Monday, 13 February 2012

Too Many Channels

Social Media for business is undoubtedly the thing! But where to start? There are outlets for your creative muse by the dozen. Actually there are hundreds of them but you have to pick ones where you feel comfortable and your audience is likely to be relevant for you. So explore before you belong, and see what sort of thing is going on there. It's like a giant party with groups of people drifting in and out of the conversations.
My own perceived difficulty is with the inspiration. If I see a useful article or some observation strikes me I can tweet about it, put it on my facebook business page, include it in an article I am publishing somewhere, put it on the 4N forum, Linked in Groups, Googleplus,  or any of the other outlets I have something to do with. The point is that having done one or two of those the creative inspiration has been used up for that little topic. I am not short of ideas but I am short of enough to service all these outlets.
Keep it under control
The obvious answer is to keep an eye on the response you get and service the outlets that are most useful. You are in business, TIME is your biggest resource problem and it is not cynical to ignore some of the chat that is constantly going on. The measure might be - would they miss me if I didn't bother for a few days? Harsh but fair!
Measured Response
You could go overboard and studiously examine the insights, the klout, the metrics and the various applications (apps) available to tidy up your social media. Probably it is worth keeping an eye on some of it but you can spend too much time analysing and worrying about all the measures and creating a bigger problem still.
Allocate your time
So my considered conclusion is that a mixture of outlets is useful. This should be a mix of what you perceive to be useful areas to keep in with and you do that by seeing if the material there is useful to you. There is also the social context. A little light distraction is not harmful, but don't spend all day on it.
Content
Of course you should talk about your business things, but not without humour and not incessantly. Equally I think it is unhelpful to talk about frippery and pointless inconsequential things. Have something to say, just as you would when chatting to a friend at a break in a meeting.
There is the key. It is 'social' media you are dealing with. Building up a circle of friends in business is always useful. Helping them promote their on line presence is not difficult and creates the goodwill you need.
Bob Shepherd Associates builds up businesses. One of the components - a sub heading under 'Marketing' in the business plan is social media and what to do about it. Off loading it to a managed service is okay only if you keep a close eye on what they say and supplement the whole with your own content. The arena for this is changing and evolving. Emails are no longer as effective, newsletters are  largely ignored, blogs are losing their impact. It's a moving floor and you need to keep your balance. Doing something involves allocating time to service it. Doing it badly is a waste of time. A strategy is necessary to make it worthwhile.





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