If there’s one main thing I’ve learned over the past few months trying to grow this blog, it’s that to have a fighting chance and get real results you need to have a legitimate presence on all the social platforms.
Not just Twitter, or just Instagram, or just Pinterest — ALL of them. And yes, I know there’s a lot, but that’s actually a good thing! It gives anyone plenty of opportunity to have a legitimate chance to get their name out.
Cover All The Bases.
I’m assuming that you’ve heard of Gary Vaynerchuk, or GaryVee as most people know him as. He’s the perfect example because he’s self-made and has already “blown up”. And much of that success is attributed to the simple fact that he’s basically everywhere, and has been for a long time.
Here’s just a few of his active social media profiles off the top of my head: Medium, WordPress, Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Soundcloud, Itunes, Instagram, Quora, Linkedin, Spotify, Producthunt, Reddit, Tumblr, Slideshare, Snapchat. He also has more than one profile on many of those. Impressive, by any means.
He routinely goes through the trouble to cross-link and/or mention all the platforms he’s active on from all the others, making it a great viral loop. By him covering all of his bases like this, he’s super easy to follow for anyone, regardless of their preferred platform.
The Rule of Seven.
Another method to GaryVee’s madness is called the “Rule of Seven”. It’s a marketing term derived in the 1930’s that can be also associated with blogging, especially content marketing, since the two are alike in many ways.
It basically states that the average random person needs to visit your blog, vlog, website, or see your name at least seven times before they’ll remember and/or trust you.
However, once you win them over, these are the people that become your loyal fan base.
The ones that subscribe to your newsletter or RSS, follow your profile, join your community, tweet and share your posts, and maybe even buy a product or service you may offer for sale. The bigger your fan base, the easier this blogging thing gets — in virtually every aspect.
But for someone to be able find you seven different times, you first have to put in the time and effort to be found. Otherwise, it just ain’t happening.
“Five Minutes to Learn, a Lifetime to Master.”
I recently compared the compound growth of blogging to that of a poker tournament, so I’ll bring it up again since it’s relevant.
About fifteen years ago I first learned about the game of poker — Texas Hold ’Em to be specific — at a buddy’s home game. As completely clueless as I was at the time, I sat down and bought in for $40.
Staying true to the famous poker saying “It takes five minutes to learn, but a lifetime to master”, I learned the basics in, well… five minutes. At his place, on his PC, on Altavista, while waiting on the rest of the players to show up before we started.
Over the next eight hours or so, or somewhere between 150–200 hands, I felt I had learned about three quarters — or 75% — of the game. Things such as rules, hand strengths, percentages, and pot odds. It also helped that people tend to like to talk about poker when playing poker. I absorbed a lot of information that night.
Today, and thousands of hours of play later, I’m still trying to master the last 10% or so. And, just like blogging and social media, the game is constantly evolving. Strategies and tactics constantly change, so truly mastering it is virtually impossible. But this is great news because it constantly makes room for new players to step in, apply a different strategy, and be able to win.
Ab Uno Disce Omnes: Learn One, Learn All.
Being active on, and mastering each and every major social platform is a tough and unrealistic challenge for anyone, including even GaryVee.
The only real reason why he can manage it is because he has an entire team of helpers doing the bulk of the work. Not many of us are in a position like him.
Thankfully, all modern social platforms follow the same basic premise and are very similar at the core; they all have some kind of tagging or subscription functionality, places to comment or discuss, a like/clap/up-vote/thumbs-up system for curation, and similar rules and etiquette to follow.
This means that if you learn one, you should understand most of the rest. The main differentiator from each other is the type of content they are designed for, and for what type of screen.
For example, we built our community web app, Snapzu, for bloggers. Reddit is for links and conversations. Twitter is for “micro-blogging”. Pinterest is for the collections of visual content. Quora is for Q&As. Youtube is for video. Snapchat and Instagram are for mobile photos/stories. Soundcloud and Spotify are for music and podcasts.
The Last 25% Comes Only With Experience.
I truly believe that anyone who’s willing and eager to — including you — can master three quarters, or 75%, of any social platform in two hours or less.
It’s just that the last quarter can be a real pain in the ass.
It requires dedication, consistency, patience, and time to gain experience. Similar to getting a driver’s licence and learning how to drive, this is the stuff you can’t learn by just reading about it. You eventually have to roll up your sleeves, get in there, and get your hands dirty.
So make it a top priority to get on as many social platforms as you possibly can. And remember that if you don’t, your competition eventually will.
Thanks for reading.