How to break free from social media overload

It’s easy to fall victim to social media overload, so concentrate only on those platforms which are really going to be most effective for your business

Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. YouTube. LinkedIn. Pinterest. Vine. Google+. Snapchat. Flickr. The list goes on and on. For many small businesses, choosing which social media platforms to invest in is like browsing a bookstore and selecting which novel to read. You are faced with multiple types, addressed to multiple audiences, catering for multiple needs.

While there’s no denying the benefits of social media marketing – increased online visibility, effective stakeholder relationships and increased customer loyalty are just a few –  not every business has the capacity or need to be present on every social platform available. So if you are signing up to every network just for the sake of it, you may be spreading yourself too thinly.

If this sounds like you, it’s time to re-evaluate your priorities. Here are a few tips to help you break free from the grasps of social media overload:

Keep your eyes on the prize

That’s right, it’s Business 101. All marketing activities start with your organisational objectives. Without knowing exactly what your goals are, it’s impossible to know which tactics are going to get you there. So, before you fill out that registration form and begin churning out your posts, decide what you want to gain from being on social media. What is your idea of success? Whether it be leads, branding, membership, sales, information or loyalty, keeping your eyes on the prize will help you figure out which platforms are best suited to your business.

Fish where the fish are

While having a presence on multiple social media platforms isn’t necessarily a bad thing, ignoring certain platforms because you have too many to manage is a trap many businesses fall into. Consider which platforms your target market uses, and start cultivating a strong presence on them. Sure bets like Facebook and Twitter yield the most media bang for your marketing buck, but also consider which platforms have the largest following for your business. Having a truly successful social media campaign on one outlet is far more beneficial than having three or four accounts that don’t have a strong following.

Bring content, not noise

Social media gives you the opportunity to establish a powerful relationship with your customers. This begins with creating engaging, quality content that provides a strong foundation for conversation. A Facebook post that gets 20 comments and 100 likes can do far more for your communications efforts than 50 tweets that aren’t seen by anyone. So do your business a favour and focus on creating stellar content. Not only will this create a solid network based on quality engagement, but it will also allow you to become more efficient in your communications efforts.

At the end of the day, it’s better to make your mark on a few social media sites rather than spreading yourself too thinly and having little impact at all. So start thinking about what channels are relevant to your business, goals and audience, and you’ll be on your way to breaking free from social media overload.

Jo Scard, Fifty Acres

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