Listen to this blog post here: Overcoming Social Media Overwhelm Blog April 18th 2014

With so many social networks to choose from these days it can feel more than a little overwhelming of which one you need your business to be represented on, let alone what you’re going to be posting and when!

I’ve certainly felt the overwhelm at times; a total mind blank of what I should post next, hoping for inspiration to strike and for some magical words to flow that get people liking and sharing.

There’s also a sea of people recommending different things you ‘need’ to be doing and recommending you’re on every network going.

My own belief is that you need to be where your customers are and you need to have a plan for why you’re using each network. Without this knowledge you can waste hours of your time (and potentially money too!) having a happy time chatting with people, but not generating any leads or making any sales.

So, why are you on social media?

When you’re in business there can be numerous reasons:

  • To connect with your audience in a social way
  • To build trust and credibility
  • To create another way of contact your business support
  • To promote your products
  • To sell your products
  • To promote an event
  • For lead generation
  • and so on…

Which one is right for you?

Why do you need to know this? Because what, why and how you post relies on this knowledge for it to be an effective use of your time.

If you’re just on Facebook because everyone else is and you quite enjoy it, that’s not really going to deliver you results that you want… because you don’t know what you want!

Also, remember that you are not in control of your social media, whereas you are in full control of your own list. So one great way to approach social media is to view it as a lead generating tool. You post relevant, interesting content that gets your Ideal Clients (IC) engaged and in amongst those posts (and in them where you can do it and not be too ‘salesy’) direct your followers to join your mailing list, whether it be in exchange for a newsletter, eBook or other freebie.

Some of the top networks to consider:

  • Google+ (great for business with lots of extra features)
  • Facebook (fantastic for targeted advertising and social connections)
  • Twitter (mass market appeal and fast turnaround)
  • LinkedIn (brill for B2B and business connections)
  • iPatter (great for search engines)
  • Instagram (fantastic for image led businesses)
  • Pinterest (Perfect for image led retail businesses)

There are literally hundreds more to consider but these top 7 should be the main contenders for your time and energy.

Should you be on ALL social networks?

I don’t personally think so. If you’ve got accounts with the above 7 but you’re only on Facebook then I’d say you’re better off not bothering with the other 6. Yes, it’s beneficial to be on social networks, and becoming more so with the way search engines are now taking into account social streams in search results, but I can’t see the point in running 6 social accounts badly when you can instead run one or 2 excellently and gain a lot more from it.

Google+ should most definitely be on your radar, if it isn’t already, not least because it can have a massive boost on your search engine results.

There are definite benefits to each of the different networks and again we come back to going where your IC is.

Don’t try to do too much, you’ll only burn yourself out and give the wrong impression to your audience by being too sporadic with your posting and response time.

If you’re only on Twitter, that’s fine! Just use it well and stop stressing about the others.

Become an expert at the network you’re on most and run with it. If you decide you’ve got that nailed, then move on to another network and do the same.

I could go on for ages (soapbox moment) but…

To summarise:

1. Know who you’re aiming at and from there you’ll be able to know which social network(s) is right for your business

2. Know what your IC wants to see and share that, often

3. Encourage your followers to get on your own mailing list so you have control and can market to them as you wish, rather than relying on social networks and paying for the privilege

4. Have a plan of action for your social media – know what you’re going to post, where and when and then stick to it. Doing this will help keep it all under control and feel less like you’re trying to hold on to a wild beast!

5. Enjoy it! It’s meant to be fun and sociable, but it can be a massive drain on resources too, so by being savvy with the way you post you can grow your list, give value to your followers AND enjoy it too – and it doesn’t get much better than that!

——————————

Do you have a top tip for keeping the overwhelm at bay when it comes to your own social media? Perhaps you have had a lightbulb moment while reading this? I’d love to hear it so please do comment below and let me know your thoughts…

——————————

If the idea of having a plan for your posts still fills you with dread and you don’t know where to start then consider a product that I created; The Ultimate Social Media Planner, which you can find out more about here: www.brandkitchen.co.uk/socialmediaplanner – if you want a hand-held way of getting a plan in place and feeling like a social pro then this will be right up your street!