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In 2012, Focus Your Social Media Efforts — But Leave Room for Creativity
By: Christine Geraci
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Last week, we talked about how 2012 should be the year you focus your social networking efforts for the benefit of your customers. 
 
I'd like to amend that statement a bit. 
 
Yes, 2012 should be the year you consolidate your social media channels down to the ones that work best for your followers. 
 
But that doesn't mean you should close yourself off to all the choices out there. 
 
I've come across a couple of great blog posts recently about two polarizing, but equally important points, about social media in 2012: This year will be "the year of more" — more social media choices and more devices to use them on — but at the same time, what consumers really need is less
 
I think there's a way to balance both. 
 
Yes, it's very important to sharpen your focus and consolidate your efforts on the social networks that bring you the best opportunities to connect with customers, generate conversation, and build a loyal following.
 
Here's the thing: When you look at it that way, it pretty much sounds like every business should be on Facebook. And understandably so. It's a total juggernaut. Facebook is set to hit one billion users this year. Its popularity, and potential to help businesses increase sales, is undeniable. 
 
If Facebook is working well for you, that's great. Best of luck in the future. 
 
But once your business sharpens its social media focus and establishes those loyal followings (whether they're on Facebook or not), it's good to keep an ear to the ground for other emerging social networks that could present the opportunity to keep your online community happy.
 
Once you know what your community wants and likes, you can push the envelope a little.
 
I've said in the past that it's downright rude to try to make your customers go where they don't normally hang out online. I still believe that — when you're trying to build an online community. 
 
But when you've got that following established, you can encourage your fans to follow YOU into something new. For instance, if you know your community likes to share photos, why not consider Pinterest, or a Tumblr blog, or Instagram? If the experiment is successful, great. If not, you still have those core social networks going strong. 
 
The point is, don't be afraid to offer something new but clearly targeted in the first place. 
 
A focused core social media effort, and the guts to parlay your fan data into a new social media venture, can only show your fans that you're doing your best to keep them intrigued and engaged. 
 
So what do you think? Is it possible to sharpen your social media focus and still experiment?


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About the Author
Christine Geraci is the Social Media/Promotions Specialist at MVP Health Care in Schenectady, NY. Connect with her on Twitter @christinegeraci.
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