With the onslaught of IGTV, bloggers and business owners are in an absolute tailspin. There are SO many social media options out there, and it seems like new ones are popping up every day. How can anyone stay up to date with new technology in these conditions? I know it's tough out there!
Today I am giving bloggers and business owners some tips on how to stop being overwhelmed by social media options. This is geared toward all my followers who blog, but honestly, some of these same principles can be used for anyone who is using social media today (aka everyone!)
1. Know Your Audience
If you want to get a following, you need to know your audience. Where are they actually following you? Sometimes it's easy to get swept up in all the changes before you realize that your audience actually wouldn't care.
When Facebook has a new algorithm, it's easy to throw your hands up in despair, but think about it. Do the people who matter most to your blog actually come from Facebook? If they do, you have a reason to be concerned about the algorithm and find ways to work in spite of it. If it doesn't truly affect you, don't worry about it.
I think we often put ourselves into unnecessary spirals when it comes to changes in social media. If it effects you, find a way to work with it. If it doesn't affect you, move on.
2. Be Open To Innovations In The Market
When Instagram announced Instagram Stories in August 2016, many people were upset with this new addition to the social media sphere. My thoughts? Pure joy! I hated Snapchat, and I never got the hang of using the platform. I didn't like that I was stretching myself thin trying to enjoy the platform and create content for it. I was immediately on the Instagram Stories bandwagon, and I began using it as soon as it was an option for me.
When there are innovations in the market, and even overlap in the market, it makes the entire market work together more seamlessly.
While you may be upset by these innovations, you don't have to use them. Instagram Stories made Snapchat step up their game for the people who still used Snapchat. Some people got to consolidate their social media practices and focus solely on what made the most sense to them. I think, overall, it was a win for users of both platforms.
3. Change Your Focus
As a new social media platform or social media function gets released, you have to learn to be flexible with your focus.
With the release of IGTV, some people may have to pivot away from YouTube to create more IGTV videos. It's okay to change up your focus, abandon things, or update your social media strategy.
In fact, you have to change up your social media strategy occasionally to stay relevant and make sure that your approach still works for you.
4. Look At The Numbers
Numbers don't lie.
You may be upset by changes to your social media accounts, but you need to be practical about the situation. What do the numbers look like for your business? Is it smart to embrace new innovations? Or should you stick to what's working?
This is where you need to dig into the analytics of your social media networks. Look past just the follower count.
- How are your page views growing?
- How is your email list doing?
- What are your sales of physical/digital products like?
If the numbers are subpar and you feel like they could be better, see how you can adjust your strategy. There may be parts of your strategy that work, lean into those parts. Other elements of your plan may need to be scrapped and replaced. You can only figure this out if you look at the numbers.
5. Automate & Schedule
You may still want a web presence in places you don't want to focus on. This is where automation and scheduling content comes in handy for you.
Here are some tools you can use to schedule posts:
- Facebook: Use Facebook's built-in scheduler, it's a little wonky to use, but it will get you the best results over an external scheduler. When you go to create a post on your Facebook page, you can choose to schedule posts from the same interface.
- Twitter: Use TweetDeck. It's free and easy to schedule tweets with the platform.
- Pinterest: Use Tailwind. It's easy to use, and there are a lot of tools that you can utilize. If you are a college blogger, you can join my The Happy College Blogger Club Tailwind Tribe!
- Instagram: Use Tailwind. It's an additional cost per month with Pinterest, but it's an excellent scheduler to use. You can also use a scheduler like Buffer.
6. Be A Chooser
You have to choose what you focus on.
Sit down with yourself and be honest about what you would like to make your main priority when it comes to your social media strategy.
Once you do that, you need to make a clear choice every day to focus on those networks.
Making a choice of what you will focus on is a crucial part of stopping yourself from being overwhelmed. Once you choose what your focus is, you can block out everything else. Making your choice known ends the open season your brain feels about your social media options.
7. Don't Be A Passive User
The passive use of social media becomes a big time suck for users.
When you scroll on social media, the goal is to keep you on the site as long as possible. They are going to continue serving you content, and you are going to keep eating it up.
Unless, of course, you put boundaries on yourself.
If you don't put boundaries on yourself, you may find yourself obsessed with social media. This leads to the overwhelming feelings you have because you put so much time into social media without seeing a return on your investment.
Instead of being a scroller, be a strategist.
- Set your timer for 15-30 minutes.
- Before you press start on the timer figure out what you will do with that time. Will you:
- Like content?
- Comment on posts?
- Find new people to follow?
- Engage with brands?
- Once you have that goal in mind, start the timer, and get to work.
- Stop as soon as the timer goes off.
This is a much more active way of utilizing social media for your blog or brand. Instead of aimlessly scrolling your feed looking for your purpose to slap you in the face, you know what your goal is from the jump.
8. Block Out People Who Make You Feel Bad About Your Content
There are going be people with perfect social media accounts, high follower counts, and everything you want. Don't let those people get you down.
Your feed may not be like theirs, but it doesn't need to. It needs to be yours.
It's okay to look to other accounts for inspiration, but if you find yourself stewing in negativity about your own content, it may be time to do a following detox.
9. Walk To The Beat Of Your Own Drum
There is only one you in the world. You have the power to make an impact on this world if only you'd stop comparing yourself to what everyone else is doing.
Create the content that matters most to you, and create a lot of it.
Don't worry about what everyone else in your industry is doing. People only like cookie cutters when the cut cookies.
So, if you want to do what people in your industry don't do, go for it. As long as you aren't hurting anyone, you can be the only one doing what you are doing. Wanna write novels as Instagram captions? Go for it. Wanna use slang and all the exclamation points? You got it, dude!
Be who you are, everyone else is trying to live their best life.
10. Keep Learning
Last, but not least, keep learning.
Read posts and books about social media. Take free and paid courses about social media. Take your social media education seriously.
When you put learning first, you can accomplish great things. You can learn to work smarter, not harder. You may discover a technique that resonates with your audience and pushes your social media accounts to the next level.
Try to learn something new about social media every week. Also, try to implement new concepts into your social media strategy as often as you need to. There is nothing wrong with updating and changing the direction of your social media strategy, as long as you have a solid plan behind your changes.
I know that social media can be intimidating. These are platforms you don't own, after all, and they seem to be continuously changing their tune. Social media sites are skewing their content to the social media user, and this can leave creators in the dust.
Here are the three things that will help you grow with any social media update:
- Think about what social media users need.
- Stay up to date with news about platform changes.
- Continue to learn about how to use social media effectively.