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What I Have Learned Navigating the World of Social Media!

Using Social Media for your business can be an endeavor filled with headaches and frustration. Here I share what I have learned to save myself hours of stress!

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  down your efforts. Narrowing your scope will actually broaden your reach.  It will take up much less of your time and will actually 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 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 beyondthe 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 the the old saying “slow and steady wins the race”.Having the chance to establish myself and gain trust in what I have tosay are my true goals.
Now it is time to discover your own!  Good Luck!

Kimberly

If you would like to find out more, please feel free to check out my website at www.accessprofiles.com or my online paper.  Thanks!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

North Hills Athletic Assocation January 21, 2013 at 04:18 PM
This is a very good topic and post because it seems like every day there are more and more ways to communicate with your audience ... which means more time and effort that YOU have to put into finding out what that media is, how to use it effectively, and actually using it. You almost need a team of people to help you, but that team needs to share your same message and vision. The most effective way to use today's social media is to not just make yourself an advertisement blinking on the right side of the web page. Sure you need to get in front of them, but you also need to let them know you're offering more than just 10% of some vacation. You're also spot-on with your opinon on the "instant gratification". It's easy to feel that, just because you're not getting "likes" or comments, your message isn't getting across. When in reality .. there are hundreds of people reading your message on a daily basis. It's just that not everybody feels the need to "like" or comment. To quote one of the greatest baseball movies of all time .. "If you build it .. they will come". Just because they're not pouring out of the cornfiled .. doesn't mean they're not coming!
Kimberly A. Kline January 21, 2013 at 07:34 PM
Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments North Hills Athletic Association! Sometimes it does take a "team" to handle your social media presence. I totally agree that keeping that uniform "voice", however, is crucial - and sometimes hard if multiple people handle the task. Your perception on the "selling" aspect of social media is also correct. If you go in there simply to make a sale, you will not get far. That is why on my own page I make a concerted effort to post original and shared material that I really believe is of interest and/or can benefit my readers. It is only every so often that it is directly related to my market (background checks). Thanks again for taking the time to read my post and I wish you great success with your social media efforts! Kim
Sean Saunders January 22, 2013 at 05:39 PM
Fantastic post Kim! I think with the advancement of technology, patience can sometimes go on the backburner, and along with it the aspect of listening. If a business doesn't have the patience to listen to a consumer, then how can we truly build a relationship and provide the correct information that the consumer really needs. -Sean
Kimberly A. Kline January 23, 2013 at 12:01 AM
Thanks Sean! Being patient is difficult when you are constantly trying to "keep up". That is why I just had to make a change and take stock. It was a process, but I feel like I have a better handle on things now. I appreciate you taking the time to read my article and comment. It means a lot! Kim

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