Social media can be daunting and pose difficulties for organisations of any size. From freelancers right up to multinational corporations. But some of those challenges translate across all businesses.
As part of Humber Business Week 2023, we ran a series of drop-in sessions for the Invest East Yorkshire team at East Riding of Yorkshire Council. Throughout those sessions, we spoke to a range of different businesses, answering their questions and hearing about the difficulties they were facing.
Two key themes kept emerging across the workshops. And the themes that we saw were consistent with what we have discussed with clients over the years.
These two challenges are time and confidence.
Why do people find social media challenging?
Let’s tackle the two challenges individually.
First up, time. This is the one we hear the most!
The thing is, not having enough time might be the challenge. But the real reason people lack time is down to priorities.
Unless the core part of your job description is to manage social media, then it’s not going to be your top priority. And, depending on how far down your priority list social media is, determines how much time it gets.
Now, we’re not saying social media should be higher up your priorities. At the end of the day, if you’re a window cleaner and you have windows to clean, that has to be the priority.
We’re just trying to get to the crux of the issue.
How you determine your priorities links into the second challenge, confidence.
Confidence is more difficult to define because it manifests itself in different ways.
Some people lack confidence in their understanding of the platforms, some struggle to put themselves at the centre of their social media content and others fear pushing the boundaries.
Whatever level of confidence someone has, there’s generally something bigger that scares them. And the more scared they are, the lower down the priorities list social media falls.
How do you overcome the challenges of social media?
Again, let’s tackle each social media challenge one at a time.
This time, we will start with confidence.
When it comes to having a lack of confidence, there is a simple solution but it takes time.
It’s about taking small steps over time and gently pushing yourself outside your comfort zone.
For example, if the idea of going on camera and producing a video scares you, build up to it. Start by writing opinion-led blog posts. Then share these blogs on social media. Maybe include an image of yourself alongside the post. Then a short 10-second video. Before you know it, a 1-minute piece to camera won’t seem too scary.
The key is to become comfortable with the idea of challenging yourself. But make sure to take baby steps so you don’t push yourself too much.
When it comes to overcoming the challenges time poses, it can be much harder.
Obviously, there are only 24 hours in a day. And, as great as we are, we can’t do much about that.
So, we need to make the most of the time we have available. One of the best ways to do that is to plan.
Let’s look at the very extreme end where somebody is struggling to post at all due to a lack of time.
Generally, these people are relying on posting on an ad hoc basis and it ends up slipping down their priorities list as other things come up. Inevitably, nothing goes out.
In this situation, we would recommend taking a bigger chunk of time on a less frequent basis and using it to plan. It could be an hour every fortnight when they sit down, plan out their posts, write as much as they can and even schedule some of it ahead of time. This gives them a basic structure to build around.
Another little tip we like to use is to set reminders. If you know you have a key moment or event coming up that you would like to capture, set a reminder at the same time as the event so that it pops up on your phone.
By creating a structure, of any format, you make the time social media requires of you, on a day-to-day basis, shorter and more efficient.
Social media can be daunting and pose difficulties for organisations of any size. But you have the tools to overcome the challenges of time and confidence.
From freelancers right up to multinational corporations, the solutions are based on the same fundamentals. It’s just the context that changes.
Do you find that time and confidence are the biggest challenges you face when it comes to tackling social media?
Do you think there are changes you could make to help you overcome these?
Until next time, thanks for reading.