You’ll succeed with Social Media, when you learn to let go.


One of the things I’ve noticed as I use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites, is that the less emotionally involved I am with the platform, the more effective I become.  I’ve said for several years now that in order to be successful on Twitter, you must stop thinking about Twitter.

To me, Twitter is not a network, it’s not a site, it’s a communication method to the world and specific individuals through public and private messages…and it sits in my pocket and on my desk.

I don’t think about Twitter anymore than I think about the clock on my wall, or the printer in my office.  Twitter simply exists for me now, it’s something I use and sending a tweet is no more or less thought out than sending an email.  Same is true for Instagram, Tumblr, Slideshare and yes, even Facebook.

Yet, in the beginning, I put a lot of time an effort into Twitter and other networks.  I tried to figure out how to simplify my content marketing so that I could have the greatest amount of exposure with the least amount of effort.  I have spent countless hours creating list strategies for Twitter, Linkedin content and engagement processes, and trying to figure out if I even want to be on Facebook.  I may be detached from it now, but it was not without a significant amount of thought and planning.  Now that I know what purpose each network serves,I can relax and just go about my life.

Ascend above the anxiety

Of the prospects and clients that we speak with, a majority have anxiety around the topic of social media.  They worry.

They worry about the frequency of their content.  They worry about “what if someone says something negative?”  They worry about wasting time or money.

The anxiety and worry is a product of the unknown or unexamined.

In order to ascend above the worry you must seriously consider the source of it and work backwards to alleviate those negative feelings.

What’s got you so worried?


If you are worried about who your audience is and what’s important to them…start with listening?  Listen to what your current clients or prospects are talking about online.  Analyze it for trends.

If you are worried about what to say (i.e content marketing), sit down and make a plan.  Write out topics that you are capable of creating content about, put it on a calendar, figure out who is making the content, and relax a little.

If you are worried about wasting time, make sure you know your goals up front, make sure your strategy is the right one to deliver those results and determine the right metrics to track in order to know if it’s working.

In some cases, the things that cause the anxiety are going to be unavoidable, so it may as well just be accepted.  You cannot avoid the possibility that someone will say negative things about you or your company.  Your participation is not a requirement for others to talk about you, that’s what makes social media so unique.  Accept that as par for the course.  But mostly everything else can be thought about and planned.

Once you know the sandbox you are playing in…PLAY.  


Once you know what content goes where: post content.

Once you start meeting people: Engage them.

Once you start measuring things: Don’t worry about what didn’t work, simply course correct for the future.


What do you think?  Have you found a difference in the way you relate to the tools makes a difference in your results?  Am I way off base?


Jeff Gibbard is the lead blogger and editor of Social Media Philanthropy and the President of True Voice Media, the Social Business Agency.