We just can’t get away from the technology that surrounds us. Social media is probably one of the worst.
It seems so overbearing, so overwhelming. We’re told we need to embrace this new technology and embrace social media, not just because we like it and not just because it’s how we operate today, but even for business purposes, even for marketing and those types of things.
So how do you avoid social media overload?
What I’ve learned is to say no to the noise and to focus on the areas of impact where you actually drive value yourself. I’ve chosen a strategy and I’ve really focused my own social media efforts and understanding on those platforms that bring me value and trying to give back to the communities that I’m part of that will get value from me participating.
That theory of mutual benefit seems to have been playing out very well.
Here’s how I use social media to grow my business, my influence, and my platform, and, quite frankly, how I use it to engage with the world. Most importantly, here’s how I avoid social media overload.
1. LinkedIn: Powerful Professional Platform
My largest network is on LinkedIn and I share content through LinkedIn. My LinkedIn probably gets the biggest response with the least amount of effort. I get multiple direct messages and requests for connections, and I also get multiple responses to posts.
There’s no doubt that for a professional, at least in my case, it is the most powerful network. Because I used LinkedIn as a tool—I’m in there almost every day if not every day—it’s easy for me. I get value out of it. It’s easy for me to engage with naturally in my life.
Going back to the principle of technology getting out of the way: it’s part of what I’m already doing, so I don’t have to deliberately think about using it.
2. Facebook: Personal, Transparent, and Vulnerable Made Easy
I also get value out of Facebook. It’s a little different: it’s more of a personal tool as opposed to a professional tool. I enjoy keeping up with people this way, especially because I don’t have a ton of extra margin in my life that I can spend on friendships and relationships.
I enjoy just getting the updates, staying connected, and knowing what’s going on in people’s lives in relationships I’ve had all across the country for years. I’m able to keep up on the conversation my wife’s having with her friends and even chime in on those every now and then. I stay in touch with friends from college who are off in different states now.
Because of all of those factors, I’m in Facebook already, so I’m able to share more naturally. My strategy with Facebook has been to share my personal content and things that are going on in my life. Facebook is not my professional platform; it’s my transparency and vulnerability platform.
Facebook allows me to share the personal side of myself, including my writing. It’s a different slant on who and what I am.
3. Twitter: Transactional Content Sharing
Twitter is where I go to aggregate my content. It’s how I broadcast my content—not just my own content, but also content I’m reading. Twitter is much more transactional and not as relational.
Without spending a dime, Twitter is my fastest-growing community. The traction I’ve had there in the last several months is phenomenal, and I’m not sure where it’s coming from. I think it could be because of the consistency I’ve had. I’m out there and I’m generating content.
Saying No: So There’s Room to Say Yes
That’s my social media strategy. I’ve said no to Pinterest. I’ve tried. I signed up, but it’s not me. I don’t spend the time, and it was too cumbersome. So guess what? I’m not active there. I’m not going to try to be active there.
I actually use Instagram, because of the tight integration with Facebook, for personal pictures, but it’s not one that I’ve gone deeply into. I only use it when it’s convenient for me.
My social media strategy is a lot less deliberate than a lot of people’s. I know people who spend money on ads and do different things to promote their social media. I’m just not there.
I think you should only invest in the social media that you’re getting value from, and you reciprocate that value. That, in turn, creates a mutually beneficial relationship. Mutually beneficial relationships are the ones that I’ve seen grow over time. Those that are one-way, where you’re just preaching to the choir, where you’re just using it as a marketing tool—I’m not sold on those yet.
How do you avoid social media overload?