I’m hearing it all over. People are maxed out on social media to the point they question if ANY of it has value. In many cases it’s simply because they stretched themselves too thin in the first rush of social media frenzy.
You know what I mean. You find one network after the other and each seems to be an important cog in your marketing wheel. Then something spins off one of those or promises to help combine 1-2-3 networks into one manageable stream and before you know it you’re drowning in social media accounts.
Most likely there wasn’t a strategy to how you jumped on this bandwagon either, so you may have forgotten what the point was. Oh yeah, it’s all about communication right? Well yes, it is, but with whom and for what purpose?
Really. You have to step back and identify all this stuff before you dive in or you’ll be burned out before you know it. Why? Because you’ll be running twice as fast as you have to. If you start with a strategy for who you want to reach and find out where they are participating first you’ll be way ahead of the game and you won’t have to charge blindly in without knowing what or who you’ll encounter.
So what should you do first?
- Figure out who your target market is. All the usual demographics apply but you can go deeper. What does your market want to talk about? If they could talk to you what questions would they ask? Where are they asking those questions right now? What do you know that they need to know too?
- Now figure out what you want to say to them beyond a sales pitch. Do you have information that can help them run their lives or their businesses better? Do you have information that is important to the industry at large regardless of if they buy your product or not?
- OK, now you’ve got the who and what you need to say. Use some listening tools like Social Mention, Google Alerts, Twitter search etc and find out where there are conversations around the same topics going on. Don’t make assumptions. There very well may be a group of people you need to talk to that are already having very focused discussions on a forum or network that you’ve never heard of. If you immediately assume that there aren’t any quantum physicists on Facebook you’d miss a very focused group of over 9500 people!
- Once you’ve identified networks where people are talking, narrow your sights on two networks. Start participating there and see if you really need to branch out later.
With this kind of focused strategy you very well may find you’ll have conversations with fewer people, but you’ll talk to them more often and the relationships will be deeper and richer for both of you, and you’ll get more value out of it than a thousand shallow connections.
If you truly are burned out on social media go ahead and take a break. Re-stock what’s important and look at where you’re participating. Thin out the networks or tools that aren’t working for you. Pay attention to the ones that are and don’t worry about the rest right now. You’ll be better at truly engaging if you’re able to stop for a moment and actually have a conversation and it’s more likely to turn into something valuable.