by Paula on July 22, 2011

Spent an enjoyable morning yesterday at my local Mums the Boss networking group. The invited speaker was talking on the subject of blogs, what they are, where they came from and how and why you should use them. As a lot of the audience were new to blogging she covered some valuable points and gave a good overview and topic for discussion.

As with many business related subjects these days the topic came round to Social Media.

At most gathering like these, those that speak up tend to fall into 2 categories.

  1. Those that evangelise about Social Media and suggest that if you are not registered and posting on all networks, you’re missing out, and
  2. Those whose eyes express a state of panic at the thought of all this activity on all these networks on top of running a busy business.

As is often the case, it is those who want to advise that if you’re not on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Foursquare, Google+….then you’re doing yourself a great disservice, that have the loudest voice.

So which category do I fall into……? NEITHER!

Social Media is a fanstastic TOOL for creativing awareness of you and your business, making connections, giving and receiving referrals and sharing your expertise. Being on them all with no real understanding of why you’re there, what you’re supposed to be posting and how it will help you achieve your business goals is, dare I say it, worse than not being there at all!

A number of my recent Social Media sessions have gone like this:

Fretful client: “I know I need to be on Facebook, Twitter, Linked in etc but I can’t find the time and I don’t know what I’m doing, I need help!

Me: “You don’t need to do all that! How would you find the time! These are tools, let’s put the aside for the moment and talk about you, your business, your goals, your day-to-day activity, your personality, your clients…”

At the end of that session that  same client walks out of my office 2 foot taller with the weight of the world off their shoulders! They no longer have unreasonable pressure and confusion. Instead they will have a clearer idea of what suits their business, what they need to do and how they need to do it. It will fit the time they have available and it will be achievable.

It’s for this reason that when I see people being advised wrongly I find it hard not to jump up and shout “No, no, no!”

The other statement being told to the group that I strongly disagree with is that posting content need not take a long time as you can post something once and have it post directly to Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter with one push of the button. “No, no no!”

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Each network is different. The language, the audience, the etiquette, the number of words you can use, the expectations of the reader. Sending the same will at best meet the requirements of one of the networks but will stand out like a sore thumb on another. This is where a little bit of time does reap rewards. Your message can be the same i.e. to introduce your new blog, but according to the network you are choosing the message should be tailored and thought out and you will find it so much better received.

In the spirit of blogging and taking the good advice from the speaker I am putting to words something I’m passionate about but remember it’s my opinion, it’s borne of experience, and it’s reaped rewards and respect. If you want to share your opinion and experiences please do! I have been know to say, “Yes, yes yes!” quite often too! :-)


Zoe Walker aka The Cupcake Bakery July 22, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Great blog Paula it has helped me understand where I should go next with The cupcake bakery social media and blog. Thank you for breaking things down into very understandable bite size pieces.

Paula July 23, 2011 at 9:14 am

Thanks Zoe. Pleasure to help :-)

Jessie Price July 22, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Paula – a great blog and a very interesting topic too, I wondered if you would have anything to say about the info we were given yesterday, I was left feeling slightly confused and it was only when we sat in our breakout groups I was able to get a feel from others of what I could be blogging about.
The messages do get very confused and peoples opinions are divided on all things Social Media’ish and for those a little nervous about the whole thing, getting the wrong advise can be difficult to undo.
Back to my first blog – got an idea in the pipeline, just need to get it from head to ‘paper’!

Paula July 22, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Thanks Jessie. I totally agree that mixed messages re Social Media can just make the confused even more confused, and make the nervous run screaming for the hills! I guess that’s why I felt so strongly about what was being said and wanted to get my point across. Just “doing” Social Media is time-consuming and can seem unrewarding in terms of business results and that’s why you will never hear me say there’s a “one size fits all” solution. What is the right network, the right approach and the right content very much depends on your business and audience and it’s this tailored support that I offer to clients that I work with and why I always favour 1:1’s over group training.

Re blogs, I’ve always been a fan but then I love writing. It comes naturally and easy to me and I always have lots of opinions! Blogs can be your thoughts on things you’ve experienced or read, a more personal outlook on what you’re up to, or advice and sharing of informaton on topics you’re knowledgeable about. Have a browse through some of mine, and look at the blogs of others too and you will get a feeling for what it’s all about and then if it appeals, give it a go! I look forward to reading your first blog :-)

Kevin Leighton July 22, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Good advice!

As one who is still reasonably new into Blogging and Social Media I can only concur with the words above. With all businesses the demands are many, the options sometimes never ending and the hours sometimes seem few.

Any business man / woman or employee will be playing to their strengths to maximise their investment in time and I know first hand how difficult it can be to blog and manage social media platforms as well develop a business and keep up with client demands.

The answer in the end is simple. Plan your blog and social media output in just the same way that you would plan the rest of your time. If you’re going down this route, in my opinion, there has to be an element of quality over quantity BUT you do need to keep your output consistent, relevant and fresh.

What is the right route for you? Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or maybe one of the other platforms? I can’t answer that but I know that Paula can help to guide you through the social media minefield.

If you’re struggling in this area I wholeheartedly suggest you book some time with Paula who can help you decide on the best path to follow.

Paula July 22, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Thanks Kevin. Kinds words indeed! There are only so many hours in the day and “playing to your strengths” is certainly something that should be high on the list of criteria when individuals decide what online activity is for them.

Blogging is a great example of something that comes naturally to some, and others struggle with. It’s a great asset to those who have the time, interest and ideas but if it’s not for you then there is always an alternative that will be a much better fit, and then the creativity and success can really fly!

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