Are you in social media overwhelm?
If you are on too many platforms juggling too many priorities and not getting anywhere then listen up, I have some tips for you.
In this post, I share 3 ways to help reduce social media overwhelm and get back on track to being more productive and using social media for results.
When it comes to social media overwhelm, we all experience it. More and more social media platforms, tools and “latest things” are introduced every day – how can you keep up?
You don't need to! The key is to find the way that YOU are best able to use social media to get results. It doesn't mean doing the platform cha-cha on every single social media channel.
It does mean getting clear on:
- which platforms you should be on
- what content you should be sharing and
- how you will share that content.
And that's where this post comes in.
There's a gazillion ways to reduce social media overwhelm. I am going to keep it simple and share just 3 to get you started.
You can go and try others after that, but I guarantee that these 3 tips will get you off and racing (away from social media overwhelm!). Here they are:
3 Ways to Reduce Social Media Overwhelm
Step 1: Ask Your Audience
Now you might be thinking “of course, Donna, I know what my audience wants” and maybe you do, but hear me out.
You see, we often create content that we “think” our audience wants when in actual fact they want something different in fact.
Take this very article that you are reading right now. My blog, Socially Sorted, focuses on visual content and content strategy. And for the most part my audience gobbles it up… they love visual content.
But if I ask them… I mean really ask them, in a survey or directly… they often say they are overwhelmed and don't know where to start with social media content creation, posting and engagement to get results.
There's an underlying challenge they need to solve before they can even get to the social media strategy part.
In fact, I have written so many responses to emails and questions from my community about where to start. So many, in fact, that I decided to write this post.
So sometimes you need to ASK your audience some specific questions so you can find out their single biggest challenges… and then use your content to solve them.
There are many ways to you can survey your audience. You can:
- Conduct a survey to your subscriber community or list.
- Ask them on social media – in a group, on a Facebook Post or Twitter survey (there are many ways to do this)
- Ask somebody else's audience if you don't have a list yet.
If you want to find out more about how to survey your audience and ask them about the nitty gritty of what they need help with then go to this article below. It has 19 ways that you can survey your audience to get to know them better and get insights into the right kind of content to create (and even the platforms where they are more likely to consume that content).
Then.. the next two steps become MUCH easier. Because you are starting out with some seriously savvy intel to steer you in the right direction.
Step 2: Create Core Content Consistently
The next step is one of the hardest.
But just about every content creator, marketer, entrepreneur or small business owner that does this, and does this on a consistent basis… gets the best results.
You see, many people (me included at times) want to jump straight to Step 3.. the social media. But if you do that without Steps 1 and 2, then you are setting yourself up for social media overwhelm.
Nobody wants that. So here's what you do.
Decide on your “core content”. It typically should be content that is based on your website, such as:
- a Blog
- a Podcast (with show notes)
- a Video channel with expanded blog content on your website (with videos hosted on YouTube, Vimeo etc).
For the majority of small businesses, a blog is the most popular choice. It's easy to set up, you can add content easily and you can add in YouTube videos and other content as well.
Regardless of which platform you use, the key is to create at least one super-helpful piece of content every week for your audience.
It can be a fortnight or a month, but a week is better. As long as you are consistent, it doesn't matter.
If you are not sure what to write or post about, start out by asking yourself these questions:
1 What are the FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) that you are always asked by your ideal customers or your audience?
2 What are the SAQs (Should Ask Questions) that you are always telling your clients or customers about, even if they don't ask you?… these are important too.
3 Brainstorm a couple of key topics (preferably around the results of your survey in Step 1 above) and start to write down potential topics you could write about. There's no right answer, just put anything down that comes into your head!
Now that you have these starter topics, you can flesh them out into blogposts or other content. Of course there are many ways you can approach the structure of your content but start with these ideas and the rest will come as you learn.
When you write your core content, try to inject “you” into it. Your thoughts, your opinions, your expertise, your ideas and tips, tricks and strategies. There may already be millions of blog posts on the web, but nobody has your unique point of view.
If you can start to post consistently about that then you are well on your way to standing out in your industry by using successful content marketing.
Which brings me to Step 3….
Step 3: Social Media Focus
Once you have some core content, say a 500-1000 word blog post, then you need to get it out there.
Great content doesn't just get shared. It needs a helping hand. You need to promote it. And that's where social media comes in.
But I'm not saying to “do” social media. I'm asking you to focus in on one core platform to start with.
Now, before you say “Gah, Donna but what about the other ones”, you can breathe easy. I'm not talking about stopping anything you are doing currently.
I'm talking about focusing in on ONE key platform at a time. We do this to get the following in place:
- what content will you share on that platform?
- how often you will share and what time?
- how you will create the content and if you need any help?
- who on your team will help you, even if you are just referring to yourself? (for now!)
- how will you respond to your community when they engage with you?
- what do you want your community to do.. is it just to engage or do you want them to ultimately visit your website or subscribe to your email list?
- what are your goals for that platform in terms of followers, engagement and results?
For instance, we did this when we started up our Instagram featured account @sociallysorted. We wanted to grow the account and also get more engagement. The key was in tools, people and systems.
So we did the following in late 2015:
- posted images and content more regularly using a scheduling tool. We used Later to schedule our content and Agorapulse to engage.
- set up systems in my business with my team member to create more original visual content (images and video) to share on the new account
- using analytics to track progress.
The result was a 500% increase in the account size over a year. We didn't neglect the other platforms, they kept ticking along, but we focused IN on Instagram. Once Instagram was ticking over well we could focus in on another platform. We did the same thing with Twitter and we are doing the same thing with Pinterest.
In each case, the result is that the platform you have focused on starts to be easier to manage. It reduces social media overwhelm. Try it and see!
The key: don't start another platform until you have a handle on the ones you are already on.
Combine the Steps
It will take time but if you focus on just these 3 steps then you will start to see an increase in shared content, traffic to your website and business, an engaged community and of course subscribers and customers.
But remember… start out simple and just done one or two of these things to start.
Don't be everywhere to start with… be focused.
At every stage of the three steps above, a few key activities will help you stay on task. If you feel overwhelmed by social media, do one of the following things.
- Switch it off – everyone needs a break. You'll go crazy being on screens all day. Switch off, go screen-free for at least a chunk of time every day. You'll feel more focused when you come back online.
- Use Tools to help you – using scheduling tools helps you to better manage and engage with your social media content, or tools to help you create the content in the first place.
- Batch Your Content – don't just create one blog post or social media image. Batch them. If you sit down and do a batch of images or posts, you'll get ahead, feel content that you have your content covered and will have more time to focus on other projects. Creating one blog or podcast or image or social media post at a time is a sure-fire gateway to social media overwhelm. Get in the zone and batch your content!
- Get Help – once you get your systems and processes in place, consider getting some outside help to do those jobs. It will free you up to do the important things in your business.
Over to You
Tell me… where are you at and where will you start with these tips? Or maybe it's already working for you. Let me know in the comments below!