Navigating through the social media world

Posted on August 2, 2013 by Toothpicker There have been 0 comments

This entry is all about social media because I want to share my journey/ experience with those who are as overwhelmed, confused and sometimes fed up as me.

When this blog entry is being published, I will be 'unplugging' from the internet for a week in a remote and scenic part of Scotland walking, meditating and just being in touch with nature. This will be my summer holiday, completely cut off from the outside world for a week and I am very much looking forward to it!

If it wasn't for work, I probably would not even want to maintain one account including my personal Facebook page, especially since I am only regularly in touch with less than 1/4 of my friends on it. I am not a fan of Facebook, but I love Pinterest, followed by Twitter.

 

the science of social media

One of the million books on social media...

 

In the world of social media, there is nowhere to hide, all information is 'shared' and made public including personal details that we would rather not share. I am aware that as a small internet-based business owner, social media is crucial as a marketing tool. I am not against it because I think it can be a very effective tool to spread messages, encourage transparency in companies and do good in the world ( including bringing down dictatorial governments). However, since technology world is forever changing and growing, it is almost impossible to keep up and often we become overwhelmed or information-overload in the process.

Like many other designers and practitioners I have spoken to, we want to concentrate our time in developing our work and grow the businesses, yet we are constantly obliged to manage and keep up to date with all social media at the same time. I thought our lives are supposed to be made easier with the advance of technology? Yet why are we all more stressed than ever? The constant need to 'share' can also be addictive ( I am sure most of us have had to eat with friends who are constantly tweeting or posting during a meal), so in order to stay 'sane' in our instant gratification-driven society, we need to gain control over it instead of being controlled by it.

Since I started my social media journey for work almost 2 years ago, I have attended workshops, talks and even bought a book on it (see above). I have had my ups and downs, experienced excitement, surprises as well as stress, pressure, anxiety and frustration because I felt that I was not doing enough, or not seeing immediate results, or simply overwhelmed by all the new tools that are supposedly the next big thing!

Here I have drawn a 'rough' diagram of my social media timetable and journey:

 

socialmedia

 

At the beginning of my journey, I had no idea that I could link my different accounts and use tools to manage all of them. Since I discovered these tools, yes, it has made my life slightly easier but I still have to come up with contents that are fresh, engaging, informative and interactive across all social media sites on a weekly or even daily basis!

Before I started writing the blog, I was worried about not having enough interesting topics to write about, but since I am often out and about and doing different activities, I somehow manage to find new materials for it. I can't recall ever writing as much and as regularly since my school days! I have never considered writing as my strong trait, but since I started this blog, I find joy in writing and it also acts as a platform for me to express my opinions that I feel strongly about.

Recently I have also been asked by a business consultant about my social media marketing strategy? I said "none" and he said "you are not the only one but we can help you to set daily tasks and plans etc." This made me panicked for about 2 weeks, I was feeling the pressure... eventually I had to tell myself to step back and not let it get to me. Yes, perhaps I could have a solid strategy and plan in place to help me reach a wider audience or hire a marketer to do all the work for me, but I also view it as a learning process, it's about trial and error.

We have all heard stories about tweets or posts going viral, creating some kind of social media frenzy; but honestly, how frequent does it happen to new and small businesses? And even if it does, how long will it last or will it increase help long term sales? Social media is a tool that is supposed to help businesses, but if the products or services are not up to scratch, the effect of social media will not be sustainable in the long run. To me, as long as the products are selling, I don't care about the number of 'likes' on the Facebook page because I know it does not reflect the sales volume.

There are many strategies that are recommended by books and experts in the field but at the end of the day, like most small business owners with limited resources, time and budget, we can only do what we can within our limitation. My experience has taught me to not let it take over my life, and I will continue the cycle of 'try, test and give up' ( and back to trying again), hopefully, I will eventually get better at it one day.

 


This post was posted in Business, Read & write and was tagged with books, business, social media

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