Why You’re at a Social Media Dead End

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What do you do when you're frustrated with social media?

Image courtesy of bplanet / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This revolution is like the flying car…well, at least for modern communications it is. Neglecting the fact that the flying car has not yet hit the market whereas social media has, it still is a good concept, making email and instant messaging a thing of the past as much as 80s blockbusters, aluminum-fitted jumper suits and claymation aliens.

Just think, though, when those mid to late 20th century minds were wondering about aerial vehicles, they might have seen the flying car as a solution to traffic congestion rather than recognizing the twisted metal disaster just waiting to happen right above people’s heads.

The same thing goes with all our tweets, likes, pluses, clicks, beeps, burps, etc. Presumably, everyone one would (or, at least, should) know how and why to use a tool that enables a single message to be broadcast with a # symbol. Aside from not only lacking the social savvy required, however, the problem with social media fortunately is not with those who use it and “crash” into each other within the virtual sky but rather that many don’t know how to operate their own vehicles to begin with, let alone know where to go. For those who may be stuck in the virtual flow, let’s evaluate some of the underlying motives that might have gotten you there in the first place.

Wrong Turn 1 – “I need to create a [social platform of choice] so I can get myself out there.”

Think of it this way, as Stephen Covey puts it in 7 Habits for Highly Effective People:

“Seek first to understand.”

Let’s be honest here: social media was meant to be a two-way street. If we were all standing on our own pedestals, tooting our own horns, celebrating our very merry unbirthdays for all to see, then it would be time to take “social” out of the equation entirely.

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in our heads. It’s so tempting to get lured by the number of hits or views or followers on a list. The bottom line is about authenticity, though. This comes down to the fact that social media underscores the desire for real, human connection. So for new and novice users just catching on, keep interaction as priority number one.

Wrong Turn 2 – “I don’t know what I would even talk about.”

Think of this way, as Marie Forleo often says:

“Clarity comes through engagement, not thought.”

Ironically enough, social media is a healing utopia of ideation that would provide relief for even the worst case of writer’s block. If you were to give yourself over to reading a few blog articles or casually perusing Pinterest for even just a few minutes, the inspiration would literally come to you. It would meet you where you were at. The beauty of new ideas is that they beget new ideas. Interacting fuels the creative process. Here’s the even better news, which is that you don’t even have to do a thing. Just make time for it and find it. Your muse is only a click away.

Wrong Turn 3 – “I need social media to find new customers and boost sales.”

Think of it this way:

Your passion is the horse. Money is the cart. Don’t put–well, you know the rest.

Alyssa Clarke made a good point in a past article about how Facebook should not be the one-stop shop to promote a business. Really, any form of online social interaction is a means to strengthening brand recognition and customer loyalty as well as exemplifying good customer service. While there is certainly a time and place for self-promotion where the horn can toot to its heart’s content, priority number one still applies when it concerns building connections on the Facebook community.

Wrong Turn 4 – “I need to be available and present EVERYWHERE.”

If you have found yourself stuck at this particular wrong turn, here is a final thought:

Keep it super simple.

When hearing something like ‘I just don’t get it. What’s the point of tweeting?’ Twitter evangelists tend to flap their arms up and down and beat their chests for the cause of the 140-character nuggets of juicy goodness.

By all means, Twitter is a giant on the virtual sphere. Contrary to popular belief, however, not every social platform is for everyone. Why is that the case? Well, each platform reflects a certain type of personality profile, preference, market and purpose. Not everyone who uses Facebook uses LinkedIn, at least for the same reasons. Conversely, not everyone on LinkedIn will use Google+ for the same type of networking.

We all have committed a traffic violation or two, both figuratively and literally. It happens. When you find yourself at a dead end, though, don’t fret. Just back up and reevaluate. Every proficient entrepreneur, every budding thought leader, every job-seeker, and every individual struggling with social naïveté all have the aptitude to be successful as long as they are able and willing to pause and observe their process. Thinking about what works and what does not, what is useful and what is downright a waste of time–these are just the beginning of what it takes to get back on track from any off-putting situation.

Now, it’s your turn (pun intended). What are your hang ups about social media? Needless to say that there was a point when you first joined what is now your favorite networking site. What did you like about it then? What about now? Share in the comments below!

Sandra Harriette
Sandra is a Creative Business Writer as well as Internet Marketing and Verbal Branding Strategist. She has worked with owners of small businesses and virtual companies, helping them hone in on their visions in order to translate those visions into marketable content . Beyond spreading her thought leadership about social media and digital media, she enjoys creating artwork, doing yoga, reading, and cooking.
Sandra Harriette

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