Are you Overwhelmed by Social Media? You are not the only one!
Are you at the point where it is all becoming a bit too much? I have never worked in an industry that moves as fast as the online marketing industry and at times it can feel a tad overwhelming. It occurred to me that if I feel like this at times, and I love my industry, then how do regular business owners feel when they do not eat, sleep and breathe it like I do?
I have worked with social media platforms since 2009 and boy, it has been an interesting journey. When I first started I was only present on LinkedIn, and then quickly moved into Facebook followed by Twitter. It was hard work keeping on top of these three platforms, but now we have blogging, Pinterest, Instagram, SnapChap, Messenger, Medium and a whole host of other tools, applications and gadgets to master and make our content stand out from the crowd. Is it all a bit too much?
How do we stop the overwhelming feeling with social media?
I think the key to online success is to try not to get too distracted by “shiny” things. Being focused on your business objectives, and sticking to your marketing plan is critical.
Tip #1 — Consider Outsourcing
If you do not have the time to implement your marketing plan, then it is best to outsource the work, rather than being inconsistent. Believe me, I have learned this one the hard way.
For example, here is the Green Umbrella blogging process and plan:
- We write three blogs a week as a minimum (Guest blog contribution, a video of the week, and a GU social media/online marketing blog)
- Images are created for the blog, as well as relevant sized images for Facebook Notes, LinkedIn Publisher and Instagram
- The blogs are uploaded to the GU website
- If the guest blogger has recorded an audio version then this needs additional work to add to Audioboo, then copy the code into the written version on the site
- We then add them to our social media plan and ensure that we tag in the guest blogger
- A week later we add the whole article to Facebook notes, LinkedIn publisher and Medium for additional eyeballs on our content
You can imagine how much work this is, especially when we are managing the guest bloggers’ content and making sure that it is original and unique for us. Two years ago I got to the stage where it was all too much. I was playing catch up at weekends which was affecting my home life and my wellbeing. I could not see a way out of the heavy workload. I could not justify the cost to outsource the process as the cost would be taken straight from my bottom-line, until one day I missed a valuable client appointment because I was pre-occupied with admin. That day I lost a potential new client, and it dawned on me that I was an expensive administrator. It was time to take the plunge and ask one of my mediators to take control and own the blog process. Jane is an absolute gem, and all I now have to worry about is writing an article once a week — the rest happens like a magic fairy sprinkling some special dust on your social media!
Tip #2 — Limit your distractions
I am a big fan of limiting my distractions. I no longer have alerts set for my emails, nor do I have social media alerts pop up on my Google Chrome browser. I have set times when I check the social media accounts. If something is urgent, then we have a live chat on our website, and we also have the telephone (no fax machine though!). I use two tools that help me limit distractions during the working day. The first one is called “Newsfeed Burner“. This is a Google Chrome extension that burns your Facebook newsfeed. I absolutely love this app as I am on Facebook multiple times a day to add content to our page, or to run adverts etc., but I was finding myself distracted by posts from my mum who was on holiday, or friends who were posting funny videos. With Newsfeed Burner, you simply do not see this content. (See screen shot below).
The other tool that I use is an application that I subscribe to, called “Focus At Will”. My headphones go on and music plays that has been created to stimulate certain parts of the brain that help you focus on the task that you are working on. I use this app every time I am writing a blog.
Tip #3 — Schedule content with eClincher
We recommend scheduling a maximum of 20% of your content to your social media platforms using a management tool such as eClincher. I know it takes a while to set up and get organised, but it certainly removes the pressure of keeping on top of your social media each day. Having strategically timed tweets and status updates helps with the day to day management.
eClincher is all you need for managing your social media presence. It offers an intuitive, easy-to-use, complete software solution for individuals, marketers, businesses, brands, and agencies
Tip #4 — Stop trying to be everywhere
We have so many channels that we can actively be involved with nowadays that it is difficult to know where to start. My advice to you would be to start slowly with one or two social media platforms. Once you have found out where your audience is talking, then concentrate on that platform until it is working like a well-oiled machine before increasing your workload. After some initial conversations with clients in certain sectors, we have found that a blogging strategy is much more effective than a daily social media presence. If you are not sure where to start then simply ask a member of the GUHQ team (click on the live chat on our website), and we will suggest the best strategy for your business.
Tip #5 — Only listen to industry experts who you respect
It seems that the world and his dog is now a “social media guru”. Ideally, you only want to be listening to those who are thought leaders in the industry. If you are outsourcing your social media activity to an agency, then ask them the question “How do you keep on top of all the news in this fast paced industry?”. A good digital marketing agency will invest in the development of their own knowledge. To give you an idea of our investment into our knowledge and skills, here is a quick list of our activity.
- We operate a Social Media Coaching Club. As a member of the club, we produce a weekly email that summarises the latest social media developments. We create this email EVERY week, which means that we are looking on websites such as TechCrunch, Social Media Today, Mashable, SocialMediaExaminer, MariSmith, Jeff Bullas, Jay Baer, etc. to find out the most important information that needs reporting back to paying members.
- Twice a month we present a webinar on the latest developments on dedicated social media platforms.
- All senior people within the business watch the Social Media Examiner Show each Friday at 4pm.
- We listen to podcasts daily — see here for a list of podcasts.
- We subscribe to a variety of RSS feeds for the industry.
- We are members of the Social Media Marketing Society, where we are continually educated each week.
If you want to stop feeling overwhelmed, then affiliate yourself with just one or two social media businesses that you trust, that have a good reputation online, who walk the walk, and “know their stuff”. Make sure that you are doing the basics really well before you look at expanding into new areas such as live streaming, video production, inbound marketing etc. Remember to walk before you run.
Originally published at www.green-umbrella.biz on May 25, 2017.