building an effective social media strategy {part 1}

building an effective social media strategy {part 1} -

“Social media just overwhelms me.”

“I don’t know what I need to do with social media.”

“What if I don’t like some of the social media platforms.  Do I really have to use them all?”

These are  just a few of the recent comments I’ve had from coaching clients regarding social media lately. Let’s face it, blogging was a lot less work in 2006 when I started — before Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, etc. We wrote a post and commented on other people’s posts. And then we wrote another post and commented some more. It was a simpler time. 🙂

Over the next few weeks we’ll explore tips and methods for building an effective social media strategy. And, hopefully, by the time we’re done, you’ll have a solid plan and confidence to execute it.

First up, let’s look at the three issues mentioned by my clients.

Social Media Overwhelm

This is real! You are not crazy. Social media is overwhelming. There are so many different platforms and countless ways to utilize each of them. Last year I wrote about avoiding social media overload. One of the simplest tips was “eliminate the push notifications.” The constant dinging on my phone letting me know someone has commented, pinned, favorited, or shared a post can keep me tethered to social media.  Rather than receive notifications all day long, set aside a specific time each day or even a few times weekly to respond on social media. Yes, you want to be engaged but you don’t have to let social media run your life.

Social Media Uncertainty

Let’s face it, sometimes we just have no idea what we really need to do with social media. And sometimes what we used to do no longer works. As social media is in constant flux, we have to be vigilant in evaluating what platforms we are using and the effectiveness of each in reaching our goals.  In January I encouraged you to identify your goals and priorities for social media. Now is a great time to reevaluate and examine what is working and what isn’t. {And if you haven’t established any goals or priorities for your social media usage, now is an excellent time to do so!} Once you know what you want social media to do for you, it’s much easier to determine how to use it.

Social Media Usage

The biggest issue many of us face is knowing where to focus our social media energies. We don’t have time to do it all so we must choose carefully where to invest. There is no “one size fits all” answer to this question. I always advise my clients to consider two factors: which social media they love and which social media their target audience is using. Ideally, the answer to both those questions is the same.  But, if it isn’t, you will need to balance your efforts between building your audience on the one you love and meeting the needs of your audience where they are. Also, let me encourage you to think outside the box. I’ve been investing in Instagram lately. I’m finding there are some great ways to build my blog audience with this very popular tool. Don’t be afraid to try something new!

Social media can be one of the most difficult aspects of blogging to manage. My goal for this series is to empower you to take control of your social media and be confident in the strategy you develop.  Next week, we’ll be looking at 3 keys to an effective social media strategy.

Which of the issues above is your biggest concern with social media: overwhelm, uncertainty, or usage?