Social Media Tools & Tech – 15 Tips to Not Lose Your Mind!

PamMoore
Pam Moore Owner/Partner, Marketing Nutz, LLC

Posted on January 30th 2012

Social Media Tools & Tech – 15 Tips to Not Lose Your Mind!

sm stressed Social Media Tools & Tech   15 Tips to Not Lose Your Mind! I spent some time this evening cruising around Facebook, LinkedIn, Goolge+, Pinterest, and a few hundred other platforms. I had high hopes for finishing a couple blog posts but instead got lured in by the latest social news. You know how it is. Just as we get used to something it changes, a ticker is added, more of our activity gets shared, a new social network is born, mobile app launched and the list goes on.

As I wasted my night away in social slacker land with all my fellow slacker geeks I was amazed at how many people are simply losing their mind. I guess I am so close to all of it that I forget how many business leaders, entrepreneurs and consumers are still learning.

I saw everything from spammy Facebook, Pinterest & LinkedIn pages to a landing page that guaranteed me a first page Google ranking.

However, most shocking was seeing QR codes on LinkedIn and Facebook avatars. Really folks? Come on! Why on earth would you use a “code” in the place of a branding and human connection opportunity? There is NOTHING about the QR code that is going to connect me to your brand. It takes at minimum 6-7 brand touches for me to remember anything about you. Why would you waste such valuable online real estate on a code that to the human eye and remembering brain looks no different than all the other folks doing the same thing?

I am a believer in leveraging technology, cool gadgets, widgets and even QR codes. However, I suggest only doing such when they can be used in a way that brings value to your audience and helps you better inspire and connect with them.

Even given tonight’s QR code most shocking moments and geek slacker time, I still have good news.  I am now motivated to not only finish a blog post, but also write a whole new one, thus the reason for this post.

With all this tech evolution it is important we not lose sight of why you are spending time on social in the first place! I hope most of you are spending time on the social networks to:

  • Connect with real people
  • Network
  • Learn
  • Educate
  • Inspire
  • Grow your business
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Make new friends
  • And the list goes on…..

I recently wrote a post titled “The Heartbeat of Social Media” where I talk in more depth on the importance of connecting with real people. It is the human connections we make with one another that bring the greatest benefits to our time and resource spent on integrating social media into our business.

So as you work to kickoff your social program, more deeply integrate social media into your business or wherever you may be in regard to social media adoption, don’t lose sight of the art of social media. Social media is more than tools. The tech is the easy part. Figuring out how to inspire, educate and engage your audience after the Facebook like or follow is of most importance.

15 Tips to Stay Sane in a Tech Crazed Social World

1. Humanize before you codify! Your goal should be to humanize your brand, not codify your brand. Give me something I can connect to. Talk to me in words I can understand and relate to. Show me images that help me know who you are, what you do and how you can help me.

iStock 000009376848Small 221x300 Social Media Tools & Tech   15 Tips to Not Lose Your Mind! 2. Know your goals and objectives. What are you doing and why? Why, why, why, should be the question you ask yourself over and over.

3. Align social media to your business not the other way around. You are destined for trouble if you try to force fit your business into a Facebook page or integrated blog platform. Instead your social media and online platform priorities should align with your business goals.

4. Select business goals where social can make a difference. Not all business goals can be positively impacted by social media. Align social as a priority where social can positively impact and move you closer to your goal.

5. Get in the head of your audiences. This includes clients, prospective clients, partners, online communities, evangelists, industry influencers etc. Learn as much as you can about them. What makes them tick, click and like? How can you inspire and connect with them? How can you help them achieve their goals and objectives?

6.What action do you want your audiences and communities to take? Where will they be when they will take such action? Will they be on a mobile phone? A PC? In their car? On a plane? Will it be morning, over lunch, late at night? I know all of these questions may sound crazy but they’re not. Think about where your audiences will be when they will be engaging with you on the social platforms. If they are going to be on a mobile phone then don’t put a QR code on the website that links to your Facebook page! How on earth will they use it?

7. WHY should your target audience take your desired action on your Facebook page, LinkedIn profile or blog? Give them a reason. Focus on the WHY more than you focus on the tech they will use. Without the why the tech is a mute conversation as they’ll never pay attention anyway.

8. Be your own social duck! Don’t get caught up in the hype. Just because your entire small business networking group is putting QR codes on their Facebook pages and sending spammy email doesn’t mean you should too. Be careful who you listen to and do your research before making decisions that impact your strategy and community member experience.

9. Trust your gut. Even if you are a newbie and your agency or consultant tells you to do something that just doesn’t “feel right,” then do some research. There are many clueless agencies and consultants that are still trying to find their way in social. They mean well but may not be giving you advice that is going to help your business. Ask them for examples. Ask them specific questions related to WHY their recommendation is a good idea. If they can’t clearly help you understand how the specific technical tactic they are recommending will help you meet a specific business goal or objective then don’t do it.

like me 300x247 Social Media Tools & Tech   15 Tips to Not Lose Your Mind! 10. Quit telling me to like your page! I can’t believe how many business leaders who have been properly trained and doing social media for quite some time are still doing this. I know you want Facebook likes. We all do. What should matter more to you is that I feel inspired to click “like.”  A like is only valuable if I come back, if you make a lasting impression in my brain. When you keep asking me to “like” you or help you get to a certain number of “likes” it actually makes me question more why I liked your page to begin with and that maybe I should unlike it? Focus also on the people who have already liked your page and make it worth their time to stick around.

11. Don’t spam me, please. If I connect with you on LinkedIn, do not spam me and all of my contacts. I received three different emails via LinkedIn tonight from trusted colleagues. Someone who I connected with and accepted their LinkedIn invitation made it his priority to spam folks on my contact list. He even used my name and said he and I were friends. I told all three people the truth, and they are now all going to write back to him and inform him of his spammy ways and how unsuccessful they were. We also all reported him for spam. #FAIL

12. Don’t act desperate. Even if you are desperate for leads, new business, likes, friends, followers, don’t use behavior that makes it obvious that you are! Swap the same time you are spamming desparation posts and emails and instead focus on your own goals, objectives and market research. If you do the proper planning you’ll see better results and won’t have to beg for online friends. Trust me, it works!

13. Keep it simple. When all else fails go back to business 101. I sometimes think people are forgetting everything they ever learned. It’s not that hard folks. You are in business to sell product or service. You have a particular market you want to sell your product or service to. Social media is nothing more than a new channel for you to communicate, inspire and better connect with clients, partners, prospects and more. Don’t over think or over complicate it more than it has to be at the early stages.

14. Prioritize new tools and technology. You don’t have to be on every social network and use every social tool, gadget, plugin available.  Schedule geek time. Schedule a specific amount of time to “play with new tools” if you are a tech and shiny object geek like me.  I find that if I set specific “geek time” then I am far more productive the other parts of my week. When incorporating a new tool or technology into your social strategy be sure that you do your research first and align it to your business goals and objectives.

iStock 000014976597XSmall 300x199 Social Media Tools & Tech   15 Tips to Not Lose Your Mind! 15. Embrace the heartbeat of social media. Don’t ever lose sight of the people of social media. Social media is nothing without communities and the people within them.  One can not breathe or last without the other. Focus on providing value, sharing your best stuff and you will see result. Focus on offering the tweet that makes someone’s day, week or month. Share the knowledge via a blog post that solves business problems, inspires change or even gives them a dose of reality in an area they need to wake up and smell the coffee. Whatever it is make it real, make it you and make it about the people!

There is hope. Even if you are guilty of all of the above, don’t freak out. You can easily pull your QR code down if it’s not justified. You can work this week on your goals and objectives. Don’t get lazy and think you’ll never be able to fix it and move forward in a positive way. Stop the spam now. Stop begging for likes today. Focus on your business and audience first and the rest will come much easier! Trust me, it really does work!

Your Turn

Are you an admitted tech addicted geek? Or a you a newbie who has fallen victim to the latest tech or codifying gadget? Remember the first step to recover is to admit publicly your faults and commit to positive action.  If you have already recovered or never had issues with tech and tool addiction, what advice do you have for others? How do you prioritize and not lose your mind in this crazy social tech geek world?

PamMoore

Pam Moore

Owner/Partner, Marketing Nutz, LLC

Half marketing, half geek, social media addict, CEO & Founder of Marketing Nutz @MktgNutz, entrepreneur, speaker, trainer, coach. Lover of strategy, ROI, Brand, God, Family, Friends, Beach & Life! 15+ years of experience helping small startups to Fortune 100 companies, budgets teeny tiny to big in both B2B and B2C markets build brand awareness, grow new markets, develop communities and master ROI across all mediums! Industries of expertise include high technology, non-profit & fundraising, green eco-friendly, enterprise data storage, professional services and storage management, real estate and home building, natural lighting, database analytics & modeling, online marketing, as well as web 2.0 ecommerce for online retailers. http://www.themarketingnutz.com

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Comments

Jorgen Poulsen
Posted on January 30th 2012 at 6:59AM

Hi Pam,

 

very nice article. Haven't seen the QR codes used like that before but it does sound crazy.

 

Jorgen

ps. I sent you a private message the other day but now I'm not sure you got it.

PamMoore
Posted on February 4th 2012 at 2:57PM

Jorgen - Yes, I have seen some funny uses for QR codes, cracks me up! I didn't see the DM by the way. Was a busy week. Can you pls resend? Thx! 

Henrik Sandberg
Posted on January 30th 2012 at 7:46AM

Great article.. never forget the human side.. best regards Henrik

PamMoore
Posted on February 3rd 2012 at 6:50PM

Amen Henrik! Sometimes I wonder if I am 100% human ;) 

Will Trutter
Posted on January 30th 2012 at 1:49PM

I'm glad for you that you can spend hours getting lost in social media, I just don't have the time. When I'm not working I have a family and one or two hobbies which I don't actually have time for either. Today when my staff knocked off I thought it should be lunch time because I just had not been able to do half the work I still needed to do - But thats always the life of a small business owner. I understand the importance of social media marketing and because I just don't have the time I decided to outsource. I found a great company called Magicbuz who have teams of conversationalists to market my business for me all over the internet so I don't have to worry any more.

PamMoore
Posted on February 4th 2012 at 3:01PM

Actually I a co-founder & owner of a full service digital, reputation mgmt and social brand agency and we do this type of work for clients. I see that the only 3 comments you have left on this site have all promoted an agency yet you have no links to your own profile or identity. 

As an FYI, Social Media Today has a new policy I believe which will remove spam comments, particularly when left anonymously. 

LoriJ_VA
Posted on January 30th 2012 at 1:56PM

Hi my name is Lori and I'm a tech addicted geek  Wow, I feel better already! 

Pam I must admit that I do get drawn in by the shiny objects that appear every where I look.  This does get me off track with my goals more often than I'd like.  I think one of the best tips you've given is to prioritze the tech and tools.  I am no longer telling myself or others that they have to be on every site and use every tool.  The worse temptation for me is the just looking around one.  That's where I just have to check out the latest tool then I'm so enthralled I fall into for a while like a week.  Then I can't keep up anyway so it goes by the wayside taking along with it much of my time. 

Now, the biggest part of my job as a consultant is to try to teach people how to think with the heart of a giver when they are communicating.  It is about connecting with people in a way that makes sense for them.  This is something that we talk about in f2f networking as well.  We say that nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.  We still do say that right?  LOL! This attitude has to translate to online networking.  I meet many people who think they just need to know what button to click to set someting up but they fail to think about what they will talk about and how once they have this chance to attract.

Great tips.  Thanks so much.

 

BradFriedman
Posted on January 30th 2012 at 2:26PM

Thanks for the reminders. I can really relate to you comments about social slacker land. More times than not, I find I have to close my browser, Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, etc. and keep 'em closed in order to get any real work done at all.

I particularly enjoyed your comment : "Don’t ever lose sight of the people of social media. Social media is nothing without communities and the people within them.  One can not breathe or last without the other. Focus on providing value, sharing your best stuff and you will see result."  How true!  And a great reminder to us all.  In the end, social media isn't social at all without the people. It's just a bunch of geeks hiding behind a computer monitor.

PamMoore
Posted on February 3rd 2012 at 6:49PM

Brad - I can relate. What starts out for many of us as a 10 minute midnight Twitter break turns into a couple of hours. Happnens to the best of us I guess. 

I agree on your second paragraph in that it really is about value. I talk a lot about communities and the importance of connecting with real people. However, the other piece we can't forget is that we must bring them value. We must have products and services that matter to their life and business. Without value there is no meaning, no real conversation or reason to have one to begin with. 

 

Thanks for taking the time to comment. Hope you have a wonderful weekend! 

Stephen G. Barr
Posted on January 30th 2012 at 10:29PM

Kudos on a well written, obviously educated and researched topic! 

PamMoore
Posted on February 3rd 2012 at 6:47PM

Thanks Stephen! 

MISSELLEPR
Posted on January 30th 2012 at 10:47PM

Wonderful post. I must share for undergrads in communications namely public relations and social media.

Dauntingllama
Posted on February 3rd 2012 at 11:51AM

This is a good post and I really love the concept. Most of it was well written and fresh, as social media DOES drive me mad daily. I have to comment though, on the amount of spelling errors in your first paragraph! Really, part of being a reputable blogger is having content that shines both with your idea, and also with pride! Goolge+? and 'just as we get use (d)'  Pleeease spellcheck before putting a good quality blog post out there! It ruins it!

PamMoore
Posted on February 3rd 2012 at 6:47PM

Thanks for the kind words on the post.  Glad you liked it. In regard to the spelling, I suggest you check out this Google + page where you can see Google refers to Google+ as Google+! ;) https://plus.google.com/101560853443212199687/posts

I fixed the typo on the word "use".  Hope it didn't "ruin" it for you! I admit fault and guess I should quit writing after midnight! ;)

As an FYI, I think Social Media Today has a new policy where they delete anonymous users. 

jon.bonning@gmail.com
Posted on April 16th 2012 at 9:13AM

Wasn’t the premise behind these social sites so that people could connect, learn, grow from and share with others holding the same interest as theirs, without having to trek halfway across the globe? Often it seems that there’s a “hidden” competition – who has the most “friends” or the most “likes”. And what’s with all the status updates describing the most mundane activities – do you really have to tell the world where you are exactly, every time you blink?