As the saying goes “unless you’ve been hiding under a rock” there is a very good chance that you’ve not only heard of facebook and LinkedIn but are an active and engaged participant on both. We are reminded constantly of the need to be on social media, to maintain a social media presence and to interact with our customers by employing this type of technology. How much is too much however? At what point does your message become de-valued, meaningless white noise amongst the clamor for customer attention? At the same time, how much is too much for you, as a person trying to conduct business? Social media has a huge role to play in terms of its ability to distract and consume your time voraciously in a non-productive way. Let’s talk about how much we “talk.”
The word “talk” was very deliberately placed in quotes. Why? Because today, due primarily to the influence of social media, we don’t do nearly enough actual talking. Our interactions with others on a human scale are some days, literally non-existent while our “interactions” on social media are exhaustive! Social Media has created a “doors wide-open” philosophy where we are encouraged to post, post, post, often times with little regard for the quality of the posting. There are entire blogs related to how often you should post and the rule of three has become the norm: post three times sharing information, tips, tools, techniques or free giveaways, before posting any targeted and specific attempt at soliciting business. The problem is we are often left searching for content of value, re-circulating posts that have already made the internet rounds several times over and which are, at best, tenuously related to our business. Currently, “curated content” is the new buzzword. Let’s look at what that really is. Curated content is regurgitated. It’s a nice word for taking someone’s work, cobbling it together with other similar posts and offering them up under your banner for public consumption. Often, I find an attention-grabbing headline has been shared to a page but when you click on the link, the content has nothing to do with the business sharing it. Clearly this is an example of someone not vetting content or sharing information of value but rather, a person simply caught up in the rush to post, post, post.
Original content is king and making sure that it’s laser-focused and related to your business is paramount. Self-employed entrepreneurs must fight for attention amongst big business so it is particularly incumbent upon them to ensure content is relevant. More so, it is critical that you don’t get caught up in the minutiae yourself, trawling through LinkedIn in search of content but getting sidetracked along the way looking at what all your old high school friends are doing now. The same is true with facebook. As entrepreneurs, with no IT department to block your access, and no one to answer to other than yourself, it’s far too easy to flip through facebook laughing at the antics of your nephew as he plays with that cute new puppy. Social Media for business requires both social responsibility and effective time management. Set aside just 15 minutes twice a day to touch base with your followers. Be very regimented about that time (use the alarm on your Smartphone) and before you hit the share button employ the “pause and reflect” philosophy. Ask yourself “is this of value, relevant or potentially helpful to my clients?” If the answer is no, don’t share. If you haven’t even read the content, definitely don’t share it and if you really don’t have anything to say – that’s fine too. Just as in life, don’t “talk” for the sake of talk, but rather, talk when you have something meaningful to say. After all, you don’t want to be the person “blocked” by your customers because they were fed up with a continuous and largely irrelevant barrage of “curated content.”
As Owner and Principal partner of “Writing Right For You” Sheralyn is a Communications Strategist – working together with entrepreneurs to maximize profit through effective use of the written word. Looking for web content that works, blog articles that engage or communications strategies that help you get noticed? Contact Sheralyn today. Sheralyn is also the mother of two children now entering the “terrible and terrific teens” and spends her free time volunteering for several non-profit organizations.
Sheralyn Roman B.A., B.Ed.
Writing Right For You
Communications Strategies that help you GET TO THE POINT!
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