In the video below, I go through a quick overview of how I approach social media, along with a tool for staying on top of your content publishing schedule.
As I began thinking it through, I ended up also doing a simple Buffer vs Hootsuite comparison. But before I get into that, let me give a birds eye view of what makes social media work, and how I think creatives should approach it.
When it comes to having a more deliberate social media marketing strategy, you need to separate the two things that make up a thriving social media platform:
Content creation and ongoing conversation.
These two things are the two building blocks of social media. The content (through various forms of media) and the conversation (the social element).
Social media = Conversational content.
When I would sit down and do "social media marketing campaigns" (whatever those are), there was never a plan. I would basically just tweet or post things based on the inspiration of the moment, which is hardly a reliable strategy. In fact, it's no strategy at all!
Buffer Vs. Hootsuite
But even when there was a sliver of a plan, I would still get overwhelmed between balancing the two sides of social media. Being under the pressure to consistently create quality content, while having conversational connections with people got daunting.
I started using TweetDeck in the early Twitter days, but eventually moved to Hootsuite (for reasons I won't go into here). But I would still struggle with the same issues: Fall behind on content creation, as well as not engage with folks I followed or the people who followed me.
As a result, it would always come and go in spurts, and eventually fizzle out.
Though Hootsuite is a sophisticated application with some very useful features, (and they also have a great educational approach to helping people understand social media), I eventually came to the conclusion that it was just too noisy for developing a content strategy.
Hootsuite's dashboard approach is flexible and has a lot of possibilities, so I wouldn't throw it out completely. It may be, for some, a better way to consume content and use it to be a source for ideas.
But it's still like a big room of noise. For me, It's not a good place to think about my own content creation plan.
I'm still fairly new to Buffer, but it was such a good fit right away, that I felt like I had been using it for years.
As you'll see in the video, Buffer does exactly what the name says. It helps you build up a "buffer" of posts in an automated cue, to be published at times in the future of your choosing.
And it doesn't do much else. Unlike Hootsuite, it doesn't aggregate all the other activity of your accounts. It simply focuses on the value that you're going to add in your own content feed.
It separates content creation from the buzz of ongoing conversation, allowing you to be clear headed and at peace with the otherwise crazy world of social technology.
A Social Media Quick-Start
Perhaps these are some reasons you get overwhelmed with all the different social media platforms. If so, the wrong thing to do would be to throw out social media all together. That would be a mistake that your creative career would pay a big price for.
But it doesn't mean that social media should rule the roost, leaving you feeling like you have no control over it.
You're in charge.
Having a simple plan and using the right tools that are easy to work with will help you. So watch this video, and go take action today with this simple social media quick-start tutorial of how I use Buffer.
Any thoughts or questions?
Leave a comment below!