It’s 5 p.m. You’re at your desk, staring at a mountain of work and a long list of social networks that need updates. You know the work needs to get done, but Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn and all their cousins are calling your name.
If you’ve ever asked yourself whether the effort your business puts into social media marketing is worth your time, this column’s for you. Here are four ways to tell if your enthusiasm for social media has overextended your ability to keep up.
#1. You’re active on social networks most people have never heard of
While it’s great to go niche, it’s important to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of doing so carefully. Consider the audience’s size and value to your business, the time commitment and the network’s overall worth to your business, among other factors.
Generally speaking, you want to start by making sure you’re covering some or all of the major networks before branching out to lesser-known social outlets, such as Instagram, Gogobot, Foursquare and Meetup.
The majors to take care of first would be:
The fact is that they reach the bulk of the social media population. When your time is limited and you’re aiming for maximum impact, this is a critical factor.
#2. You’re not posting regularly anywhere
One key to social media success is consistency. Consistency is a major driver for engagement and visibility on most networks.
For each network, being consistent means something different.
For instance, you can get away with posting to LinkedIn a few times per week, while Facebook or Twitter require a daily commitment. If you’re struggling to keep up, you’re likely not as visible as you’d like.
#3. It’s all stress and no fun
Social networking should be fun as well as a chance for you to connect with your ideal clients. It should not be stressful or a chore. If that’s what it becomes, your audience will feel it and turn their attention elsewhere.
If you can’t count your list of active networks on 10 fingers or less, or interacting online is taking up most of your day and making you grumpy, you’re in trouble.
#4. You’re not seeing results
Maybe you don’t mind spending time online and connecting with your audience, but are you seeing results? No matter how great social media can be, it’s not a good use of time if it’s not bringing in business at the end of the day.
Of course, success means different things for different businesses. That’s why it’s important to have a clear idea of what ROI means to you and then to track it. (See my previous article: 3 Keys to Measuring ROI on Social Media Marketing.).
Sophie Bujold is a social strategist who helps travel professionals achieve online success. She is the creator of Take Flight With Facebook, a social media fam trip program. For more insights from Sophie, visit her website and sign up for free weekly email tips.