It Depends

Growing up in Texas, as a youngster, I would observe my father working in the house or out in the garage on any given weekend. And, being curious and inquisitive, as young children tend to be, I would ask what he was doing. Almost invariably I would get the answer, “Ridin’ a horse!” What? What does that mean? Clearly, that’s not what he was doing. Obviously. So, the next thing out of my mouth was, “Daaaaad!” Upon hearing this, he would chuckle and provide the real answer of changing out the brake pads on the car or reattaching the chain to the plunger in the toilet tank so it would flush whenever you depress the lever.

His answer would sometimes frustrate. I didn’t understand what he was doing at the time. It wasn’t until I got a little older and had kids of my own that I understood the complexity of his seemingly flippant reply. It was a response that caused the inquisitor to stop, take a moment and take an active role in observation and figure out for themselves what was happening. Or, at least evoke a more thoughtful question like, “What part of the car is that and what are you doing with it?” Quite possibly it was an attempt to say, “I’m busy so leave me alone and let me work in peace.”

But, I believe, being the fun loving trickster he was and his propensity to inject humor into all aspects of daily life, it was a way to joke around and give reason to smile a bit. Family life has a time and place for that type of reply. Is it the same with business?

No one person has the keys to the kingdom. No one person knows everything there is to know about everything. More specifically, inherent in the technology, the social media landscape changes so rapidly. What worked a year ago may not work this year. The technology is changing. The capabilities of the platforms are ever evolving. Consumer education is changing. Consumer wants change. And, there is never a one size fits all. Even within the same industry, one clinic is unique over the other. This is called your USPs (Unique Selling Proposition) and if you don’t know yours, well, that’s a whole ‘nother blog entry.

So, the answer of “It depends,” is actually quite intelligent and ensures the application that follows can be applied to your specific situation. Don’t believe me?

I hear this constantly… “How many times a week should I post on my social media platform,” is a question I am peppered with constantly. The answer is, “it depends.” The frequency of your posting depends on your ability to create a high quality post that not only adds value to the lives of your followers, but is also engaging. Because of resources and bandwidth, if that can only occur 3 times a week, then that is how many times you should post a week. And of course, consistency is the key here. For example, pick Monday, Wednesday and Friday for your posts, without fail, every single week. Need another example? How about, “What platform/s should I be using?” The answer, if you can guess… “It depends.” It depends on what age group your target buyer occupies. Instagram sees the average age range of users between the ages of 18-35 where Facebook is 35 years and older. It depends on what platforms your competition is utilizing. Are they on Twitter, even though you think Twitter is a waste of time for businesses? You might want to think about that option, especially if you are seeing a high amount of engagement on their feed. It boils down to bandwidth as well. Can you successfully manage 2 or more accounts? Facebook and Instagram are the two most popular platforms for businesses and between the two, as mentioned earlier, can cover a wide age group (18-65+). See? “It depends” is not a bad answer, is it? Now, “It depends” is not to say there are no guidelines that most everyone needs to follow or a few rules of the ol’ thumb that can be employed across a wide range of industries, because there most definitely are. For example… Best times of the day to post will depend largely on the activity peak of your audience, but a good rule of thumb is to post when most will be checking their feed: 8am before work, noon during lunch break or 6pm after the work day ends. So, let’s talk about what I’m doing at this very moment. And I’m not “Ridin’ a horse.” What I’m trying to do is re-enforce the notion that as long as there are no absolutes - in social media - the answer will always be – say it with me – “It depends.” Your strategy will need to incorporate the specifics unique to your ability and your “ideal” follower. In order to understand this, you will need to spend some time on identifying exactly who your followers are, what they like, what they do and how they like to consume their content. This will take some time. It will also need to be constantly re-evaluated and modified. It’s not a set it and forget it.