How Are You Going to Catch Your Social Media Stride?

Photo credit: Hamed Saber

I am not going to lie everyone, I have had a rough couple weeks in this old internet space. Things not going the way they planned, people who I thought would be good business partners ending up being 3 headed monsters, my Google Reader is so out of control I don’t know where to start but with the ‘mark all as read button’, and on and on.

What I needed to do and many of us probably need to do is take a step back and remind ourselves of our goals, our tactics and strategy to reach those goals. I needed to realign myself and find a better stride than the one I was carrying on with. So I did some revamping and I am optimistic about the rest of the year. Here are a few key points I took away on determining my social media stride.

Pace Yourself – When training for an athletic event there is a small window of effort you are supposed to try for. Train too lightly and you aren’t building the muscle or stamina you need. Train too hard and you may get injured or burn out. The same goes for your social media presence. Too little and you won’t even feel like you are seeing return out of your efforts. Too hard and just maintaining your social media presence could be a full time job and your actual responsibilities (like running a business) will suffer. You need to find that balance so you are pushing yourself strong enough to grow but without burning out.

Discard bad relationships – This is hard for many of us to do in business. We feel every relationship has a monetary value to it. Unfortunately, some of those relationships take more than they give. This goes for your online network as well. Sometimes an online relationship that you think will benefit both of you ends up being negative. No matter how many Twitter followers or LinkedIn contacts they have, if they are not in line with your business goals but instead are detracting from them, you may need to step away. If you have thousands of Twitter followers but still find no value in Twitter you may have focused on the wrong things when growing your online network.

Remember why you are here in the first place – I think I say this at every event I speak at but you need to set your goals before you start participating in social media and you need to constantly be checking back and seeing if you are achieving them. It is very easy to get distracted with what competitors are doing, or the biggest social media experts are doing but you joined social media to build relationships for your brand and not to be the next social media expert.

Goals aren’t static – Yes, I am a goals freak but even I know as your business and technology changes your goals need to change too. Sometimes things happen in your industry or your local space that aren’t threatening but are worth realigning your goals to make sure your business will thrive through the coming years.

No one can do this for you – I am not talking about the debate over ghost bloggers or ghost tweeters, I am saying no one can decide for you what you are going to do in this space but you. No one can determine how much time you spend with it and what kind of return you get. If something isn’t working you may need to change your stride. You need to find a rhythm that works with you and your organization that shows you some kind of return.

Of course there are lots of other factors, like the tools you choose, for determining your social media stride. I am looking past tools and to goals, relationships and time. Is there anything you would add on finding your social media stride?

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