Gah! Are you at the point where it is all becoming a bit too much when it comes to social media? For many, when this happens they look to outsource social media management to an agency just like us. However, we're well aware that it isn't always possible to do that in the early stages of business.
If that's where you are right now – we're always here to help you through our blogs, webinars and social media marketing resources. If you're at the point where outsourcing is an option but you're not ready to take the leap, then you may well also be experiencing the same overwhelm… The truth is that overwhelm is still felt by not only those who have already outsourced social media but also people like me and the GU team who live and breathe it every day! This industry moves fast – we love it. And so, we have ways of combatting that overwhelm!
How do we stop the overwhelming feeling with social media?
I think the key to online success is to try not to get too distracted by “shiny” things. Being focused on your business objectives, and sticking to your marketing plan is crucial.
Tip #1 – Consider Outsourcing
If you do not have the time to implement your marketing plan, then it is best to outsource the work, rather than being inconsistent. Believe me when I say we've learnt this one the hard way over the years.
You can imagine how much work just getting this blog out there is.
- I'm writing it now, then Jane will proofread it tomorrow and make sure it's formatted properly and add any SEO elements I've neglected to include.
- We'll agree on the title or tag line that needs to go on the blog image so that Mark can create an appropriate image for the website.
- Back to Jane to add the image, finish off the article and hit publish.
- While she does that Mark is creating additional images for the social media channels
- Now Jane and Jenny work on dissecting this article and creating social media posts, then they'll schedule the promotion of the article.
- And now, now I have to figure out whether I can use this article as a basis of a video for our YouTube channel, or perhaps a theme for our weekly live stream or perhaps even for a podcast episode.
If the blog article is a guest blog, there are additional steps – and realistically, we're producing an average of three blogs a week. You can see how content creation alone could be overwhelming! If you're nodding along and recognising the steps in the process, ask yourself this question. Is it the best use of your time? Is this, perhaps, something that you should be outsourcing so you can reduce that feeling of overwhelm.
I was recently talking to a client who we've written blogs for over the last few years. Before they came to us, they were playing catch up at weekends, which affected their home life and their wellbeing, and they could not see a way out of the heavy workload. They found they were getting distracted from client work because of the weight of admin. They thought outsourcing to a blog writing service was going to be too costly – until they put a £ value on their time and realised how much not outsourcing was costing them! They came to us and haven't looked back since! (Their words – not mine!)
Tip #2 – Limit your distractions
You have to keep your notifications to a minimum – especially if you're using multiple social media platforms! Get rid of social media alerts in your browser. If you're on an iPhone, move your social media apps to your second home screen so those red numbers don't pull you in out of hours!
We recommend scheduling 20% of your content to your social media platforms using a social media management tool. (That roughly works out as one post a day.) I know it takes a while to set up and get organised, but it certainly removes the pressure of keeping on top of your social media each day – and it will totally be worth it. Having strategically timed tweets and status updates helps you with the day to day management of social media platforms. Knowing you have a consistent presence definitely reduces the overwhelm and feelings of failure on busy days.
Tip #4 – Stop trying to be everywhere
Current stats suggest that adults in the UK have an average number of seven social media profiles… SEVEN! Even I think that's crazy! From a business perspective, we have so many social media channels to choose from that just knowing where to start can be overwhelming! My advice? Start slowly with one or two social media platforms. Ask yourself ‘Where is my audience hanging out online?' Do the research, and ensure the platforms you choose to move forward with are the platforms where your audience is engaging, then concentrate your efforts on these platforms until they're working like a well-oiled machine. Then, and only then, consider increasing your workload!
If you're not sure where to start or need some guidance then simply ask a member of the GUHQ team (click on the live chat), and we'll happily help!
Tip #5 – Only listen to industry experts who you respect
It seems that the world and his wotsit is now a “social media guru” or labelling themselves as an “expert”. Ideally, you only want to be listening to those who really are thought leaders in their industry. If you are outsourcing your social media activity to an agency, then ask them the question “How do you keep on top of all the news in this fast paced industry?”. A good digital marketing agency will invest in the development of their own knowledge. To give you an idea of our investment into our knowledge and skills, here is a quick list of our activity.
- We operate a Social Media Coaching Club. For members of the club, we produce a weekly email that summarises the latest social media developments. We create this email EVERY week, which means that we are looking on websites such as TechCrunch, Social Media Today, Mashable, SocialMediaExaminer, MariSmith, Jeff Bullas, Jay Baer, etc. to find out the most important information that needs reporting back to paying members.
- Twice a month we present a webinar on the latest developments on dedicated social media platforms and digital marketing strategies.
- We listen to marketing podcasts daily and regularly engage with webinar content from industry influencers who operate in the social media world at the highest levels.
- We subscribe to a variety of RSS feeds for the industry.
- We are members of the Social Media Marketing Society, where we are continually educated each week.
If you want to stop feeling overwhelmed, then affiliate yourself with just one or two social media businesses that you trust, that have a good reputation online, who walk the walk, and “know their stuff”. Make sure that you are doing the basics really well before you look at expanding into new areas such as live streaming, video production, inbound marketing, etc. Remember to walk before you run and finally, remember you can ask us for help at any time.