Balancing Life and Social Media Usage
June 30, 2011
By Nipa Shah, president of Online Marketing Simplified. From SBAM’s member-only Focus on Small Business magazine.
As if it wasn’t difficult enough to balance work-life and family, now we have to balance work-life, family, and social networking. We are constantly “twitching” to share where we are, what we are doing, what we plan to do, etc. to our network.
But all this sharing is creating havoc in many lives. People are getting fired for posting inappropriate information. We hear of robberies stemming from status updates announcing vacation plans. And although reports about Facebook causing divorces and death announcements made online through Twitter may be laughable to some of us, the reality is that this is the world we live in today.
As business owners, we find ourselves in even more of a quandary. Do we focus on growing the business or do we spend time online, building larger networks to grow our visibility and branding?
Well, ideally, businesses should rely on marketing professionals to manage their social properties so that it can be done right and done in a comprehensive manner to generate the desired results. However, as a business owner, if you are in a chicken or an egg situation of whether to invest the money or the time doing it yourself, here are some baby steps to help you get started:
- Create your personalized profile on no more than two or three social networks. I recommend two. You can choose from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Youtube.
- Download Twitter and Facebook on your smart-phone (I assume you have a smart-phone. If not, get one pronto).
- Until you get into the habit of it, put down a recurring event on your calendar to post at least once or twice a day on Twitter and Facebook.
- Make your posts count. It’s okay to announce, “I’m at Starbucks” of course. But what’s the value of it? Why not post “Going to Starbucks to meet a prospective client” or “Getting coffee to wake me up before I get to work, anyone else feel like I do” is so much more interactive and enables engagement from others.
- Create Google alerts for news items that are interesting and relevant to your business. Post those with a comment and you benefit by sharing ready-to-use content with others.
- If sharing photos and videos, use the many tools that are available to do this sharing across multiple platforms through one single post.
- Stay connected regularly through smartphones to maintain the momentum.
Out of sight is out of mind when it comes to online marketing. Social networking is here to stay. Sooner or later, you’ll have to get familiar and engaged online. But it doesn’t have to be at the expense of family and business. Leverage smart-phones, apps, and other tools to remain connected without sacrificing too much of your family or business time.