How should I spend my precious time on social media?

When I speak to clients who are new to the social media world, the one word I keep hearing is that they are overwhelmed.  They also say they don’t “get” Twitter, they don’t want to friend people on Facebook, why would people on Instagram care what food they eat?  And why Google+?  And most of all, how should I spend my already limited time on these platforms in order to get the best results for my efforts?

Why Twitter:

I love Twitter because of the brevity of it.  Sit back and watch people for a few months, then choose someone that you admire and may want to emulate.  Note that I said “emulate”, not copy.  Tell your own story, show your own uniqueness.  I only retweeted my first six months on Twitter until I was comfortable.  Even until today, I edit my tweets quite a bit before I post them.

If you are overwhelmed, use a list to help you be organized.  Favorite people to bookmark for a possible retweet later.  It is great way to acknowledge the kindness for the share.  You wonder why no one talks to you?  Remember social media is not a one-way conversation.  I know, it can be intimidating, but it’s not really a big risk.

Why Facebook:

Why not build a community there?  I get the most engagement on Facebook.  Want privacy?  Stay off social media.  Share things that you don’t need to keep private.  Facebook shouldn’t be used as an online diary.

Why Instagram:

No, you do not have to share every meal or cocktail with me.  But if you do, be creative in shooting your image or your caption. I get so many funny engaging comments on my pretty cocktail drinks.  Pull followers in with humor.  Before posting yet another photo of a glass of wine, think how this share will be any different from any other Instagramers.

Why Google+:

Google+ is the main channel that I feel is underestimated by social media marketers.  Clients I speak to feel that taking on one more channel would be “too much” for them.  I disagree–they can’t afford to neglect this all-powerful source.  Especially with its interactive posts, communities, and how it aids SEO.

There certainly are other social channels that I have not listed, and I will come back to this in the future with a follow-up article.  Don’t forget that social media can be fun, but can be a time suck.  Keep a balance on what you share and how often you flood the stream–this can be be the tricky part.  And always remember that your smart phone does not have to be your electronic leash.

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