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Stop Social Guilt! Lessons from Stanford Smith


Social Guilt: Defined as the guilt businesses and individuals feel for not being on every social platform. Can cause intense worry, anxiety and lack of results. (from Stanford Smith)

PROBLEM: In the past several months, I noticed many clients and organizations becoming jaded and feeling stuck with social media . The number one complaint: They don’t have enough time to add social media to their already full plate.

When I dug a little big, I found out why so many business owners have this feeling. In my research, I discovered the vast majority of folks felt they needed to be using EVERY social tool, keeping up with EVERY trend. With so many new channels emerging constantly (e.g. Pinterest) they feel they can’t keep up. They feel guilty for not using all the channels, but overwhelmed when they try to. So, how do do you overcome this?

THE CURE: My advice to them is simple. I tell them be great at 1 or 2 social channels. Choose the channels that provide the most value for you and your client. Focus on mastering the tool for business use. Then, once you have mastered and integrated the tools into your workflow, you can then expand.”But what if I’m not on (insert the name of any social channel here)? Won’t I be missing out on lots of leads and business?” they ask. My answer is always the same. You can be great and stand out using a tool/s efficiently or you can be mediocre, overwhelmed and inefficient with the tools. You choose.

2 weeks ago at Social Slam 2012, the very wise Stanford Smith of Pushing Social provided some very sage advice. He stated we need to stop the social guilt trips. Stop feeling like we need to be on every platform. choose your tools with care and purpose. Don’t be a jack-of-all-trades, be a master.

When you try to be all things to all people, you end up being nothing to everyone. By the same token, when you try to use every platform (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest … the list goes on and on) you become ineffective, scattered and inefficient. You have what I call “Squirrel Syndrome“. You become easily distracted and therefore inefficient. You see little to no return on your time using social tools.

So my advice to you? Choose 1 or 2 tools as foundational pillars. Get familiar with them. Master them. Build a process for using them effectively and measure the impact they have on your business. Once you have done this (typically 3-6 months in our experience) then and ONLY then do you consider expanding the channels you use. Being focused and efficient will always trump being scattered, overwhelmed and inefficient.

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