True confessions: Social media, like running, is something I avoid (Part 1)
Posted on Aug 14, 2012 by J C Kreidel, Managing Director of Business Development | Subscribe to this RSS feed |
Editor’s Note: The first of a two-part article from JC on her adventures in finding enough time for social media.
I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but we’re friends, right? If I can’t share a personal revelation with friends and followers of Vox Optima, then just who can I turn to?
Okay, here goes. Between you and me … social media is a pain in the ass. A giant, hairy, time-sucking, often thankless pain in the … [Second Editor’s Note: Ms. Kreidel is afforded only a single profane reference per each blog post, pursuant to the terms of her employment agreement]. Okay, you get the picture.
Whining aside, it occurs to me, that crafting a rewarding social media strategy is an awful lot like devising – and more importantly, sticking to – an exercise plan. A tweeting strategy, or a mapped out plan to mix cardio with strength training! Boy oh boy, I can get my OCD on, getting giddy strategizing the path to success … only to opt for a nap, vice a run or tweet, by Wednesday. What good does that do me? Paraphrasing Animal House, fat and unremarkable is no way to go through life.
So, why does social media continue to be my sometime priority? I have good excuses – that proposal ain’t gonna write itself, girlie – and bad ones – no one re-tweeted me yesterday, why should I bother today? Now, I know social media, like an hour at yoga class, is good for me. But it’s not just one hour, done sporadically, when I’ve mentally nagged myself into submission that does me real good.
For social media to be effective, you have to schedule it. Just like you can’t expect running every three months will make you svelte, you can’t send out a tweet and expect to get results. Schedule it until it becomes habit. From a recent, much dreaded session on the elliptical machine doubling as a dust magnet in my house, I began a list of a few parallels on the obstacles common to making time for both working out and for social media.
I don’t have the time.
We can talk about profits, but these days, the blue chip commodity is time. Whether or not I do something has less to do with the money in my wallet, or what’s in the company’s coffers, than in how many hours I have left in the day. I better darn well get something good back for investing my time. It can be hard to justify meaningful exchanges on social media sphere when that to do list of yours is a multi-page, color tabbed wonder with a zip code of its own. Doing the social media rounds is the thing you’ll get tomorrow. Or the day after, providing nothing more important pops up.
And just like with an exercise routine, it’s something you have to prioritize. For many of us, it isn’t the MOST important thing in our day, but you will have to put some value on it to do it right, or you shouldn’t really bother at all. For me – and let me be honest, I’m far from consistent – that means a half hour in the morning, pulling down information that interests me or I think will be of use to the people I engage with. THIRTY MINUTES – I use an egg timer to keep me honest. I may drop in for an additional booster social media workout later in the day, my schedule permitting, but that morning routine is on its way to a habit I hope to keep. For you, that might be just five minutes. The important thing is to carve the time, stick to it, and move on to the next station in your daily routine.
Where the heck are my results?
Boy oh boy, do we have debates about that ‘round here at the Vox Optima virtual water cooler. Counting up re-tweets and how many Likes you’ve received like guilty calories is enough to make you want to throw on the yoga pants, crawl under the covers and avoid your computer.
For those of you with the resources to hire a personal trainer, you know slow and steady wins the race. Same thing goes for social media – you will not be an overnight sensation, so why set yourself up for disappointment thinking you might be the exception to the rule? Putting aside, the momentary endorphin high that comes from a big name with a serious Twitter cult re-tweeting your pithy comment, it’s consistency that provides real results. It all goes back to your plan, and tracking that effort you put into it each and every day. Rather than focusing solely on numbers – be it pounds or true reach – focus instead on the trends. Seek out the things that make you look good or make you feel good.
Because too much of a good thing can still be bad – and this applies to chocolate and wine, lunges and squats, blogs and tweets – we’re going to take a break and check our breathing. In my next installment, we’re going to talk about overcoming boredom and social media phobias. But before I do, I’d love to hear from you – far as your social media regime, what’s keeping you up and night?
JC Kreidel is the managing director of business development for Vox Optima and fledgling social media geek. A former Navy journalist, JC spends most of her time drumming up business, overseeing proposals, directing our movers and shakers, and when she’s not doing that supporting our clients with her pearls of prose. She’d love to hear from you, so connect up with her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or reach out through email.
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