This week, I tried out out the new blog posting functionality on Linked In. It’s pretty neat! I’ll come back in a a few months and let you know the business results of regularly posting there, but in the meantime, here’s a recap of what I covered in that post:
I’ve noticed that plenty of smart business folks I meet are pretty stressed about social media, and with good reason. Some feel overwhelmed by the proliferation of options, others are panicked by the idea of keeping up with the latest developments, and still more feel compelled to use social media tools, even when they feel totally unnatural.
If this sounds familiar, I’m here to say one thing: Relax.
First, while there are more options than ever, that doesn’t mean you need to use each and every one for your business. For example, if you run a B2B business selling construction grade lumber to contractors, it’s perfectly legitimate for you to decide to ignore Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest almost completely. Not that you couldn’t come up with some interesting campaigns for those platforms, but why make yourself crazy, when there are so many more efficient options for you to reach your audience? Of course you’ll want to monitor those platforms for any conversation that goes on about your brand, so you can respond if needed, but that’s a far cry from needing to come up with fresh content, building a following or posting regularly.
Instead, just pick the few platforms that can really deliver for your business and focus on them. Depending on the size and type of your business, if your blog, email marketing and Linked In are shipshape, that may be more than enough. If you’re not sure what you need, it shouldn’t cost a ton in social media consulting to find out. I often suggest starting with a solid digital audit. It’s relatively quick, affordable and will help you figure out what you really need and what you don’t.
Second, remember that no one is actually keeping up with everything. That’s right, even within the ranks of the social media gurus, people tend to specialize. There are folks who focus on Facebook, others who focus on Linked In, others still on Google+. So if even the pros are giving themselves permission to do one or two things really well, so should you. The digital audit combined with a clear understanding of your business objectives will help you identify where to put your chips quickly and efficiently.
Finally, if you don’t actually enjoy social media, chances are pretty good you aren’t going to stick with it anyway. And since consistency is essential to success, don’t try to push a square peg into a round hole. There may already be someone in your organization who loves social media and who would be delighted to take this over for you. Or maybe you have a raving fan or customer who would do cartwheels at the idea of running social for you. The point is to find an efficient way to get the work done; not to transform yourself into someone you’re not.
Social media can be a very effective piece of your marketing mix, but it’s perfectly fine to do it in a way that fits your business priorities and time constraints. So if you’re feeling a little behind the 8 ball, here’s what I suggest: make a doable plan, stick to it, and measure the results. If you’re getting the business results you need, enjoy your well-earned summer weekends off and don’t worry about the rest.