Monday, January 14, 2013

What I Have Learned Navigating the World of Social Media!










I am still constantly amazed at what using social media (even with my limited "tech" skills) has brought to my business.  I continue to be grateful for the wonderful connections I have made and enjoy the wider audience I have been able to reach....


Like most of us, I have hopped on the “Social Media” bandwagon.  I have the obligatory business and personal Facebook pages, LinkedIn profile, a website, and blog.


I have also joined groups within these platforms to keep me informed and to make the connections I need.  I contribute regularly to these groups by posting both original and shared content.


So, what is the problem?  It can all be so overwhelming! 


I am sure that I am not saying anything new here.  We have all found ourselves feeling pulled in too many directions and unsure as to whether we were truly giving our best to any of them.


Add in the need to do our “regular” work, and there is a recipe for overload in the making.


As I took stock of the situation at the end of the year (great time for reflection don’t you think?), I vowed to make a change.  My goal was to increase the quality of my social media presence, but decrease the “hair pulling” that had been a large part of the process in the past.


After taking a good, honest look at the situation, this is what I decided:


 I Need to Realize I Cannot Be Everywhere

The key here is to determine where your existing and desired
        client base is and go there.  Being on too many Social Media
        sites just waters down your efforts.


Narrowing your scope will actually broaden your reach.  It
        will take up much less of your time and will pay off with
        increased engagement with your clients. 


 I Need to Listen to My Fans


The most important thing to remember is that Social Media is
        not about selling.  Of course we all want that in the end, but
        first and foremost it is about “clicking” with your customers.
  

Your goal should be to listen to what is important to them and
provide information to help solve their problems, get them
        thinking, and entertain.


This is also a great way to find new ideas as topics for your
        original and shared content.  Writing and posting topics of
        interest to your fan base makes it so much easier to find the
        engagement and sense of community we all want.


 I Need to Schedule My Posts


Use those Social Media management tools to pre-schedule
        your  updates.  Schedule a time every day or every other day
        (find what works best for you) and set up your posts all at
        once.


Using these tools will allow your posts to show up regularly 
throughout the day.  This has been the single most effective
tool to free up more of my time.


 I Need to Learn Where to Find Great Content


While there is no doubt original content rules, the main
        reason I started blogging (check out my previous article here 
        to find out more),  most of us will need to share content from
        others.  When doing this, it  is important to keep in mind the
        “voice” you want to project and only share content that
        mirrors this.


At first I was scanning the internet and sites like LinkedIn to
        find what I needed.  Then this past year I came upon a site
        called “Prismatic”.  Prismatic allows me to type in key words
        to locate articles on topics I am interested in sharing.  This
        has really taken the headache out of the process.


 I Need to Make and Nurture “True” Connections


I need to preface this by saying I am not a huge fan of 
        “connecting” just to “connect”.  The connections I value are
        the ones where there is a lot of give and take.
  

I have been fortunate enough to find a few unique and very
        giving people on my social networks.  We encourage each
        other, share each other’s posts and blog articles, and
        genuinely promote each other.


These are the connections I will take the time to engage with 
regularly and strive to make more like these.  This is where I
find my true “value” - having the opportunity to create such a
reciprocal relationship.


 I Need To Relax


Does it really matter if one of my posts doesn’t get the “likes”
        or comments that another one does?  Does that make that post
        any less relevant or worthwhile?  The short answer is “No”!


While I know right about now many of you are in an uproar, I 
        just don’t see it that way.  In the  eyes of many, the statistics
        on views, engagement, and ROI (Return on Investment) are
        the “be all and end all” of any Social Media effort.


I like to take a broader view.  My goal is long term.  I do not
        expect “instant” gratification.  I look at my social media
        efforts as a process.  One that over time will make more
        people aware of my company and my business philosophies, 
        more than I could ever have hoped to reach through any other
        means.


The bottom line....using Social Media platforms to promote your business is good business.  It is a fantastic way to extend your client base way beyond the reach of traditional means.


However, I choose to take it slow.  I have come to realize that making  myself crazy over statistics and spreading myself too thin are counter-productive.


I am subscribing to the old saying “slow and steady wins the race”. Having the chance to establish myself and gain trust in what I have to say are my true goals.


Now it is time to discover your own!  Good Luck!

Authored by





Would you like more information or help with Your Small Business?  

Email me at accessprofiles2@comcast.net.  You can also visit my blog www.accessprofilesblog.com and website www.accessprofiles.com.  I would love to hear from you!

10 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. I would like to share with you a great, complementary article written by Miller Finch at Miller Finch Media. It is entitled; "Why Does Social Media Marketing Take So Much Time?".

    Miller Finch Media is a great resource for all your Social Media questions. Here is a link to the article:

    http://www.millerfinchmedia.com/2013/01/why-does-social-media-marketing-take-so-much-time/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MillerFinchMedia+%28Miller+Finch+Media+-+Blog+%26+Commentary%29

    Thanks!

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  3. This is great advice for small businesses. Social media can be daunting, exhausting and time consuming. Yet it can be effective and rewarding if businesses take the long-term approach and not expect the world to come rushing their market place.

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    1. Thank you Marilyn for taking the time to read and comment! It took me a while to realize that exhausting myself was simply getting me no where. Once I relaxed and adapted the "long-term" approach you mention, everything fell into place!

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  4. Another great post Kimberly. Thanks for sharing your insights and I find that we have a lot of mutual thoughts about social media. Especially the part about you can't be everywhere. Many people try, but you just can't be productive if you try and tackle too much.

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    Replies
    1. I am glad that the enjoyed the article Sheryl. While in no way am I an expert, I needed to "feel my way" through and find what works for me. I have the luxury (or curse) of only having to answer to myself where my business is concerned, so I can choose to do what works for me, not what others may find optimum. I hope you can find the same for yourself!

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  5. I agree with feeling overwhelmed with social. I use it for personal and business, and I have come to adopt a policy of staying offline most if not all of the weekend. This allows me time away from social and time to decompress and not feel overwhelmed by social.

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    1. Good strategy Dan! I really believe we all have to decide on our own terms for dealing with social ~ and the "no weekend" rule is a good one! Thanks for the comment!

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  6. Well, I agree with you. Doing social media can be an overwhelming experience. However, what a lot of people fail to realize is that it is about small, attainable goals. Here is what I have to say about it here: https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140618232849-41277595-4-ways-to-avoid-social-media-burnout.

    Social media is like "real life". It's about using the time you have, and not making time when you don't have enough. ;-)

    Great article; Kimberley!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your thoughts Cendrine (and for the link to your article). Like with most things, setting smaller, interim goals for yourself allows you to be successful.

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