I love social media. I love it. No question about it.
Through all the giddy love and unquestionable dedication to social media in the past few months, I have realized one thing. There is fine line to draw when it comes to embedding yourself into the social media world, especially as a business owner and social media consultant.
The Dangers of Social Media:
Danger 1: Loss of Productivity in Your Offline Work Environment
When I first started getting involved in sites like FriendFeed, Plaxo, LinkedIn, and Smaller Indiana I started to see a slow decrease of my productivity in my work flow. I was spending so much time writing blogs, commenting in FriendFeed, and searching for new content my Clients were starting to suffer. I was missing a few deadlines and not getting the sleep I needed to run a successful and productive company.
I have read more than a few posts in FriendFeed pertaining to this topic. When you become entrenched in a social community you grow to love the content and the people on the site. What do we do when we love something? Invest in it. Plain and Simple.
- Time Management: Try to set a certain amount of time aside for social media once a day. Set a goal to spend 30-60 mins in the morning and 30-60 mins in the evening (this is just an example). Maybe you decide to spend time on social media at night after you get home. Maybe it is on your lunch break. Manage your time and stick to it.
- Crowd Sourcing: Use your social media communities to help with your work! I recently needed some ideas of where to find stock pictures of run-down gas stations. I posted the question on FriendFeed and within 2 minutes, I had 6 responses! Social Media communities are filled with extremely intelligent and talented people. USE THEM!
Danger 2: The Curse of Knowledge
Most of us on the social media circuit are self-proclaimed social media experts. We love to be the early adopters. We love to try every new and shiny beta out there. We debate and talk about certain sites to the point of beating the conversation to death.
Owning a company that caters to small businesses, I have found myself ROCKED with the curse of knowledge. Most small business owners are not engrained into social media. LinkedIN and Plaxo are the extent in which they enter into the social community realm. For social media tycoons and experts the curse of knowledge can be detrimental when consulting to your small business clients.
“Have you ever tried Twitter? You should really check it out.” ***blank stare*** “Okay, let’s go back to LinkedIN and Plaxo.”
It is simple. Remember that the social media fanatics are a completely different crowd than most small business owners. I have tried to slow myself down when discussing social media with a prospective client. I tend to get really excited and go on tangents of social media effectiveness and crowd sourcing in FriendFeed (blah blah blah).
- Get to the source of the pain. Maybe you are overwhelmed by all the sites out there? Maybe you need some help in finding the right sites and managing the content to the sites? You want to get into blogging? The Basics? Sure!
The greatest lesson I have ever learned is actually from the Sandler Sales Course, which I would love to take some day. Ask questions. Get to the source of the problem. Don’t overwhelm with knowledge and wealth of information.
Most people could care less about the amount of knowledge you have about social media. They already know you are good…..They are meeting with you. They want to know how YOU are going to solve THEIR problems. They don’t care about the new THING in social media. They care about how it helps them.