When we google ‘social media tips,’ we’re usually looking for advice on how to increase traffic, grow our following, blah blah blah.
But how can you be great at social media without letting it take over your life? How can you grow your Instagram followers or Facebook page without checking it every 20 minutes? How can you take a social media break without losing all your followers?
It feels like there’s always a new platform to sign up for, more people to follow, new best practices to perfect. When I’m working with a client, social media overwhelm is inevitably one of the first things we talk about.
Nearly everyone I’ve worked has said some version of the following:
“I know I need to use social media but I have no idea where to start.”
“It’s just so time consuming! I’ve got shit to do!”
“Do I reallllllly have to use __________?”
“How can I find time in my day to watch all of the cat videos I want to see?”
Dude. I know. I totally, totally know. I work hard to maintain some level of work/life balance and for me that means no data plan on my smartphone and only using two social media platforms (I use Facebook and Instagram – let’s be friends!)
It’s taken me a while to figure out a social media plan that works for me, promotes my stuff, but doesn’t consume my life. Here’s what I’ve figured out (and what I suggest to my social media-overwhelmed clients)
How to be amazing at social media without letting it consume your life
Choose 2 social media platforms and get good at them
It's much, much better to do two things well than five things poorly. Click To Tweet If you ‘just’ have a Facebook page and Twitter account that is 100% acceptable. Devote your time to writing interesting, click-worthy tweets, creating Twitter lists that will help you reach your goals, and posting clever things on your business’s Facebook page.
If you’ve chosen LinkedIn, reach out to people you want to work with and post helpful articles. If you’re on Pinterest, write funny, helpful captions. Instagram? Share photos of the products you’re developing or behind-the-scenes photos.
You get the idea. You’ll see better results (and feel a lot less stressed) if you really commit to becoming amazing at just a few things.
Schedule your social media
This is the absolute best thing you can do to make social media manageable. Set aside an hour or two each week and spend that time scheduling your tweets and Facebook updates.
If you’re super organized (and feel so inclined) you can even schedule out Instagram photos and pins on Pinterest. (I’m OBSESSED with Tailwind.) I use Buffer for all my pre-scheduling needs, but there are heaps of other pre-scheduling services.
You should also set aside a few minutes a day to pop into your social media account and interact with your friends and followers in real time. Robots we are not.
Work around the limitations of the platforms you’re using
Just because you want to post a tiny video of your products, doesn’t mean you have to create a Youtube account. If you’ve already got an Instagram account, you can use their video option.
Do you love to curate collections of inspirational images but don’t want a Pinterest account? Create a photo album on your Facebook page.
Choose a platform that makes sense for your business
Really, arguments could be made for just about any social media platform for just about any business. Regardless, here are my two cents for which platforms make the most sense for which business.
Twitter: just about everybody. It allows you to interact directly with customers and potential clients in 140-character bites.
Facebook: most companies – especially brick and mortar businesses. Facebook is the grandma of social media so most people view it as a foregone conclusion that any reputable business will have a Facebook page. It’s also the platform with the most users.
Instagram: photographers/designers/lifestyle brands. Your goods are visually appealing! You should be showing people that!
Linkedin: freelancers/marketers/consultants. This is where you find potential clients and collaborators. Obviously.
Pinterest: anyone who markets to women.
Vimeo/Youtube: speakers/coaches/companies whose product must be demoed to understand.
Which social media platforms do you use? Do you preschedule? How do you avoid the overwhelm?