I saw a graph here that shows just how many social networks there are. It really blew my mind. Thanks to the Seth Godin 6 Month MBA folks for coming up with it.
Like anything, with more competition, or noise, demands more differentiation. Here are the basic steps to making sure that you pick the right network and find your tribe.*
1. Make a goal
Have a reason to get into this. It will take a lot of time, so have a reason besides bragging at parties. This goal needs to be measurable and on any given day someone should be able to ask you if you are succeeding or not, and you should have a definite answer.
2. Define your niche or audience.
This means that you should know what they like and value. Where they work, and where they play.
3. Find you niche on 1 or 2 networks at most.
Make sure they are networks that you can invest in and more importantly master.
4. Make a detailed plan to make them fans.
The reason you are investing in social networks is to make money. Know how you plan to make money off of people that are your fans.
5. Focus, and pull away from other networks.
Spread yourself too thin, and you lose.
*If you haven’t read tribes, then buy it. You don’t know how to invest time in a social network without reading that book.