I just got back from a visit to New Bern – a quiet town near the outer banks of North Carolina, with a not so quiet senior population. While hanging with my Nana on Friday night I was impressed at the way she zipped around the social apps on her iPad, recounting what her peers were up to, what they were reading (and in turn, she was reading) and of course, the Art Walk we were missing out on do to her recent surgery. Her enthusiasm over the information available at her fingertips made me sit back and think of the excitement I first felt for those same channels.
In the early days of social media, networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn emerged as a way for people to form meaningful relationships and share ideas in a format and speed that had never been done before. It was thrilling to log into my accounts and stumble on new content and people. I was enthralled with watching my connections/followers count grow. I was forging relationships – some business, some personal—and gaining access to thought leaders that had previously been out of reach. And it was fun.
However, in a short span of time, the platforms have become more complicated, user bases have grown and new players have joined the mix, resulting in a lot more noise and increased pressure to share content and stay at the top of a given feed. Tools like Hootsuite and Buffer have replaced organic sharing and have essentially taken the social, out of social media. It’s become a daily “to-do” on my list and I am guilty of scheduling content in advance, simply checking a box to stay relevant keep up with the Joneses. But social media shouldn’t be something you set and forget. And it should still be fun.
So how do you get back to basics and overcome this “setting and forgetting” mentality? Here are three tips:
- Block time on your calendar to spend time managing relationships and not managing your accounts. Replace half the time you spend finding and scheduling content with a recurring 30 minute block on your calendar to engage with the follower base/connections you’ve formed over time.
- Tap into a conference hashtag and expand your professional circle. Hashtags are your breadcrumbs to a wealth of information and people, and some of the most engaging hashtags are tied to conferences. Conference hashtags are public, allowing anyone – even those not in attendance – to tap into the pulse of what’s being exchanged about the keynotes, sessions, etc. Expand your network by following and engaging with people on that hashtag whose ideas/posts you find interesting.
- Take the conversation offline. It’s hard to have a meaningful conversation when you’re restricted by character limits and the awareness that what you’re writing is public. As relationships deepen with people in your networks, find ways to connect offline—grab coffee if you’re local, or set up a time to connect over the phone or while travelling if you’re at distance.
Holland Dombeck is the Marketing Manager at Kinetix, the RPO for growth companies, by day and the Editor of Fistful of Talent, a leading industry blog, well, still by day. She has a pretty sweet gig. In her role, Holland is responsible for delivering thought leadership with a snarky twist to your inbox and social streams daily. She also serves as producer of The CYA Report podcast and writes for the Kinetix corporate blog, Tremendous Upside.