I promised to share with you the mistakes I have made in social media so that you can shorten (significantly) your learning curve. I could probably write something every day, but I guess my pride only allows about once a month of “stupidness” confessions.
This revelation I learned on my own, not from other social media gurus. They probably all know this intuitively though, or they just spent an exorbitant amount of time getting their social media established and efficient.
Here is the big epiphany ——–
Don’t try to start up and execute all social media avenues simultaneously!
Everyone has a different reason why you need to be on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogging, and so on….
And yes, there are surely benefits to each for your business, but as in everything if you try to prioritize all of the tasks/goals equally your either:
- Move them all along but find you aren’t achieving the goals you had for the social media tool.
- Get them all up and running in a half-hearted way and find that they still are not meeting your goals.
My problem was the first scenario. I started blogging, Facebook, twitter, and linkedin all at once. I had a huge learning curve on:
- how to set up and establish an account, profile, etc.
- how to link them to each other and to my blog.
- how and where to find people to follow and begin building a list
- how to put myself out their and interact – you know the social part….
- what was relevant to my followers
- what followers were relevant
And so on…..
18 Months Later – and Getting Closer
I am about 18 months into the social media scene and I almost have my blog where I want it. I started over with twitter and now I think I have more relevant followers and I am getting a lot of great information, insight and encouragement from those I follow.
Facebook is still more of a personal – social- social media tool. I have a fan page that I haven’t published yet because I am still trying to figure it out. For several months I couldn’t even figure out how to get back to the fan page I created and when I went to create another one, I found the original one.
Avoiding the Colossal Time Drain
Okay so that you can avoid the colossal time drain I collided with here is how I have revamped my social media strategy and helped my clients be more efficient with their time and investment into this component of internet marketing.
- Prioritize all of the social media tools in importance to your business. For example, since I am a coach and consultant it is important for my clients and potential clients to be exposed to my area of expertise, my business and life philosophies, and it is also helpful to get to know my personality. In this case, I believe a blog is the most important or highest priority tool. Twitter was second because it was a source of learning for me as well as an avenue to share my blog with others. If you are a restaurant or destination store, a blog may not be important. It may be more advantageous to have a Facebook fan page where you can share pictures of products, menus, etc.
- Determine your goal for your social media tools. When I first engaged in twitter it was to learn. Twitter helped me to figure out how to blog effectively, how to use twitter efficiently, etc. What I did was go out and try to get as many twitter followers as possible Day 1. BIG MISTAKE. I should have found the experts in the areas I wanted to learn and just followed them for a pretty long time. I ended up doing that later, but it was after wasting a bunch of time. Meanwhile, my blog was getting about 1 post every two weeks because I was burning so much time trying to figure out how to get everything started.
- Work on the one or two priority tools until you get them to a place that they are achieving your first round of goals. I say first round, because social media is an ongoing strategy and goals will layer and change as your business grows. What I should have done was:
- Get my blog set-up and looking the way I wanted – many do it yourself blogs are a mess – different fonts, symbols not where you want them, categories disorganized.
- Develop several strategic blog posts on topics that solidified what my blog was about and who would be interested in reading it.
- Research the topics that were of concern and interest to my target market.
- Learn and read information from the experts I was following on twitter.
- AND THEN, start building a list on twitter and sharing my blog.
I am in much better shape now. And it is never too late to employ the above steps. I do this now and not only does social media take less time I actually feel it is productive time. I usually end up with something to show for it.
I learn something. I engage with someone. I finish a blog post (averaging 3 per week now). And the learning I gather and the content I create is resources I can provide to my clients – which will hopefully add value to them as well!
If you stop in your tracks and reassess your social media priorities and goals can you see more productive path ahead of you? What are some ways you have found to efficiently manage social media in your business? Help us out so we don’t have to keep learning the hard way!!
Matt Edmundson says
All great points. I think I am in a similar postion – I know that social media is changing the way we all communicated and it is hard figuring out the best way through it. Like you – I have stuck with facebook (although today’s announcements have made everyone nervous!), LinkedIn and Twitter – the rest are just there but I don’t really concentrate on them. I found Inbound Marketing (the book from HubSpot) really helpful on all this!
Hi Matt, I have looked at a lot of Hubspots info – I will have to check out that book. I guess I better see what is going on with FB too! Thanks for sharing.