“Facebook and Twitter are overwhelming”

“I can’t even go on Pinterest because I know I’ll end up spending hours over there without getting anything done.”

“Do I really need to be on Google+? I’m barely keeping pace with Facebook these days. ” 

These are all snippets from conversations I’ve had with my Burstin’-with-Flavor workshop clients.

Their words may be different but their meaning is the same: smallbiz owners, like you and me, are overwhelmed with the demands of smallbiz social media marketing on our time.

You feel as if you’re constantly running on a treadmill of status updates, pins, tweets, +1s and more!

You can’t keep up but feel like you have to else you’ll miss out on something important, significant, vital even for your business.

You’re not alone. Trust me. Even the most put together, productive social media networker has moments when it all seems too much.  As someone who {along with her awesome husband} manages close to 12 Facebook pages for various clients and is FULLY booked out for social media management till the end of the year, I have been there a few times myself.

But I know how to streamline and simplify social media for my business clients and my own self so that the impact and engagement is there without the loss of sleep and sanity.

I teach this to my workshop clients and today, I want to teach these effective, power-packed “let’s-crush-social-media-overwhelm” strategies to you. For free.

1. Stay Social.. Automatically

When things pile up and you can feel your chest tighten and the familiar feeling of overwhelm creeping in, take a step back and go into maintenance mode.  Set a time block of say, 30 minutes. Go through your social media calendar and pick out tweets and updates you haven’t shared in a while and plug them into a tool like, Hootsuite or BufferappDon’t have a social media calendar? Let’s talk.

I’m not a big fan of automating social media but desperate times call for drastic measures. So, automate it. For a while.

2. Selective Socializing

One of the things I tell all our clients is to be very selective about where they hang out online. Look at it this way, will you attend every single party that happens in your office? I guess not. It’s the same way with social networks. You DON’T need to be on every.single. network.

To be selective about where you socialize, you need to know who you socialize with.  Where does your target customer or as we call it, Perfect Person hang out? We do this whole exercise in the

3. Spend Quality Time

I recommend spending 20-25 minutes a day on your chosen social networks to interact, engage and respond. The time you do spend on social networks must be quality time. Focus on replying to questions, directing users to your site for more information and acknowledging mentions, etc.

Remember, this is only for when you can’t keep up. If you have more time and energy, feel free to hang out for longer and participate more. Else,  spend your quality time and switch off.

4. Serve Your Community

Social media overwhelm creeps in most often when I see business owners trying to “force” social media to do something that it naturally isn’t meant to do. Think pushing sales. Every. Single. Minute.

Instead of forcing communication, think about serving your community. Share content that your perfect person will love to read about.

Ask questions that will give you an insight into their lives. You’ll be amazed at how many people like to share.

Here’s a look at one of the pages I manage and something as simple as asking our client’s community about what helps them stay sane as mums led to over 60 inspired and informative comments. Engagement at its best.

social media for small business

The next time you feel overwhelmed, ask yourself, what would YOU like your community to tell you. And then, ask that.

5. Stay Simple. Stay You.

Finally, remember that you need to keep it simple. Don’t post 5 times a day if you can’t manage that. Don’t participate in Twitter parties if it means losing out on sleep. Don’t join the newest social network on the block because everyone’s racing to be there.

Do it the way you like it. If it means, getting help, get it. If it means, paring down, do it. If it means, If it means, switching off over the weekends, switch off.

Stay simple. You’ll breathe easier, get more done and find it way more productive and peaceful. Yes, social media can be peaceful and even, zen-like. But that’s for another time.

Take Action: Feeling overwhelmed? Can’t keep up? Take just ONE tip from the 5 above and implement it. Right now. Come back and share the one you chose in the comments below. Go!

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