If any of you have seen the movie Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief you should remember the scene where Percy and his two friends Annabeth (a demi-god) and Grover (Percy’s personal protector) end up at a Las Vegas Casino looking for a pearl that will allow him to transport out of the underworld and out of danger from Hades. Once inside the casino the trio are met by the Lotus Eaters, who offered the three visitors the special lotus flowers. Unbeknownst to Percy, these delicacies make anyone consuming them forget what they were meant to do and remain willing prisoners forever.
I have to say that as much as I love social media, the more and more updates these sites make for ease of use and functionality for their users, the more it seems like a visit to the same casino Percy was trapped in for five days! If you begin “Liking” pages and posts, up pop new things that are recommended for you, by the host, that you might also like. One thing leads to another and before you know it, lunch has come and gone and when you take a breather you wonder what the heck you have been doing!
Social media is about sharing and posting and connecting and linking. In order to do this you have to spend time and effort making your presence known which, unfortunately for you if you are a small company, you need an army of social media specialists to accomplish in any kind of significant volume. These updates, as great as they are, should be used with caution. I have always taught people that you need to set aside time to build your brand and your online presence. This is still true, however, now you have to make sure that you don’t get lost in the vortex of recommended sites and “people you may know”.
My suggestion is to use your time wisely and purposefully. Know what your goals are and just what you want to accomplish in the time you have allotted and stick to it. Does this mean that you won’t occasionally get lost in the lair of the lotus eaters? No of course not. You will have those days and truthfully those days can turn into very productive sessions of nothingness where you find an epiphany of brilliance or make a connection or find a super awesome company to follow. This is part of the game and is to be expected. It’s OK to spend some time just surfing and reading and exploring. It’s how I stay in tuned with what is going on. How else would I keep up? The amount of reading it takes to find the right things to share with your viewers even with the best time saving tools is ridiculous! You have to pare it down unless of course you do not have other responsibilities. I do not have that luxury. My time is split between many tasks and many departments and projects. I have had to section my week to include a bit of reading but not allow it to consume me.
Take care to put the time in but don’t allow the tool to run the show or before you know it, you’ll “wake up” and wonder what happened.