“You must not only aim right, but draw the bow with all your might.”
Henry David Thoreau
Social media is all over the shop.
Platforms A, B, C … Z.
One person climbs aboard the next Big thing – Pinterest this year, Quora last year – and everyone thinks that that will unlock the Secret.
More is not more.
Stand back from the fray and ask yourself:
a) what are you truly passionate about?
b) who or what pisses you off?
c) what keeps you looking forward?
d) how can you create content that has the potential to go viral (I don’t like the work but the import is relevant)?
e) are you building a permission base (and I don’t mean those stupid sign up boxes with a flashing sign – YUK, YUK, YUK!)?
f) are you constantly failing?
g) do you slay the Dragon that is Resistance every day by exploring social media or is it a distraction from the real work?
If you can answer these questions without flinching, then the necessity to chase the social media dream will (practically) resolve itself.
I have been there.
At one stage, I probably had in excess of 20 platforms that I was constantly tinkering with.
And now …?
It is key to your success that you focus on a no more that 1 or 2 platforms. It could be your website – provided you can answer point (e) above; it might be a blog; or you might even defer to Twitter.
You just need to Focus on something that will inspire you and your followers each day.
Patience, passion and persistence are critical. It is nice to get positive comments, or engagement but just because you are not getting a ‘reaction’ shouldn’t see you default to nothing.
History is littered with artists who were misunderstood for long periods, and if you are truly pushing at the boundaries of your craft, and carving out a niche in an area that is a (very) late adopter to social media, don’t be surprised if it takes a while for things to take off.
If you have immersed yourself for several months trying to gain traction, and feel that you are wasting your time, don’t be afraid to unplug for a few weeks and consider the paradigm from a new perspective.
Artists evolve and go through periods of experimentation, and social media is no different.
If you come back into the fold though make sure you have a clear view where you are headed. Don’t be guided by the numbers. Instead be guided by instinct – sometimes it’s not a bad idea to let your heart rule your (left-sided) head.
Drill down to the basics.
Use a dashboard to make the process easier.
And set up a calendar of sorts to make sure you know what comes next.
Focus is hard when you have so much coming into your line of sight, and if you feel it better kill dead the platforms that are distracting you.
What are YOU trying to build?
A ship to set you free?
Or an artifact that will leave its impression on the world?
One thing is key, if you are not focused on shipping something of value, meaning and beauty then it is unlikely you will keep your followers engaged forever. They expect more.
Once you have got their attention don’t make promises you can’t keep but perhaps focus on an ebook, manifesto, workshop or seminar. If nothing else, this will keep you focused on doing something beyond just endlessly pouring over your platforms – Twitter and Facebook being the biggest distractions.
It is no surprise that some of the most successful people in the social media space don’t Tweet that often, post endlessly to Facebook or Google +.
They are too busy creating something.
Don’t be seduced into thinking that just because social media is a communication tool that that is all you are supposed to do.