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I’m Overcommitted by @JennG_

Hi, I’m Jennifer, and I’m overcommitted. In life. At work. And on social media.

Every conference we host, we try something new to engage our attendees. As community editor, it’s my job to research and implement these new social strategies. Last year it was Instagram, and it was a huge hit. This year, against my will, we tried Pinterest. Experimenting with different networks helps us figure out where our audience is hanging out and if they want to hang out with us there, too.

I know the dangers of not saying “No” in my personal life and at work. Being spread too thin prevents me from fully committing to relationships or projects. But on social media, it seems like we’re being urged to spread our brands’ reach wide. You really have to be everywhere—creating video, pinning, tweeting, posting—to reach your audience.

In a recent interview, Adelle Rodriguez, Volusion’s marketing event coordinator, told me, “When you don’t get to see them in person, you could catch them on Twitter, and if they don’t see you on Twitter, maybe they’ll see you on Facebook. If they’re looking for you, they’ll find you, and if they’re not looking, possibly they’ll find you anyway. You need to cover all the outlets.”

Anyone else feel like they’re on a hamster wheel? How can you cover all the bases without wearing yourself out? The same way you find balance in life.

  1. Prioritize. You don’t need to be on every outlet—only some of them, and not at full steam. Even if no one is interacting with you on Facebook, don’t just abandon ship. Seekers still need to be able to find an updated presence, but don’t waste extra effort on outlets where participants aren’t actively engaging with you.
  2. Break the rules sometimes. I once thought we couldn’t launch a new network until our strategy or content for it was fully developed and we knew it would be well-maintained. Why not try out an Instagram video while visiting a potential venue? Throw the spaghetti against the wall and see if it sticks. Early adopters appreciate that you’re trying, and you’ll never know if it’s the best new way to reach your audience unless you try.
  3. Ask for help. Solicit social moles. Recruit colleagues or brand ambassadors to join in tweet chats or comment on photos using their own accounts. The more people interacting with your posts, the more they will be seen, multiplying your efforts.
  4. Maintain your purpose. Social media exists to create and engage a community. It’s never about you. It’s always about them. Your content, interactions and the format used should always serve your audience’s best interest.

I still say “Yes” too often in life, but at least I have a rationale behind overcommitting in social media now. How do you develop a healthy relationship with social media? Do you go deep with a couple networks or spread your reach out wide?

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