Creating Your Own Social Media Zen

by Cathy Miller on December 3, 2012

The noise from social media is deafening.

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It’s hard to believe I didn’t join this social, sharing, speed-of-light world before late 2008.

But, the freelance nature of my business made ignoring social media self-sabotage.

Four years later I still struggle with obtaining social media Zen.

Social Media Zen

How do you silence the noise of social media to find your own Zen?

  • I’ll share a few of my own methods
  • I welcome you to share yours

I call these my 7-S Strategy.

#1 – Sample first.

Who doesn’t appreciate free samples?

  • You test-drive something new
  • Without the financial commitment

Free versions are your chance to sample the platform.

In fact, for most of the platforms, I stuck with the free version.

Besides the biggies – Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter – the following are a few samples I tried.

Sampling feeds my need for learning new things.

#2 – Select what you like.

The whole idea of a sample is to determine if you like the product.

Don’t buy what they’re selling simply because everyone else is.

I have a natural aversion to following the crowd. It’s a middle child of 7 syndrome.

So, I have no problem steering clear of platforms that don’t work for me – no matter how popular they are.

Yet, I’m human. I admit there are times when I wonder if there is something I’m missing.

  • Does my aversion lead me astray?
  • Do others really know better than I do?
  • Is my lack of social media sophistication the problem?

Fortunately, that doubt doesn’t last long.

As I always say ~

The great thing about plans – you can always change them.

Who knows? Maybe one day I’ll be pinning with the best of them.

#3 – Schedule time.

  • Schedule social media time – e.g., the time of day, the time spent
  • Test-drive new platforms according to your schedule – not someone else’s

If you are an early adopter and like being the first to the show, go for it.

But, if you have *ahem* aversions, who says you can’t wait before signing on?

#4 – Slow down the bandwagon.

Waiting to act has additional benefits.

  • Bugs are worked out
  • Others review the pros and cons
  • The flash-in-the pan products disappear
  • Sign-up is streamlined (think moving beyond invitation only)

Tortoise and hare, baby,

#5 – Single in on one platform.

Multi-tasking isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.

Try narrowing your focus to one social media platform.

Concentrating your efforts on a single platform produces better results.

  • Learning is enhanced
  • You achieve quality over quantity
  • You make stronger connections

Experiment with one platform for a few months or indefinitely.

The choice is up to you.

# 6 – Shut it down.

Despite our best management techniques, social media still overwhelms us.

When that happens – shut it down.

  • Take a break
  • Weed out the annoying
  • Regroup and create new strategy

For the most part, I limit weekend social media to personal use. No work on the weekend.

Now, if I could get others to stop sending me their Sunday messages.

Hello? Marketers? I’m relaxing here.

#7 – Search for your own Zen.

What defines your own Zen is unique as you are.

Don’t let others define social media for you.

  1. Sample first
  2. Select what you like
  3. Schedule time
  4. Slow down the bandwagon
  5. Single in on one platform
  6. Shut it down
  7. Search for your own social media Zen

How do you find the balance?

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Sharon Hurley Hall December 3, 2012 at 7:07 am

I love this, Cathy. Although I have signup-itis and always want to try out new things, it’s always a good idea to check whether you’re blindly following fashion or discovering something that adds to your personal social media workflow.
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Cathy December 3, 2012 at 7:20 am

Thanks, Sharon. As you know, I have a much milder case. ;-) I like learning new things, but tend to let things simmer before signing on. The good thing about being an early adopter (like you-not me ;-)) is you become an expert before anyone else.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Sharon.
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Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A. @Cerebrations.biz December 3, 2012 at 11:47 am

I don’t think we ever really balance, Cathy. I think we sequentially overload and abandon- in serial order…
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Cathy December 3, 2012 at 11:58 am

Ha! That’s funny, Roy, and probably very true. :-) I guess we all like to think we’re more strategic than that, but I for one, fall into the overload and abandon mode.

Thanks for sharing your view, Roy.
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Lori December 3, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Super tips, Cathy! Scheduling it is the best idea yet — why not make it a part of the work day? It’s a great tool if we use it correctly.
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Cathy December 3, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Thanks, Lori. Scheduling is a great tool IF we use it correctly. I’ve been known to be a slacker there. ;-)
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Anne Wayman December 3, 2012 at 4:43 pm

I’m all for scheduling… and have, starting today, scheduled some tweet time, even before I read this. Thanks, Cathy.
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Cathy December 3, 2012 at 4:59 pm

Thanks to you, Anne. I have to get back on track – in many ways. :-)
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Danielle December 4, 2012 at 6:47 pm

I’m like Sharon – I sign up for every new thing that comes my way. If I don’t see immediate results though, I leave it behind for what does work.
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Cathy December 4, 2012 at 6:52 pm

Hey Danielle-great to see you here again. I say whatever works for you is the way to go For me, that approach would totally overwhelm me, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work best for you.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your M.O., Danielle.
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