We all seem to be busy. We feel overwhelmed at times, and the pace of change we are experiencing and the demands on our time don’t seem to be letting up. With all that we are dealing with, the last thing we want to hear is that we need to be doing more.
Hear me out. I am not exactly suggesting that we do more, but instead that we are smart about we do more of. There is no shortage of tips on productivity, apps, and services, but it is less about those things and more about how we manage our priorities.
I don’t have time
In the social selling presentations and training sessions that I give, I often hear participants say “I don’t have time.” We are all being asked to do more with less, and the only way to deal with that is to work smarter and more efficiently.
We can all be more effective with our social media efforts. In a previous post, I mentioned 10 tools (of many) that can help manage your social media efforts. In another post I discussed how to get more referrals from your network. In this post I’ll explain the value that a paid LinkedIn account can provide in the ways of increased efficiency and productivity. We even have a soon-to-be-released whitepaper that discusses an approach to social media management that constitutes just a few minutes a day, but let me qualify those recommendations. Yes, you can achieve a manageable routine. The caveat is that you have to do a bit of heavy lifting in the beginning to set up your system and/or the elements of your routine.
In the case of LinkedIn, they have done a great job of helping you set up a routine and make the most of your time. You can tag contacts and connections, make notes, set reminders, and receive notifications regarding conversation triggers in a regular email or in their new Connected app. You can also link your profile to a number of third-party solutions like Nimble and Salesforce to manage your interactions beyond LinkedIn as well as your sales funnel.
When it comes to content marketing, the prevailing recommendations are storytelling with targeted themes, calendars, and planning. At the core, it is prep work. It is no different with managing your social selling. If you take a look at your day, your week, and your month, what kinds of steps and activities do you need to take or initiate to establish and maintain a manageable routine?
There are no shortcuts
While some things can go viral, that is not how social media success is achieved or sustained. It takes time, effort, and consistency. There are no overnight successes in social media — do not let anyone tell you otherwise.
The prevailing social media platforms took years to gain momentum and the recommended best practices took time to be established. The learning won’t end there. As new platforms and functionality emerge, we will have to adjust our routines and consider what to add and remove from our toolkits and playbooks.
Would it make it easier to take on these new activities and responsibilities if we looked at them cumulatively rather than in distinct blocks? Instead of thinking that you have to block an hour in your day or hours in your week, what if you leveraged the few spare minutes that exist in and around your work day? With the prevalence of smartphones and apps, it is getting easier to make the most of spare moments before meetings or when you have a few spare minutes while you are waiting. In those few moments, you can congratulate someone on their new job, wish them a Happy Birthday, share their post, share an article of interest, or just thank someone for following or sharing your post.
The amount of change that technology has caused in the last twenty years has been dramatic, and with change comes opportunity, but, as Thomas Edison is often credited with saying, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
It is going to mean work
There is no shortage of data and case studies to confirm that social media and social selling can help you grow your business, but it is going to mean work. Hard work. My closing thoughts in my presentations often include my belief that social media is not particularly complicated, but it is hard work. Success with social media marketing and social selling comes through integration with your other sales and marketing efforts, not independent of them. You want to properly support and resource all of your activities to ensure your objectives are met.
We now take having a website and communicating via email as a given. E-commerce is common place. Facebook now boasts greater than 1.5 billion members. Selfie is now in the dictionary. LinkedIn is ten years old, and some suggest that if you are not on LinkedIn you do not exist. Harsh words, perhaps, but there is some validity in that statement as more and more professionals join the network at a rate that currently stands at two members per second.
You can decide if now is the time for social media marketing and social selling or when competitive pressures are such that you can’t ignore them. Perhaps that time is now. If you are not sure, then what is holding you back? If your answer is that you don’t have time, we can help you. We can help you find time through proper planning and preparation. Shall we begin?
A recognized senior social strategist, speaker, and blogger. He has held senior strategy roles with wireless, e-business, financial, and social CRM service providers, helping clients remain competitive by embracing social media and digital technologies.