social media

Social Media – it slowly starts to consume your life (if you let it).  But as a professional serviced based Financial Coaching, Accounting & Bookkeeping business, I need to remind myself that I am not “in the business” of social media.

“Social media is a tool.  A tool I can choose to use, or a tool I can  choose to ignore.”

I think a lot of business owners (**disclaimer – personal opinion) get so caught up in which is the newest platforms, how many likes they have, how many people are interacting, how many boost posts or ads they are doing and what the insights tell them – that they can momentarily forget that their business is not actually in the field of social media.

I know there are plenty of social media experts out there, but this post is not intended for you.  This post is intended for everyone NOT running a social media business.

Now, I know that a visually appealing Instagram feed is … well … appealing – but do pretty photos tell me about you, about your products, or about your services?  Half the time when I click on an awesome image – it is just a regram from another feed which really doesn’t have anything to do with your business.  For me, this is a turn off – as I base my business on relationships and “knowing” (all be it virtually) the person I am buying from.

‘I want to know your story.  I want to know who you are.  I want to know your values, your core, what is important to you and why I/my business NEEDS your products or services.’

Social media, I feel, will never go away.  I think as we see from the rise of new platforms like Snapchat, that social media will just continue to grow.

So how can you not let Social Media overwhelm you when it is in your face every day ?  Here are my top 5 tips for business owners to avoid social media overwhelm:

1. Start slow.  If you just start with one platform – that is OK.  You don’t have to be across all platforms now – and you don’t ever have to be across all platforms.  Master one platform, and move to the next.  Don’t get caught up in the numbers, focus on great content that your users want/need.

2. Know where your customers or clients are likely to be hanging out.  Ultimately social media is a way to connect, in a social environment with clients, customers and POTENTIAL clients and customers.  The world is your oyster.  So if you know that Facebook is where they are at – master that first.  If videos give you an anxiety attack just seeing your face on the screen – I suggest you stay away from Snapchat.  Am I an expert – Hell no – hence why I keep it really bloody simple.  Check out this article on the MYOB blog about social media marketing for SME’s

3. Remember the social aspect.  OK – so if you scroll back through my feed to way back when (oh dear god please don’t) you will see a really shitty feed.  I thought I had to get so much technical information across in my posts to inform people about everything under the sun to do with accounting and bookkeeping and the ATO.  Funnily enough – nobody was interested in that (insert sarcastic emoticon here).  That was when I realised people are on social media for light relief.  Information, but short sharp snippets.  Great images to inspire them, quotes to keep them on track and useful hints and tips in a CONCISE way.  Never forget the social side of things.  Make it fun and interesting.

4. Consistency is the key.  Some say post once a day, some say twice a day, some say three times a day.  You know what I do?  Whatever the heck I like (well within reason).  What I do first is develop my content plan.  A monthly guide to see what kind of content I will post on a Monday, then I source those posts.  That way my Monday posts all have the same theme or topic.  Same theory with the rest of the week.  It makes creating the content far less time consuming, and my feed (well Facebook anyway) a much more structured approach).  Instagram for me is a little bit (*um – a lot more) ad hoc – however I use tools to create consistent Instagram images for certain topics.  And that leads nicely to point 5 below.

5. Use tools to help you streamline things.  Whilst we personally don’t use any schedule planning tools (yet), we do use tools to create consistent images.  At the moment we use a combination of Canva and Word Swag.  We don’t overcomplicate things – these are the programs we can actually use in a heartbeat – so we use them.  Sure our Instagram feed is probably not the most visually appealing – but let’s face it – I am a numbers nerd after all.  The most creative thing I do is put headings on financial reports.  Know your weaknesses, and get people (or in my case tools/programs) to help in the areas you need help.

So yes, social media can at times feel overwhelming.  You are constantly, checking, updating, posting, commenting, liking, sharing….again and again and again.

But ask yourself this – why have you chosen the social media platforms you are using?  Is it to share, educate and inspire others and are you doing exactly that? If the answer is no, then I would rethink your strategy (or lack thereof).  

Social media is only overwhelming if you let it overwhelm you.  You should be in control of it, and it should not control you.