We recently ran a post on the complexities of juggling social media and cited three key reasons that many flounder, even fail – 1) lack of time, 2) lack of focus and 3) lack of content. It’s a hot topic, so if you want to blog or blaze a social media presence, here are some key questions to ask before you take the plunge:
Lack of time
Either you have it or you don’t. If you want to create and maintain a social media presence, you’ll have to carve out time – and consistently. Social media is all about making connections and building a rapport. Like all relationships, it takes give-and-take over time. Some key questions to ask before diving in feet first to engage in social media are:
1) Do you have the time?
2) How much time can you dedicate daily, weekly, monthly?
3) When will you undertake your social media outreach? First thing in the morning, mid-day, late afternoon, nights, every other day, four times daily, etc.?
4) If you don’t have the time now will you have it later?
5) If you truly lack time to make a commitment now but want to make the investment, can you delegate the task to someone else?
6) If you have the time – and the desire - but don’t feel up to speed with the rapidly changing pace of social media, where can you find the information to get started and the confidence to do it right?
The answers to these questions will help determine your readiness to embark on a social media push. And, the more specific your answers, the more realistic you are in your vision and understanding of the process and your commitment to the work that it entails.
Lack of focus
Perhaps you’ve committed to the idea of wanting to tip your toes into the social media mix. Some key questions are:
1) Who are you trying to reach and what are you hoping to achieve?
2) Which mediums will you utilize? Start with? And focus your energies on?
3) Which mediums are the ones your audience utilizes most?
4) What do you most want to share with your audience(s)
5) Do you have a short-term plan? A long-term plan?
The answers to the above will help you clarify your goals and purpose; understand and articulate your unique strengths, selling points and features; and better identify and target your own target audience. It will bring clarity and confidence. It will produce something tangible that will help you navigate the waters early on and serve as a guide leading forward. It also can be revisited – and should be – because your goals and needs can change over time.
Lack of content
We’re fortunate in that writing is what we do. But, what if that's not your strength? Maybe you’ve carved out time and have a blueprint that shows your commitment to online engagement. What then? Questions to ponder:
1) Do you write or have a writer?
2) Do you have a steady stream of ideas and are they on paper?
3) Do you have content developed and available for now, moving forward, and as a backup?
4) Do you know what your audience wants and responds to?
5) Is your content clear, compelling, educational, informative, inspiring?
6) Do you have a variety of formats – short Q&As, informative and educational articles, links to hot trendy resources?
7) Have you thought about photos and other imagery?
The answers to these questions illustrate whether you’re on track in your approach, spotlight new things to try and show how intertwined and inter-relational your writing, content and focus will have to be. Presentation matters; quality counts, content rules. You can’t have an effective blog nor a quality social media presence without great stuff that others want.
If you're ready
We did an earlier post that covers some of the basics of social media, along with links to excellent resources that will help you plot, plan and deploy. There were also some time-saving tools, mind mapping tools and content creation resources.
Three Ways to Crowdsource New Content
We hope this will help you on your own social media journey.
We confessed in a previous post that our greatest obstacle was not lack of content but rather lack of focus. Once we actually mapped out our ideas, we had an over-abundance of material. And with that new-found focus, we then knew how to move forward and maximize our time, our effort and our resources. We also then knew we could better connect with our readers/followers/fans. And that is the point, isn’t it?
Enjoy!Now make your social media shine - make it unique, make it yours, make it you.
First, determine what kind of presence you want/need, then engage with your audience to make it truly theirs. It’s an ongoing process that hopefully gets better with time.