Social media is a megaphone for everyone to speak their mind. For businesses looking to stand out, it’s hard when so many people and businesses can post whatever they want whenever they want. You have to be different and useful in some way. To overcome that challenge, as a general rule, marketers tell you to focus on just one topic and bang on about it.
Which isn’t bad advice. It certainly worked for me when Twitter was about two years old, because I jumped on it and started sharing stuff about my passion; innovation. Combined with writing a blog about it, I soon started getting followers and even got labeled “Innovation Insurgent”; which fits nicely with my persona.
But that was over 10 years ago. And today is today. I’m still an innovation insurgent and don’t have that huge following.
If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll notice I share a lot of the stuff I read online; on various topics. According to a friend of mine, this isn’t a recipe for success. She has a good size following, and her advice to me is to cut down on the stuff that doesn’t have anything to do with “innovation”. I get it, but I’m eclectic, have a various interests and it’s hard for me to just focus on one single thing. On top of that, Twitter is a great tool for intellectual stimulation, and it’s a great tool to satisfy my eclectic needs.
So on Twitter, I share what interests me.
There was a time when I shared a lot of creativity stuff, then a lot of psychology stuff, then a lot of thinking stuff, then a lot of learning stuff, then a lot of leadership stuff, then a lot of strategy stuff, and so on; now I just do mix it up. I did see a drop in followers when I started mixing it up, but I didn’t care because I’m not the type that appeals to what people want.
I’m a Generalist, not a specialist. I think it’s harder for Generalists in social media because focusing on one single thing is not something we do consciously. Which takes me to another topic: how to get the most out of Generalists.
I think us Generalists are underappreciated in society and the workplace. Most organizations, not named in the top innovation lists, don’t know what to do with us. Mainly because we’re misunderstood. I think I’ll start posting more of this type of stuff on social media to help clear the air, don’t know what will happen but it’s worth the effort.
Anyway, I’ve always focused on doing what I’m great at. Also, I’m big on being authentic; I’m a Generalist and I do me. And whether you’re a specialist of generalist, I believe everyone should do the same.
So bottom line, how do you stand out? Focus on what you’re great at, be authentic and be useful.
Now I want to hear from you, what do you think of just focusing on one single thing? Is it limiting to you? What is you experience focusing on one thing?