Not All Advice Is Golden

July 30th, 2009 |


Jeff Louis is a strategic media planner, brand project manager, blogger, and aspiring writer. He's intrigued by innovation overcoming adversity, survival of the fittest brand, history, reading, and similar fun stuff. He writes for sites and is the Public Relations and Advertising writer for the Chicago Examiner.

There are Social Media enthusiasts, Social Media Professionals, and those so called “Exthusiasts;” half expert, half enthusiast. If you are knowledgeable regarding Social Media, one thing that is continually stressed is to make sure that the content you are providing is relevant to your readers. Professional bloggers suggest, in numerous cases, that the best way to provide relevant content is via a list, such as “10 Social Media Mistakes to Avoid,” or “Five Methods to Gain Twitter Followers.”

Speaking from personal experience, these lists are either very helpful, exposing readers to new tools or methods of increasing readers, or they’re pretty much worthless. Social Media’s strength is providing relevant, fresh, and interesting information at little or no cost to readers. The problem with this is that we are now inundated with great information that is never read. What I mean by this is that when we are skimming blogs or Social Media sites for interesting items that will aid our own Social Media efforts, it is nearly impossible to read everything we come across.

I have an entire folder on my desktop of items converted to pdf or PowerPoint named “Reading Files.” At last count, I had over 100 items in this folder, and thus far, all I’ve done is save more items to the file and have taken nothing out. There are articles and studies in the folder that I need, and want, to read…I just have not found the time.  Just keeping up on my accounts is work, for Social Media, as you may know, is a process that takes dedication, time, and follow-through if you are to be successful. Basically, it is a full time job.

Thus, it’s important to choose the Social Media sites that will best serve the needs of your personal and professional life. About a week ago, I went through “the file” and found an article that is contrary to what I am professing; “50 Social Sites That Every Business Needs A Presence On.” After what had been a harrowing day traveling without time to update anything on any of my Social Media Sites, I decided the article needed a second look: Was I missing out on something? Did I really need to be on 50 separate sites? If I did, I was in trouble, for who would take over the blog writing and updates, the research and the networking? It would have to be me…and it was a daunting task.

Just to give you an idea, I write for four blogs regularly; I belong to three Social Networks that cover advertising. I have a Facebook account, a Twitter account, A Digg account, an semi-used MySpace account, am on Skype,, Twit Pic, Flickr, LinkedIn, Google…and some others that I’ve forgotten about. Everything is “connected” one way or another to reduced redundancy, but there are times when I write a blog which is fed onto Facebook…and has absolutely no reason to be there. My friends don’t care about the “State of Social Media” as seen frfom my point of view.

I could not imagine a single person, or small company, with the resources to update 50 Social Media sites on a daily basis. The article extolls the value of each of the sites, but I am going to go against the grain and state that you, or your company, can effectively network on five to six sites: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Digg, Twitter, and SlideShare.

Start with five or six, and stay on top of updates and content. This should guarantee that your Social Network will grow.

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Jeff Louis