On One Hand… The phrase “stop and smell the roses” doesn’t apply to you, because you always make sure to take a strong sniff. You’re present in your conversations, you live for the now, and you’re all about savoring the moment. Some might have trouble tuning into life when today’s technology provides such a fun distraction (if that’s you, stay tuned for more on that next week!) – but for you, the fun is right in front of you in real time.
On The Other Hand… It’s 2014. Social media, smartphones, and being in somewhat-constant contact are not the exception any more, they’re the norm. More often than not, our various jobs and projects involve some form of social media, whether it be tweeting on behalf of your company or posting a photo on Instagram for your blog. Whereas outlets like Facebook and Twitter were once fun escapes, they have become a reality of connection in the world we live. And while we’re not necessarily living for another moment, the moments we are living for are the same ones we’re expected to stop, drop, and document to keep our brand alive, both online and off.
The Balance: When you love to live in the present, the necessities of modern-day marketing can be detrimental to your daily peace of mind – if you give them that control. Just like a baby slowly learns that crying is not just a mode of calling for help but a surefire way to steal mom’s focus, social media can suck you in and make you feel as if every update is a make-or-break scenario. While we’re all about boosting your followers and building your biz, we’ve found that modern, mindful gals need social media tips to stay sane on the smartphone. Here are few solid strategies so you can have your life and post it, too:
Do your research
Most of the time we feel overwhelmed and distracted by social media, it’s because we’re exhausting all options without investigating what might work. Whether you’re working with a business, aiming to establish yourself as a pro, or embarking on your own entrepreneurial venture, there’s a ton of research in books and online about what has been proven to work on various outlets. Even the smallest bit of insight can help you develop a plan. The plan doesn’t have to be complicated – but just like setting goals in your off-line life, a sense of structure can help you feel less overwhelmed with the task at hand, and less all-consumed by it. Which leads us to our next point…
Know What You Want To Say
When you post a photo or update, what is the message you want to share with your followers? Many times we’ll see a great photo op and start snapping away. Then when it comes to what we actually have to say, we draw a blank. We want to be witty, we want to be relevant – basically, we want the elusive “perfect post.” If you aren’t clear on your intention from the get-go, that’s when you end up spending minutes on end pouring over your computer or phone trying to grasp for something that will grab attention. Or worse, you end up posting way more than necessary in hopes that something will feel right, that something will stick. Quality always trumps quantity, especially when it comes to social media. A great picture or quote should support a main message, not steal the show. Set a clear intention before you snap and post, then follow up accordingly to get your predetermined main message across. Authenticity in intention always trumps abundance in action.
Let Others In On The Action
We’ve been there before: at a party, out to dinner, lounging around at our latest healthy vacay, and we want to share with our followers. So we start snapping, begin typing, and all the sudden our companions fade into the abyss of the real-time vortex. Not only does this isolate you, but it blocks others out from an experience you were only a few seconds ago taking in tandem – and that puts a strain on all types of relationships. Whether it’s a photo or a text update, it doesn’t have to be all-encompassing (yes, even if it’s for professional reasons!). It might sound silly, but simply telling others what you’re doing can let them in on the action and feel less blocked out. If you need to post right then and there, let them know your reasoning and keep it quick. Maybe even ask for their opinion and let them help! But if it’s not vital that you post exactly in the moment, take whatever picture you need to take (or make a quick note somewhere of what you’d like to say), and then save it for later. The internet will still be there after you leave your friend, partner, or location – but the experience you could have while you’re actually there is only up for grabs once.
Set It And Forget It
After you’ve posted, let it be! It’s tempting to check your activity log every half-minute, refreshing the page to see if someone else has “Liked,” commented, or retweeted what you’ve shared. Not only is this a time-suck, it’s a strain on your emotions. If you don’t get a surge of attention within minutes, it can seem as if what you had to say or show was not a success, leading you to doubt your credibility, obsess over what you did right or wrong, and agonize over how you can tweak your strategy moving forward. All in all…it becomes an abusive relationship that makes you feel like crap. To keep yourself in a proactive space, it’s vital to set boundaries with your social media. Make a pact with yourself to only check your various social media outlets for activity at specific, limited times throughout the day. Respond, comment, and strategize during these times and these times only, during quiet moments when your attention is not needed elsewhere. Take your pic, share your post, then go make your mark on the world – no filter necessary.