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Tips & Bits: How to Avoid a Social Media Meltdown

The small business owner/operator has to wear a lot of hats these days. There are too many items on the TO DO list and not enough peeps! (As in ZERO staff!)

And while all those social media experts admonish you to be entertaining and responsive and a host of other wonderful objectives, not to over look our BFF SEO, at the end of the day – who is going to do it? You, that’s who…Mr. or Ms. Sole Proprietor. (It’s lonely at the top, right?)

Here are a few ideas to keep you cool, calm and collected and able to manage as much as you can without blowing a gasket.

Stop being a slave to perfection.

Information/content is flooding the internet at such a high volume, the average reader is willing to excuse an blemish here and there. Unlike print, where a reader can mull over the page and spot all the typos you missed, folks on the internet are struggling to keep up with the flow themselves. Plus, with so many text message shorthand phrases floating around, it’s difficult to know what’s intentional and what’s not.

The old axiom, “Speed, Price, Quality – Pick Two” applies. The internet is in the habit of favoring speed and price and is willing to sacrifice quality. So don’t sweat it.

Muzzle the reflex to reply to everything.

While it is essential to let customers know you’re listening and responsive, replying to every comment is impractical, impossible and a drain on your already-stretched-to-the-limit sanity. Over time you’ll be able to discern the difference between a genuine concern and a crackpot with too much time to kill. Responding to the lunatic-fringe will only bring you down to their level, it gives them credibility they don’t deserve.

Call in a relief pitcher and a pinch hitter.

Delegate and share the responsibility of engaging with your customers. Facebook allows more than one administrator to manage a single page, as does Twitter. Take turns or assign tasks to others. You can do it by day, by topic or a variety of systems.  It’s the best way to elude the dreaded Bloggers’ Block. Plus, a variety of voices can make your blog more interesting.

Short on staff? Invite guest bloggers to contribute in exchange for a back-link! (Newbies are always looking to break into the game, give them a break and you’ll be rewarded many times over.)

Build a backlog of content.

Many blogging platforms offer the ability to schedule in advance when posts will appear. This automated function gives you an advantage that will let you seem to run like “clockwork” even when you’re in the middle of a dry spell.

Develop a library of content that can be released on a regular agenda or on an as-needed basis. Be sure that these posts are not time-critical to avoided seeming dated.

Use the language you’re most comfortable with.

Not everybody is a born wordsmith. That’s perfectly all right. You may be a gifted photographer. Or you may be a musical prodigy. Or you may find that creating videos is your vehicle of choice. The format is not as important as presenting interesting and useful content that the audience can feel your passion when they experience your offering.

You’ll never gain an audience being average. Follow your strong suit and you’ll generate excellence that will attract a following of its own.

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