Social Media & The Currency of Time
Having taken a refreshing step back from the depths of the social media environment over the last week in order to celebrate various special occasions (3 to be exact, 17th March – St. Patrick’s Day, 18th March – My big old birthday and 21st March – Ireland win the Grand Slam in the Six Nations Rugby Tournament for the first time in 61 years) so you can imagine I wasn’t in front of a computer screen too much.
It has allowed for some excellent reflective time however, regarding lots of different views, opinions and options on the internet and in social media in general. I have had time to listen to the views of social media pundits, users both casual and serious, business, and even those who have simply “heard” of it but don’t indulge or are not convinced of its advantages or even its role. Its helped me make some decisions regarding my own route and what I wish to achieve as well as how to achieve it.
Its going to take some time to make it work though.
Theres that word again.
Its the single consistent word I have encountered throughout every single interaction I have had with all of the above mentioned peoples and entities. “I don’t have the TIME” or “How much TIME will it take”. Over the last few weeks I have spent every possible waking minute trying to understand, comprehend and decide on how people can, could and should be making the time for the benefit of their business especially as budgets are being cut and cash flow is drying up, surely then we need to take that cut in expenses and invest in a more hands on approach to being effective in our TIME online and especially in the social media sphere.
Let me give you an example.Lets take twitter.
I have spent time on twitter simply understanding how it has been shaped by people online and what the accepted “ethics” and “etiquette” are. This took some time. I pretty much have that side of it resolved now and am happy with the way its progressing and will continue to meet and build relationships as I currently am, but in my OWN TIME.
Something that also took me time to understand was the number of followers on and how the size of the follower count relates to the person being followed. Initially I was desperate to build a large following in the belief that the more people you are in contact with the more ears you have a hold of and the more effective you can be. I have come to the conclusion that this isn’t true (at least in my case).
I have decided that I will be very very particular about who I follow on twitter now, and I will also not let the numbers of followers decide or affect my decision on my own count and also in regards the people I decide to follow myself.
I don’t want Quantity.
I want… no I NEED quality and quality takes TIME.
Having reflected now, I am surprised at myself having taken so long to come to this conclusion. For quite some time I have preached to my clients about the value of quality SEO rather than quantity SEO. Instead of being obsessed by the numbers of visitors to the site the bottom line should be addressed against various horizontals but to put it simply:
If I’m getting 1 sale a day from 1 visitor a day via quality SEO then I can realise and quantify the exact value of this effort and return.
If I’m getting 10,000 visitors a day and 2 sales a day then I have to be very cautious how I calculate the return. I have to account for the sale of course, but I also have to account for the LOST sales as well, the ones that where not addressed properly because of the number of enquiries that may or may not have been serious, but the most important issue I have to address is the cost in TIME it has taken me to make the sales.
There it is again you, that word. “TIME”
This all comes back to social media and the channels we use and the time we have to spend working on them and developing them effectively against the time it takes us to understand them, apply ourselves to them effectively and grow them responsibly. What social channels have proven most effective for you, have you tried enough of them to decide effectively or are you simply “going with the flow” and jumping on the closet major bandwagons as that’s where the party seems to be at and you heard from somebody that it was where you had to be.
Maybe its not a bad idea to take the social TIME online and decide where you need to spend it to satisfy your aims.