Overwhelmus Americanus…and Social Media

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I read an article today that was forwarded to me by an Executive Coach, whom Savvy has a strategic partnership with. Robert Middleton‘s newsletter, talks about how people are so overwhelmed these days, or as he calls it, “Overwhelmus Americanus” (likening the “sickness” to the H1N1 Flu virus). We’re all dealing with it, and the barrage of talk about social media is definitely a contributor.

“‘Overwhelmed You’ goes into full overwhelm mode. You feel stressed, confused, panicked. Your heart rate goes up and blood supply goes to your limbs for the “fight or flight” reaction. You’re not thinking too clearly. You want to run away, or better, go to sleep.”

Does that sound familiar? Are you living it? Does Social Media create that anxiety for you? Well, look no further. Savvy has a solution.

#1: The first question to ask yourself is what makes social media compelling for you? What do you like about the medium? Better yet, ask yourself what do you really know? What do you understand about it? Do you know how it can benefit your business?

#2: Get yourself a strategy. Don’t just do it. Big mistake. Not having a plan is actually what creates the most anxiety for a company or an individual. If you just throw something up against the wall to see if it sticks, you’ll have anxiety just waiting for the outcome.

#3: You cannot be all things to all people. Let me repeat. You cannot be all things to all people. That’s actually the beauty of the medium. Pick a target audience, and stick with it. Focusing on many target audiences with loosely defined goals is a sure way to hamstring yourself, your resources and your budget before you ever enter the medium. Define your strategy, rinse and repeat.

#4: Be realistic in your approach, and seriously recognize that you will have to commit time, money and internal resources. There just ain’t no way around it. People say it’s free to enter…well, Free is a relative term. It’s free in the sense that you can create a Facebook page or a Twitter page, however, the design is not free, the strategy takes time to think about and implement, and people have to manage, evaluate and analyze the activity. Oh, and it’s a long-term thing, not a short-term in-and-out promotion. So, therefore, it is not free.

#5: Don’t just jump on the bandwagon to keep up with the Joneses. Just because you know of a company or an individual launching a Facebook page or a Twitter page, or a blog…doesn’t mean it is right for you or your company. That’s where your strategy comes in. Define Strategy, rinse and repeat.

#6: Evaluate and analyze…Do you know the tools out there that are right for you? How are you measuring your impact? Do you know what success looks like for you or your company?

So, decide if you’re going to be overwhelmed…or of you’re going to be focused. Focusing, as Robert Middleton puts it, creates “clarity and intelligence”.

Now doesn’t that feel much better?

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