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How social media commitments can eat you alive

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Social media can creep up on you.

I was talking to a friend the other day who has blogged for many years. Then a friend asked him to start a podcast. He had always wanted to try this and so he committed to a weekly show, although it wasn’t directly related to his business.

And oh yes, he is also doing a YouTube channel to support a hobby. And he’s been spending many hours following conversations on Clubhouse.

The only content channel that directly supports his business is the blog. But because of the time taken up by the new podcast and YouTube channel, he had fallen behind and wasn’t creating consistent content.

This is a common problem. If you’re not careful, fueling your social media habits can eat your business alive.

Focusing on business benefits

Every time I write a book, somebody encourages me to start a Facebook Group on the topic. On the surface, this might seem like a good idea.

It is certainly flattering that somebody would want to continue the discussion about my ideas. But is that the best use of my time? WIll it create long-term business benefits?

If you’re running a business (like me), you can only be great in one or two places. And in this world, to stand out, you must be great. So every time you commit to a new project, it takes time and attention away from greatness someplace else.

Social media creeps up on you because on the surface, it’s free. It takes no money to start a blog or a Facebook Group. But every activity comes with a new demand on your time. Planning, preparation, creating, responding, updating technology. And that distracts you from your core goals. That’s why I don’t have a Facebook Group for any book. It might be fun, but it’s not strategic.

Shiny red balls

The other social media challenge to your focus is a fear of missing out.

When Clubhouse soared into the spotlight, most of my counterparts in the marketing space piled on. I was in enough rooms to understand how it worked but I knew that I could not commit to any regular presence there. Showing up in Clubhouse means I’m not showing up someplace else.

When I create content, I have just one goal — I never want to let you down. Whether it is a blog post, a book or an episode of The Marketing Companion, I promise you it will be worth your time. It will be relevant, interesting, timely, and sometimes even entertaining.

I can’t keep that promise being in 10 different places, running a business, and being present for my family.

So, I have to make choices. In a way, staying focused on your audience presents a risk. Maybe I would have been the biggest Clubhouse star ever. I’ll never know. But I do know that I have done a good job on my blog and podcast.

Double down on relevance

This is a good time for a social media house cleaning.

What are your one or two core activities that provide the most direct business benefit?

Does it make sense to double down on those efforts and push those other projects aside — even if they’re fun? Are you great everywhere you show up?

Don’t let the intoxicating idea of “free” or a fear of missing out distract you from using social media in the most efficient and effective way for your business. And that always requires focus and prioritization!

Keynote speaker Mark SchaeferMark Schaefer is the executive director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions. He is the author of some of the world’s bestselling digital marketing books and is an acclaimed keynote speaker, college educator, and business consultant.  The Marketing Companion podcast is among the top business podcasts in the world. Contact Mark to have him speak to your company event or conference soon.

Follow Mark on TwitterLinkedInYouTube, and Instagram.

Illustration courtesy Unsplash.com

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