforms, invest all that time into turning one platform into something actually worth watching. Produce your own YouTube show. Turn your Instagram feed into something artistic and actually valuable to viewers. Create daily vlogs on Snapchat educating your viewers on something they want to learn about. Do something that will actually move the needle, instead of aimlessly posting on every platform and hoping.

This is hard for a lot of people, because they see it as "missing out."

But do you want to know the truth?

Nobody is paying attention to you anyway. So you might as well take a step back, cut your losses, and go all-in on one strong investment.

And if you want to learn more about how to "crush it" on each social platform, check out some of my free courses.

Published on: Dec 28, 2016