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Avoid Social Media Meltdown: Create a Strategy and Take Back Control

Sep 3, 2015

Posted by

Martha Ciske

Martha Ciske is a legal information technologist and social media consultant in Orlando, Florida. She has worked with professionals, businesses, and non-profit organizations to build their online pre Read more

Everyone said that your business needed to be on Facebook, Linked-In, Twitter, and every other new social media site or service.  So you linked your webpage and your blog and made sure you had the right apps on your mobile devices to post on the go.  You have profiles and pages on multiple services ... but now what? 

Losing track of where you and your company are online, over-engaging, under-engaging, and inaccessible content can hurt your ability to reach your audience.  Hurdle past these issues and get back on track with your social media strategy by taking the time to assess where you are, and form a plan for moving forward.

Issue:  Profile Overload

There are scores of online services and sites where you can potentially place your professional or business profile page.  As sites develop, you may feel like you are always chasing the next greatest place to create a profile for you or your business.  All of those sites may not be necessary to make an impact with your customers and clients.  Worse than not knowing all of where your accounts are is not knowing what your login information is.  Without it you won't be able to act, respond, or correct any misinformation.

Solution:

Take inventory of where your profiles and pages are and know what those sites are for.  Are they equivalent to a phonebook listing or do they require maintenance and interaction?  Can you post status messages, photos, or videos?  Are they professional or social networking sites?  Can they be linked to a networked posting service?  Also make sure you are always in control of your login information.  Knowing what each site or service can do for you will help you determine which ones to keep, and which ones to delete.  It is far better to have a few well-maintained profiles and services than to stretch your energies across a multitude of poorly created or inactive profile pages. 

Issue:  Multi-Media Frenzy  Pictures (and videos) might be worth a thousand words, but they might not always be the best vehicle for your business’ message.  Let’s take a moment to think about your audience.  If your audience is the "9 to 5" working professional and you want them to be able access your information while they are at work, put your message into text.  Many office environments do not allow streaming internet media.  Some outright prohibit content from major video hosting sites like YouTube or Vimeo.  Other professionals may not feel comfortable watching your video in the workplace due to noise concerns or the perception of not working when accessing media online.

Solution:

Make sure your audience can still access your content even if they can’t push play.  Consider making content summaries of your video presentations available.  Also vary your postings to include both text and multimedia content.

Issue:  Social Media Silence

Several high profile celebrities have gone social media silent in support of various charitable causes, but for the average business or professional seeking to maintain and build their network, silence can spell disaster.  Many new social media users go from gung-ho when they begin their online presence to burned-out.  You may have intended to keep posting several times a day, seven days a week but the reality is that without help, you just can’t keep up with that kind of effort.  It’s exhausting.  However, that two month period where you haven’t posted at all is telling potential customers that you don’t care, that the business isn’t doing well enough to pay attention to your online presence, or that you lack the digital finesse to “get it.”

Solution:

Networked posting services to the rescue!  Services like HootSuite and Tweetdeck can help you organize your content and schedule out your activity.  Have a plan to post general content about you and your business on a regular basis, then supplement with the more spontaneous or timely content you create later.

Issue:  Over-posting is Overwhelming

Your posting is out of control.  You’ve posted three inspiring business quotes since breakfast and you are just about to re-tweet an article you saw on a newsfeed, then a photo of your newest listing, then a video about how your stock is doing and ...  Stop!  Don’t push the button.  Where are you going with all of that activity?  Is it emphasizing your core message?  Are you educating and engaging, or just plain annoying your contacts with all of your chatter?  Are you revealing more personal information to your business peers than is really appropriate?

Solution:

Post what matters when it matters.  Strategic and planned posting services can help over-posters too.  If you are over-posting because several people have access to your accounts and are posting independently, reel it back in and take control.  Establish a review process to make sure you are posting for your business or professional persona.  That includes putting your personal posts on a personal social media account -- not your company or professional profile.  It’s ok to re-post content from other reliable and respected sources, especially pertinent news or industry happenings, but make sure your own message is not lost in all the activity.

Even if you haven’t fallen into any of the above issue categories entirely, avoid reaching social media meltdown by taking the time to assess your social media strategy now before you lose patience, control, or sight of your goals.  Don’t worry if you haven’t stayed strictly

on task with your social media strategy.  The great thing about social media is that it is constantly evolving so you can still get your strategy going and be successful.