The biggest challenge we still face with Social Media (as South African SMME’s) is the fact that it is, well, so social. Clients and colleagues alike complain (time-and-time again) that their Social Media Networking strategies are too time consuming. I believe we need to cultivate a culture of focused activity. We need to find create a plan that will empower us to implement social networking activities without the risk of getting lost in the rabbit holes.
According to Mashable Google+ is now open and available to everyone. No invitation required! Yay? Well, not really. For us local folk, this adds just another online networking platform that needs to be maintained, managed and fed with current, relevant and up to date information. Even more time needed.
Let me be clear. This problem is not a Google creation – it is of our own design and making. We need to manage our time more effeciently if we hope to create sustainable online strategies. So the million-dollar (or rand in our case) question – can it be done?
- Plan ahead. If you know where you are going, you can (pre)-create some of your input and use an automated publishing tool (i.e. HootSuite) to make your life a whole lot easier! The added advantage of using an automated publishing tool, means that you hardly ever run the risk of getting caught up in the online intrigues of loves lost and found or the latest company gossip.
- Dedicated time. First thing in the morning or in the afternoons before you get ready to punch out, put time aside to interact with your online communities.
- Pick and stick. As tempting as it is to create a profile on every new social networking platform that springs up, it is impossible (and unnecessary) to maintain this level of engagement. Review the platforms that you are most interested in (this typically should be driven by where your preferred market congregates) and focus your energy here. Quality versus quantity as the saying goes.
So, despite having a blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube profile – will I create a Google+ account. Probably. But I have always been more curious than is good for me ;)
Diva, done and dusted!