Social Media Overload

Facebook.  Twitter.  LinkedIn.  Google Plus.  Pinterest.  Meetup.  Yelp.  WordPress.  Blogger.  Bitly.  Plurk.  Tumblr.  Plaxo.  Klout.


It’s easy to experience social media overload.  Even though I have been using social media tools for some eight years now, I still feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of applications out there.  Indeed Wikipedia lists over 200 “major active social networking websites.”

But what can you do?  If you decide to ignore social media, you are removing yourself from the real-time global conversations taking place, conversations which are happening with or without your participation.

So how do you decide which tool(s) to use?  While one cannot possibly use every social media tool out there, I’ll give you the same recommendation I give to my clients:

(1) Create a Facebook profile and connect with people you know.

(2) Get on LinkedIn, connect with colleagues and join a few groups that are relevant to their lives.

(3) Hop on Twitter and follow people you find interesting.

(4) Say nothing.

That’s right, don’t say a thing.  Instead, spend just a few hours a week listening to conversations.  Get a feel for how the applications work.  See what other people are saying.  Maybe ask a question and see what happens.  That way, you don’t have to worry about doing something right or wrong.  You are just listening!

Once you begin to understand how the tools work, then you can make a wise decision on which application(s) to use. Dig deeper into the ones you like.   Post something interesting.  Some tools may not work for you: that’s okay, just let them go. If you want to return, they aren’t going anywhere.

Social media can be daunting.  But by taking baby steps and simply listen, anyone can start using these tools.  Who knows: you might end up becoming an aficionado like me!


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2 Responses to “Social Media Overload”

  1. Cort Says:

    David- I’m very busy trying to get a business started. In either the real world or the virtual one, I don’t have the extra time to listen to conversations, read blogs, or otherwise passively “participate” in activities that aren’t laser-focused on helping my business. Yet, the experts say social media must be part of my marketing plan. Can you please elaborate on your suggestions to specifically address how to navigate the clutter to get down to pure business generating activities? How can social media materially effect my business in terms of actual lead generation? You are the strategist. Please make the connection for those of us still uncertain how spending the immense amount of time required will have a quantifiable and valuable return on investment. Thanks.

    • SynergiSocial Says:

      Hi Cort —

      Thanks for the note. You make a very good point here. Many of us don’t have the extra time to dedicate to the world of social media.

      Here’s a concrete example of how you can use social media for business generation: join LinkedIn groups (I belong to NJ Small Business groups and the New York International Association of Business Communicators, for instance.) Post quality content to those groups and engage those folks in a conversation. Once you establish a relationship with them online, you can convert that person into a sale. That is just one example of many I can think of.

      Yes, social media takes time. But please remember: I didn’t develop the tools; I’m just trying to help people use them wisely to meet their business goals. Begin with three hours per day, three times per week. That’s 1.5 hours per week to get started.

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