This article goes against many of the things you read about online and you could accuse me of going against what I normally teach, but I can say there is a definitive line that you have to be careful you do not cross when using social media for your business.
I believe that social media can aid an online business, it can help build lists and generate traffic to your blogs, but here is where I believe the line is. That is what they are for, that is all they should be for.
The list of social media networks that we should be on is growing each year. It was only Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter a couple of years ago, now Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr have been added to the list. (There are a lot more that many people try and use daily as well as those I have listed!)
Facebook and Google+ now give you the option to build individual ‘pages’ for your business as well as creating a personal brand. Creating more exposure or adding more time sapping work to your list?
YouTube is another network often added to the list, creating videos for traffic generation is a method that works brilliantly for many people, however, and there is a big however; creating videos can take a lot of time.
If you create accounts and pages for all these social media networks you create a lot of extra work for yourself which can rob you of a lot of time and productivity that should be spent on your business blog.
Can you imagine how much time you lose trying to keep on top of all these networks? Twitter requires you to tweet throughout the day and your followers want good tweets. You can easily spend an hour or two searching the web looking for great articles and quotes to share.
Even if you use Google Alerts to make the job easier, it takes time reading articles to see if they are worthy of sharing. If you share rubbish then you can lose people and get a bad name and that is not what you want.
You would have been better off not doing anything in the first place if all you are doing is causing you and your business more damage.
Replying to comments on your blog, on Facebook, on Twitter, and replying to emails can be time consuming. Do you really need or want another place where you have to go and check every half hour to see if there is another comment?
Social media sites require work and you can be writing articles and posts for these sites trying to engage with your fans or followers hoping to keep them responsive while neglecting the most import aspect of your online business, the business site/blog itself.
Take YouTube for instance, if you are creating videos for traffic but you are not very good at it, or doing it simply because you have been told you should, how much time is wasted producing videos that will probably turn out to be poor? What else can that time be used for?
Using YouTube and creating videos isn’t a bad method if you work at it and focus on it, but again if you are updating your Facebook profile and pages, your Google+ profile and pages, your Twitter account, your Pinterest account, your Tumblr account, your…, your…, your… etc. You will be spreading yourself so thin that you are creating either very few videos or semi good videos and posts. What is the point?
You will not be spending quality time focusing on the other important aspects of using YouTube to generate traffic to your site, so in reality, what you are doing amounts to very little. In fact it can be a complete waste of time, the rewards are less than the time and effort you spent getting them.
The same can be said for Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and the other social media networks.
Unless you work fully on something then you will not get beneficial results. So really the best way is to use a few of the social media sites that are in your opinion the best for you or those that you have the strongest understanding of.
The more time that is lost to social media, and it can be a lot especially if you start chatting to followers, looking at photos, videos, and other stuff your friends and followers have shared, the less time you have for content creation for your blog/website.
Remember, it is your blog that is the real important part of your online business. This is where people can sign up for your newsletters, click on advertising that you get paid for or generally buy your affiliate products.
If you want to get people to return to it you need to fill it with high quality content that your readers like, making them want to come back for more. You cannot fill your blog with content if your time is spent creating social media friendly images or ‘Tweeting’ inspiring quotes of semi successful dead people!
Now I can tell you that as part of my paid job I am expected to experiment with social media and get our brand out to as many places as possible, but I’ve already spread myself too thin many times throughout the week.
I try to focus mainly on 2 social media networks, Facebook and Twitter. These are the only 2 networks where I add extra valuable content or interact with people on a regular basis.
I also use many other networks but with them I do a simple little copy and paste of the posts from our blog. I try to concentrate on getting content created for my blog sites and guest posts first then take a small part of the post, place it onto the other remaining social media satellite sites with a ‘Read More Here’ link.
I am one of the few people who have not started using Pinterest, why? You may ask. I really do not have the time, trying to figure it out while doing all my other activities will in my opinion not produce good results.
Even Google+ is nothing more than a potential signpost for people to see some of our stuff if and when they come across it, I don’t interact much on there. I simply cannot otherwise I would not get anything done and as Pawel will tell you, the response is better from quality content, either on your own blog or from guest posts. These posts would not have been created had I spent all my time playing around on social media.
The question that you need to ask yourself is not how will social media benefit my business, but if the time and effort spent on it is justified?
Andi Leeman is the writer for http://TimsMinions.com.