When did you lose your social media mojo? Around the time you realised that the neighbourhood hairdresser, a place that is real-deal retro without the ironic vibe, has more fans on Facebook than you do? And that, despite your daily posting, your scrapbooking and saving of relevant info, and your thoughtful, witty updates, the occasional photo of Beryl’s bouffant attracts more eyes and replies? Or was it getting into that little scrap on Twitter, arguing semantics with some boffin-head who makes up for his lack of knowledge with gallons of enthusiastic zeal?
Social media marketing is not for the faint-hearted. Not only is it as slippery as an eel, forever changing, but it’s so very public. For the freelancer or small business owner, this can sometimes be excruciatingly. At least you can keep your database size to yourself, but your Facebook likes, your Twitter followers and your Pinterest followers are out there for everyone to mock.
When you’ve lost that loving feeling, try these techniques. You’ll soon find your heart all a-flutter with social media love.
1) Don’t aggravate yourself
You know how your mother told you not to keep picking your scab? So why are you looking at stuff that you know will leave you feeling angry, exasperated, jealous, sad, or apathetic. Get off the internet! Take a walk, a bath, or find a trampoline to jump on. Don’t pick the scab.
2) Produce, don’t consume
So you need to market your business through social media. Perhaps you’re a social media consultant and it’s obligatory. Then get on, update, and get off. Be a producer, not a consumer, at least until your funk lifts.
3) Be brave and bold
Oftentimes we become depressed or anxious when using social media because we perceive ourselves to be at odds with everyone else. Typically this means we let our anger or exasperation take the lead and express ourselves poorly. Alternately, we censor ourselves, don’t say anything, and feel terrible. One surefire way of overcoming this is to flex our courage muscle by embracing our opinion. Write the unpopular blog piece, say what you believe and why, own your opinion, criticise the status quo and offer alternatives.
You’ll likely be surprised by the response – if people don’t agree with you, they won’t likely engage, they’ll simply be silent or unfriend you. If they agree, they’ll typically thank you for being brave and bold and voicing the unpopular opinion. Either way, you win.
4) Change your perspective
Perhaps you think social media is primarily about generating leads into your business – so approach it as networking with like-minded colleagues instead. Perhaps you see social media marketing for making friends and building alliances – so try using it to grow your email list instead. Perhaps you approach social media as a way to grow your email list – instead think about it as a market research project. Perhaps you view social media as a conduit to driving people to your website – so think about it as the perfect forum to test-drive new offering ideas.
Make trying on a different perspective fun, but treat it seriously. Give yourself a time frame, write a mini-plan, and ask another freelancer or business owner to brainstorm ideas on your new approach with you. A change is as good as a holiday.
5) Mix up your approach
Get out of your rut. On a piece of paper, write down ten possible types of updates, from long-form text to short and provocative questions and remarks, from images, to link to other websites, to promoting your blog posts and sales pages to polls, competitions, contests, and parties (yes, social media #parties). Now write out a simple Monday-Friday matrix and fill in the blanks with a few ideas. Keep it varied and make it fresh.
6) Don’t be afraid of promoting
So you’re ashamed of your numbers. Rather than wallow, take action by spending time and funds on promotions and advertising to build your numbers. As a social media marketer, I almost never advise my clients to advertise just to attract fans. However, a minimum number of fans is necessary to justify your time and effort – I put this as 500 followers per channel, but 1000 fans is when things become much easier as they take on their own momentum.
For example, say your Facebook business page has only 100 fans and only 13% will see any update at any given time (a metric given by Facebook). It makes sense to build your numbers because if only 13 people see your updates and none bother to like, comment or share, your updates will become invisible over time and you’ll be spending a whole bunch of time, energy and imagination talking to yourself.
7) Remember who your real friends are
Your real friends will take your call at 2am. They’ll tolerate you whining about how you’ve lost your social media mojo, and they’ll poke fun at you, while seeing beyond this. Your real friends don’t take every single thing you say or don’t say to heart. They know the entirety of you and know what you’re capable of. When you lose your perspective over social media madness, then bake a cake instead and invite over a real friend to share it.
ABOUT BROOK MCCARTHY
Since founding Yoga Reach in early 2008, I’ve helped countless small business owners into social media, first setting up Facebook groups, then Facebook pages, as well as Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus and Instagram. I’ve been running face-to-face courses on social media marketing since early 2012 and am very familiar with the problems business owners typically grapple with when using social media to market their businesses. My background is in public relations and online communications as well as a short stint in magazine publishing. I’ve worked alongside startups, writing social media policy and setting up and managing Twitter channels across multiple cities, and I’ve been working alongside clients at the coalface of Facebook’s trajectory and (dare we say it?) demise.
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