Thursday January 24, 2013 0 commentsIf you're overwhelmed and even a bit sick of Social Media then you need my Social Media Detox Diet to help you detoxify yourself and get back to having fun with it, plus: grow more business. It's extremely important to include social marketing in your marketing strategy, when it's done right. Just don't over-do it. If you find yourself getting obsessed with checking Facebook in line at the bank, and Tweeting while driving (stopped at a red light, hopefully), then it's time admit you have a problem and detox from your addiction. Otherwise, you're a prime candidate for an intervention from family and friends!
Social Media Detox Diet
It's not complicated, really. All you need to do is put these steps into action.
Promise yourself (for your sake and the sake of your family) that you'll devote a specific number of hours per week to your social media marketing instead of constantly "getting high" on it. If you're used to having your smartphone on you or near you during dinner, make a new rule to turn off your phone during dinner. If you're at the playground with your kids, you're there for one reason only: to spend time with your kids, not your phone, i.e. your social networks. Leave the phone in your pocket or purse but turn it off while you're there. You'll never get these precious moments back again. Trust me: when your kids become teenagers, they will be the ones busy with their phones and YOU will be asking to spend some quality time with them.
Decide which social network is the most popular with YOUR ideal clients and begin with that one place. If you're a B2C type of company, LinkedIn is the best place to begin because the decision-makers are here. If you're a B2C type of company (restaurants, dentists, plastic surgeons, and hundreds of other types of B2C's), start with Facebook and Yelp. Technically, Yelp is not a social network but I must encourage you to manage your Yelp (and while we're at it, your Google+ profile) to manage those online consumer reviews that more and more of your customers are writing and reading. No matter which social network you choose to concentrate on: you need a strategy and a plan. Don't just jump in or you'll soon find yourself Tweeting and posting without a purpose and back in addiction and in need of a detox again.
Use simple tools to help you stay focused: like a calendar and a timer. Schedule a time to plan and then schedule 1-7 times during the day to respond to people.
- Time to plan: Set your timer for 60 minutes and record your ideas and/or actual things you will say and share for the next six or seven days. Write your Tweets, Facebook posts, LinkedIn updates, GooglePlus posts, video ideas and blog topics in your calendar. You can use a spreadsheet as a calendar or hang a big desktop-type of calendar on your office wall and hand-write, if you prefer. Depending on how many social networks you are visible in, you should post at least once per day in each one. If you don't, people forget about you. When you've completed your hour, it's time to pat yourself on the back because you've just scheduled all your content for the next week! Some people like to go ahead and schedule these to automatically appear in their Twitter profiles, Facebook pages, etc. rather than post in real time later on. If you do this, be sure to reply in real time, within 1-8 hours (again: the timeliness of your replies to conversations with friends, fans and followers depends on your strategy and how aggressive you want to be in responding. Always be on the lookout for business inquiries and respond to those right away. Others can wait until your scheduled time to respond.) Scheduling tools: Buffer is a relatively new tool that's really good; Hootsuite is a popular and fairly easy tool to learn to use to automate with; Facebook currently provides an auto-schedule tool in business pages; then there's Tweetdeck and many others you can find by doing a search in Google for "free social media scheduling tools".)
- 1-7 times during the day to respond: You're in control of this so choose whatever works best for you but remember to use your timer. You might want to only respond during your lunch hour. Fine. Just set your timer for 15 minutes and go check your social networks and thank people for re-tweets or sharing your posts; answer questions posed by your followers; click the "like" button on Facebook posts you like and quickly write comments on others. Share or re-tweet content. Make a commitment to ONLY do these things. Don't get caught up in "shiny object land," viewing new websites or watching talking dog videos . If you break this commitment, you'll find yourself wasting time. This is the equivalent of committing to eating only one piece of chocolate instead of the whole candy bar. Remember: this is a detox and not a binge!Another way to respond is to spend only 5 minutes of each odd-numbered hour of the day: at 7 a.m.; 9 a.m.; 11 a.m.; 1 p.m.; 3 p.m.; 5 p.m. and one last time at 7 p.m. Or do it during even-numbered hours. The point is to figure out a system that works well for YOU and be super-committed to using your timer and stopping when the timer dings. I know this sounds tough, especially for those of you who've spent literally hours in Facebook looking at your old high school friends's Timelines but I know you can do this: you CAN do the Social Media Detox Diet.
Remember when I mentioned having a strategy and a plan? If your goal is to raise brand awareness, there are dozens of strategies you could implement for each social network you belong to. Here's one example: start a community in GooglePlus about whatever your particular expertise is. If you're a career coach who specializes in helping people figure out their passion and create a career out of it, then that's your topic. Invite people to your community who could either contribute or ask for help. Be committed to nurturing your community. Think of this community as your tribe. You need some members to be experts unless you want to be the only one constantly answering all questions posed by newbies to your topic. You could create a community in Facebook or LinkedIn in the "Groups" section but I recommend GooglePlus because it's currently less noisy and has more opportunities for you to stand out. Your social media signal will get through loud and clear when you know how and where to point your antenna.
Let me know how you're doing. Please share your own time-saving detox tips in the comments below. Good luck!