Social media can be a time suck. Really. But if you clean up your act a bit, and focus on what’s important, social can actually save you time and bring in new business. So claim your independence from all that’s holding you back! You know, like this stuff:
- Worrying too much about the competition. Don’t spend so much time lurking around other people’s social media profiles to see if you’re missing something, doing it “right,” or staying on trend. The only way to stand apart and be heard above all the noise is to be unique.
- Your iPhone 24/7. You’ve got to take some time off. Really! As a writer, I can spend weeks on a project, but after awhile, I can’t really see what I’ve written… I’ve looked at the same words, the same paragraphs so many times that I start to miss grammatical errors and poorly constructed sentences. Sometimes the best thing to do is close the document and walk away from the computer. It’s okay to do that with your phone, too. Walk away. Look up at the clouds, look into someone’s eyes, pay attention! You never know what great stuff you’ll find for your next blog post, article, etc.
- Chasing potential clients who just won’t make the commitment. You’ve created presentations, revised proposals, and submitted estimates more times than you care to count. But even after months of hoping and countless hours you’ll never get back or paid for, they still haven’t signed on the dotted line. Let ‘em go! Put your heart and head into your existing clients, new potential clients and building your business in other ways. If they want to work with you, you’ll get the signature when they’re ready. Until then, put it out of your mind.
- Being chained to analytics. Are your eyes crossing from staring at Google reports or graphs of retweets and mentions? Can you recite your influence and engagement levels in your sleep? Step away from the analytics! Not forever, mind you. But, don’t be so caught up in what they say – especially if you’re just starting out. Instead, immerse yourself in the engagement! Start conversations, share great content, write even better content, say “hello” to new followers – just enjoy the social space and when you do check your analytics again, you just might be surprised at the rise in all those numbers.
- Social Shortcuts. You know the stuff: hitting “Retweet” on good content rather than taking the time to add a word or two to the front of the tweet (for more on how to do this, read How to Be a Social Media Rockstar in Minutes). Or clicking the “connect” button on LinkedIn instead of sending a personalized email letting someone know that you’d like to connect – and why. These shortcuts might help you get things done faster, but you’re missing great opportunities to connect on a more meaningful level.
- Ignoring accounts that don’t have a huge following. I know a lot of folks whose MO is to only follow back or engage with high profile twitter accounts. They believe that engaging with anyone else will only make them look less important. DON’T BE ONE OF THESE SOCIALIZERS! The people and brands with smaller followings may just be your greatest assets. They are the ones who’ll engage the most, share your content and make time for conversations.
Be humble, respectful and generous. It beats arrogance every time.
- Hashtagitis. Hashtags can be very beneficial in helping others find your content. But putting hashtags in front of every other word of your tweet makes them hard to read, and makes you look either A) like you don’t know what you’re doing, or B) desperate. Be selective about which hashtag(s) you use, and remember that one or two is quite enough. Any more than three, and you’re pushing it.
Whether you’re guilty of a few of these or not, it’s not too late for you to claim your independence from these social media time sucks. Start now! Smart social is where it’s at.