The Social Media Buffet

Posted by Rich McElaney

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Everyone has that local restaurant which serves up a whopping, all-you-can-eat buffet that, at or about the mid-way point of the meal, causes you to seriously reconsider the load you put on your plate. I'm talking about that button-popping, bench-splitting fully satiated point where even though your eyes are seriously scanning the dessert section your brain and stomach are in four-alarm overload mode. I think we've all been there at some point in our lives.

That image, and that feeling, came to mind as I was having a conversation recently with a prospective client. She was lamenting the fact that there were so many things on her plate, with respect to her social media marketing activities, that she was starting to become less effective in her execution and the efficacy of her plan was suffering as a result. In other words, she was doing more than ever and it was not having a positive effect on her results.

When we itemized the laundry list of activities she was engaged in it became clear that she had overextended her capacity to effectively manage everything. It also became evident that some of the activities she chose to pursue were not in alignment with her strategic plan and even if perfectly executed, would not have had a discernible impact on key business objectives.

The troubling thing is, this isn't an isolated case. And the underlying problem is that there are so many tasty items in the social media buffet that you can't possibly consume them all and live to talk about it! The prudent manuever is to step away from the buffet table and take an objective look at your consumption habits.

The steps we took in this case can be utilized by anyone suffering from this predicament and they are:

  1. Pull out your strategic social marketing plan and confirm that your time and activities are in alignment with your plan objectives. If this is something you can do regularly, there is a smaller chance that you will significantly deviate from the path.
  2. Take a hard look at your resources - budget, personnel and third party support - and make sure those are in alignment with the social marketing plan. It could be that you've underestimated the resource demand for certain aspects of your plan and either you scale the plan back or you add the necessary resources to accomplish your goals.
  3. Do not feel compelled to add any new menu items to your plate (new applications, new platforms etc.) just because they're new and you're an early adopter. If your existing menu selections are providing results it would be beneficial to stay with them until results indicate the need to change things.
  4. If negative symptoms persist, try lightening the plate by eliminating (either temporarily or permanently - test this) the marginally performing items and spend more time on those favorites that are producing.
  5. Take an honest, objective look at how you're spending your days and you may find small chunks of recoverable time - which can accrue rapidly and yield greater productivity from your focused efforts.

The writing is on the wall - the social media buffet selection is only going to grow. Accept it, be mindful of it and stick to the plan. Who knows, you may have room for dessert in the not too distant future!

Tags: social media plan, social marketing plan, social media success, strategic marketing plan