The challenges of social media…

Photo credit: Kelly Teague via photopin cc

“I don’t have time for blogging.” “I can’t figure out how LinkedIn or Google+ works.” “I have no idea how to find my audience.” “I don’t have enough followers to make a splash on Twitter.” “I can’t afford to do social media.”

Our can’ts and don’ts, what we call challenges, arise from three things: our impatience, our fear of what everyone thinks of us, and our inability to see the big picture. What we want is, too often, quick results with little work.

The truth of the matter is that it takes efforts and ‘sweat’ to find your target audience, build valuable relationships, and earn a living. It’s one thing to say: “I am involved in social media.” It’s quite another to actually do it right.

Lack of time, money, and opportunities should never be a hindrance. In fact, this lack is a blessing, because it forces us to value and make intelligent use of our skills instead of just trying to get around. Many successful businesses got started that way.

Only have an hour a day for social media? You can still achieve a lot! Settle for small, attainable goals. For example:

• 30 minutes in the mornings, 30 minutes in the evenings

• Mornings: 2-3 tweets, 1 Facebook update, responding to questions and comments on social media pages

• Evenings: Skimming through social feeds (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, etc.) and bookmarking interesting content for later perusal

• Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays: Responding to blog comments

• Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays: Responding to mentions on social networks

Can’t afford to invest in expensive productivity tools?  You will find many excellent services that are free or won’t deplete your wallet: TweetDeck, HootSuite, Buffer, Swayy,,, etc.

YOU can achieve pretty much anything you want. YOU hold the key to your own success.

When nobody would pick me, I picked myself.” – Mark Schaefer 

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  1. says

    Your insight in identifying the three ‘little’ things that cause us to to be challenged, impatience, fear of doing the wrong thing and what that will make people think and the inability to see the whole picture almost perfectly sum up why many people hesitate to ‘jump in’ to social media for business. (However I suspect these same issues can possibly be applied in a much broader way to a whole range of life issues). I like your suggested timetable to keep maintain a ‘balanced approach’ to working with social media, along with taking a longer term view of your involvement. Thanks Cendrine for this post. 

  2. says

    The other thing that is important too is to find platforms that work for you and your business. One other thing to remember is it is okay to spend time on these sites, but your own real estate is where you want people to hang out on.

  3. says

    I think one of the biggest problems here is that social media has become a bit like a huge department store where there is so much choice, so many different things to try and use, that it becomes overwhelming and can give people a bad case of agoraphobia. Your suggestion to tackle it a bit at a time is particularly useful for these people because it allows them to get into it gradually and not spook themselves.

    To be honest I think that method is more effective for “SocMeditis” sufferers that the use of tools like HootSuite, TweetDeck etc., largely because those involve quite a bit more fiddly learning before you can benefit from their streamlining capabilities.

    Many SME bloggers are technophobes and I can certainly sympathize with them … I am too! I have to learn about social media and its tools because it’s my job, but I’m all for keeping things simple where possible.

    • says

      I am a technophobe too. But if you want to be successful, you have to get out of your comfort zone. No one is saying that you should use all these tools right away. Just one at a time. 

      Unfortunately, people go all in without a strategy, most of the time. 

      Thank you for your great comment, Suzan!

    • says

      Hi Suzan,

      I couldn’t agree more with your comments. I also believe that having a time schedule to engage on the different social media out there is a good first step for people who are afraid to start.

      As for using the tools what I’ve learn is that you should give them a try and test them for a while so you can see what each of them has to offer, and which one is simple and more effective for your social media purposes.

      You are right when you say that for us who work on social media, everything is interesting and for people who are not maybe they’ll be a bit lazy to try them out.

      From my experience I think that one has truly to invest time exploring them right?

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