You really can’t be everywhere all the time. Yes, I know there’s ping.fm, Facebook to Twitter and recursively, Twitter to Facebook plugins. The hard truth for many businesses is they can’t be everywhere all the time. This concept has helped me at least support several large communities and I thought I’d share it with you.
Often, many small businesses and entrepreneurs ask me about “How do I make a Facebook Group” … “Hubpage?” … “Twitter Lists?” … “Squidoo Lens?” … etc. You get the idea – basically these users want to systematically dominate (or claim) a piece of internet territory. Before I get too deep with my metaphors, I want to make clear that setting up these outposts on your business or brand takes time and effort.
Ok, let’s get creative.
Let’s assume each online property takes time to setup, we’ll call that building time. Simple, eh?
Well, now you need to update each property – based purely on time – we’ll call that rent.
Then, you need to keep up on the properties – changing the carpet, cleaning it, putting a new coat of paint on the exterior. That’s just “upkeep”
And then you know what, the land the house is on changes their financial terms without your full support. Let’s call that “taxes.”
With all this in mind, do you really want to have your business on several up to hundreds of sites that you don’t control yet invest the effort? Sure, you’ll get a bunch of sites loaded up in Google. Maybe even a few backlinks. But what good does that do when you’re never actually at the properties.
My suggestion is to accept that you can’t scale yourself to be everywhere at the same time.
Spread yourself amongst a few significant properties that you feel welcome, contribute to others and even can proudly call home. For many, Facebook or Twitter are their homes. That’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with that. I’d rather build one or two “homes” on the Web than hundreds of shitty ones.
It’s OK that you can’t be everywhere all the time, either. Prioritize your commitments to the most important, most valuable places and contribute yourself accordingly. Some places really don’t require much time. Other online properties require significant efforts. It just depends on your audience and what it requires of you.
That’s enough rambling out of me tonight. Apply yourself to only the most important, valuable communities; provide value for others and don’t be afraid of saying no to acquiring many online properties. It’s not worth it — it’ll consume you.