How to Keep the Grinch From Stealing Social Media

Every person social networking liked Facebook a lot, but the Grinch who was buried in updates did not.
The Grinch hated Twitter, the Social Media thing.
And if you want to know why, here’s some good reasoning.
It could be the spamming and scamming all right.
It could be the frequent time-wasting to fight.
But I think that the most likely reason of all,
May be how our attention spans have become small.

Have you been feeling like a Grinch about social media lately? It’s everywhere, shining its “happy, cheery” hype wherever you look. Social media has taken over my life more than it probably should. Sure, I co-founded a social media marketing agency. Yes, I use Twitter many times a day, Facebook at least daily, and try to blog at least weekly (to no avail). I certainly agree that social media has changed the way we communicate, interact and promote. But it’s starting to feel like much too much, for me at least. I also know I have to constantly rethink how I’m adopting new networks, and how to best use the ones I have that actually work well for me.

Here are some quick tips for dealing with social media in the coming year:

  • Oh, the noise! Oh, the noise! Noise! Noise! There is too much information at our fingertips, but you don’t have to consume it all. Cut back, start your new year fresh. Make a list of the top three topics that are important to you. Choose one topic mission-critical to your business, one topic related to a personal interest or hobby, and one topic that really stretches your mind and gets you thinking outside your comfort zone. Ignore the rest; you’ve survived without it to date, and trying to keep up with everything will cause you more frustration than good.
  • Don’t rush for the toys. There are too many networks, and you don’t need to be part of them all. I still stand by my theory that you really only need — and can properly manage — three: your Social Media Triad. Too many people are putting up Facebook Pages just to have them, or are getting a Twitter account because they heard they need one. Don’t dive in without doing some research, planning and making sure you pick the right tools to reach your target audience or customers, that you actually feel comfortable using, and that help you achieve some realistic goals.
  • Avoid the tinsel! The trimmings! The trappings! You don’t need to bling out your blog or add so many bells and whistles to your social networks that they’re weighed down in features. Do an inventory of how you want to use each of your networks and what you want your friends, fans and followers to actually do. Then eliminate anything that distracts from those key goals.
  • Don’t let fibs fool you. Too many people are jumping on the social media gravy train and claiming to be “experts” and “gurus.” A person who knows social media — and has been using it for a while – doesn’t claim to be an expert or guru, and acknowledges being in constant learning mode in an ever-changing industry. A good consultant is a navigator through the technology, the jargon and the tinsel to get you to the heart of what really matter: your goals.
  • The best conversations come without ribbons, come without tags, come without packages, boxes or bags. If you really want to succeed using social media channels, tools and tactics, the best thing you can do is to be real and find ways to provide real value to others. Most people will let you into their streams and circles if you are actually using social media the way it was intended: to connect and communicate. The fancier and flashier you get, the more you’ll miss the whole point of social media in the first place.
  • Effective social media doesn’t come from a store. Too many people think social media marketing is an instant cure-all, like an over-the-counter pain remedy. Too many people think social media marketing is a quick hit. Social media success isn’t something you buy; it’s something you earn over time. Make a commitment to learning how to use social media tools — the channels, networks and platforms — properly and really think hard about what you can offer over time to the conversations and sharing that is happening all around you.
  • Grow your heart three sizes today. To get to the heart of social media, you need to examine your own heart and the reasons you’re wanting to use social media in your communications and marketing efforts. You can’t go wrong if you consider these three things: Firstly, care about others, and help them with something; secondly, lift others up with kind words, by retweeting and sharing the important things they share; finally, share your wealth — not your money, but your wealth of knowledge, information, resources, support and energy.
  • Bring food for the feast. Social media is only as valuable as what we all contribute to it: what we post, what we share, what we link to, what we create. If you abuse the system, the system will bite back. Bring tasty morsels to the table, and a feast will be had by all.

A Merry Social Networking To All, and To All, A Good Night.

What are you doing to keep the Grinch out of social media?

Stock xchng image by user canna_w

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