Social Media: Why You MUST Specialize

GrowMap
Gail Gardner Social Media Marketing and Internet Strategist, GrowMap

Posted on August 14th 2011

If someone asks me who I would recommend to assist them with Social Media, what would I answer? I know dozens of bloggers with social media expertise.

When I searched for Social Media Events on EventBrite today there are 2,359 worldwide as you can see from the image in this post – and that is only one of many sites that list events.

Here are the numbers of results for other Social Media searches on EventBrite: 

That doesn’t even count the events that don’t happen to be listed on that one site. What I’m getting at is that this is more proof of what I keep telling bloggers about focusing on geo-targeted niches.

If you want to be recommended – by me or anyone – you have to give us a reason. A reason to single you out. A reason why you are just the person for a particular business to contact. What marketers and Web designers have always recommended:

YOUR USP – Your Unique Selling Proposition.
Why You Must Differentiate or Die!

That applies to every small business, every blogger and every consultant. Make a name for yourself in something SPECIFIC – not just social media, or blogging, or whatever your business does.

You must answer this one question:
Why should I recommend YOU over everyone else?

As I explained further in BLOGGERS: Position Your Blog Where the Money Is, I believe the answer you find will be a combination of location and specialty. Like these:

You can’t be the best or most famous or any other adjective for a niche as huge as social media (or web design) This has been true as long as there has been an Internet! And it is still true today.

Those who have a specialty
become known in their industries
and become the go-to people
who get the recommendations
and the business.

That can be you. Find a passion. Become the best in that niche. Add a geographic location because there are still some people who want to only do business with those who are located physically near them (and because it never makes you less interesting nationally or internationally either!).

Freelance writer Donna Anderson @SheWritesaLot who is a regular contributor for Examiner.com provided some exceptional tips on how to cover local in your blog in her recent guest post here:  Bloggers And Small Businesses Can Conquer Cyberspace With Collaboration.

Do you know (or are you) someone who has a specialty? Let me know in the comments of this post so I can add them here – and they’re on my radar (and others’) so we can recommend them when opportunities arise.

GrowMap

Gail Gardner

Social Media Marketing and Internet Strategist, GrowMap

GrowMap.com is a business-to-business teaching resource built upon a philosophy of collaboration and recognition that every web site or business – online or off – can benefit from growing and could use a detailed, customized map to get where they are going. The GrowMap.com blog helps business owners realize their goals for generating more business, sales, leads, visitors, and visibility. Using a combination of comprehensive tutorials, infographic analyses, and guest posts on bottom-line topics affecting small business, GrowMap ensures its clients and readers have the tools they need most.

See Full Profile >

Comments

Great post! I, too, am a blogger with social media expertise. What makes me different from other bloggers? I'm a writer by trade and education. I'm also an editor, which means that I'm the girl to avoid if you have a fear of red pens.

Hi Erin, 

Smiling at your "fear of red pens" comment. While editing expertise is a very useful specialty, consider taking your specialization even further, by focusing on a specific industry for example. While many believe I am suggesting they turn down work outside that niche that is NOT what I mean. There is nothing wrong with doing OTHER work too.

My point is that instead of having to chase work, by becoming known in a specific industry or geographic area others will recommend you more consistently and people in that industry will know who has expertise with their terminology and knowledge of their business. 

On top of that it makes your work easier. Do keyword research for one and you have that part already almost done for other clients with similar businesses. 

 

 

So true about finding a niche - I'm a travel blogger who specializes in scouting out and curating a map of all of the vintage, retro and cool places to visit. Using my passion for wanting to get people to know about these great places I've also partnered with a local historic theatre (The Colonial Theatre, in Phoenixville, PA) to become their Social Media Volunteer, where I've helped to increase their FB page fans from a few hundred to over 3,000. It's truly a joy to bring places like the theatre to a wider audience, and social media is the way to do it! 

Hi Beth, 

 

Travel bloggers have a unique opportunity to target more than one geographic niche. If you write about things to do and upcoming events around Phoenixville you can grow a following in that area. Put those posts in a category to make them easy to find and offer an RSS feed for that location. 

If you find yourself writing many posts about a particular location or what to see in a specific state or great places to travel with your dog or horse or whatever you can create sections for each of those.

Again, if you offer an RSS feed for each of those sections you will get more traffic to them because many are getting social media savvy and adding the best highly related content to their Twitter streams using tools like Twitterfeed. I wrote about how to do that in my Twitter Best Practices post. 

When a blogger can reach a specific audience, businesses that want to reach that audience will buy advertising on their sites and hire them to do blog outreach projects for them. See the link to Washington D.C. influencers in this post to see the full potential. Rohan had barely put that new site up when he was approached by a major advertiser interested in working with their group of bloggers.