The Price of Popularity

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I think I'm being followed

I became a big fan of social media long before I even knew that’s what it was called. Twitter and Facebook in particular have allowed me to grow my network and stay connected to a much larger group of people than would have been possible when I first started my business in 2002. Every week I discover interesting new people to learn from and, at the same time, I’m growing a reputation as an expert within my target market. This kind of recognition is great for both my ego and my bank balance, but it’s not without its challenges.

Like many others, I take advantage of time-saving tools to manage my social media presence, but that can only take you so far. Automated systems cannot take the place of personal engagement, and personal engagement requires time and effort.

For example, based on a couple of blog posts I’d read, I concluded that thanking people who retweeted my posts by tweeting “Thanks for the RTs @person1 @person2 @person3” was just adding more noise to the already-cluttered Twitter stream. I then decided to return the favor instead, giving more value both to the retweeter and my other followers (see my post What Do You Do When Someone Retweets You? for more details). However, it didn’t take me long to realize that browsing their Twitter stream in search of something interesting, clicking on a link for further exploration in most cases, and then retweeting if appropriate, increases the time spent from a few seconds to a few minutes – even more if the first tweet doesn’t prove to be compelling. Multiply that by the number of retweets I receive each week, and I could spend hours just acknowledging my retweets!

I also make a practice of checking out my new followers and personally responding to comments on my blog and social media posts, as well as commenting on other people’s posts. These activities have contributed greatly to the size and strength of my network and brought me lots of additional business, so I’m certain I’ve found the right strategy for my business.

The challenge is that the more people who are reading, sharing, and commenting on my posts, the more time these activities require, and the more business I have, the harder it is to continue giving my social network the same level of attention.

This situation is really nothing new. Even before the Internet became an important resource for entrepreneurs, successful small business owners have struggled to make time for marketing and networking. Yet we know that if we don’t continue to invest time in marketing our businesses, the day will come when we have no business left to run.

How about you? What is your biggest challenge when it comes to social media?

Image © nasirkhan / DepositPhotos

This post was originally published on From the Desk of Janet Barclay in 2011 and has been updated for Your Organizing Business.

Gravatar mystery man

A former professional organizer, I'm now a Website Design and Care Specialist. I love helping others succeed by sharing the knowledge and insight I’ve gained through marketing my own business for over 15 years! When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, watching movies, and cooking.

Gravatar mystery man

A former professional organizer, I'm now a Website Design and Care Specialist. I love helping others succeed by sharing the knowledge and insight I’ve gained through marketing my own business for over 15 years! When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, watching movies, and cooking.

7 Comments

  1. Avatar Michelle on April 16, 2011 at 9:55 am

    Janet, that has been my problem, How long do I spend on social networking/marketing.Thanks for the information and I will keep following your great advice
    Michelle

  2. Avatar Janet Barclay on April 19, 2011 at 11:46 am

    Michelle, you are in luck, because I covered this topic today on my other blog:
    http://organizedassistant.com/2011/04/19/how-much-time-should-i-spend-on-marketing/

  3. Avatar Lauren Giammarco on April 25, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    Hi Janet,

    Facebook and twitter for me have been strictly for social purposes, not promoting my venture of being a PO so this is new to me. I am being as proactive as I can learning the best tools to utilize social media for promoting my organizing projects/blogs, and learning. The biggest challenge for me is reaching out to a greater audience, what do you suggest as the best way to open that door with social media as my guide? Also thank you for consistently providing feedback via your blog and website, its been fantastic.

    Lauren

  4. Avatar Janet Barclay on April 26, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    Lauren, I’m so pleased that you’re finding value in my blog posts!

    My blog is packed with tips and action steps to help you leverage the power of Twitter to grow your professional network and market your organizing business.

    Facebook requires a different approach, but offers many options. There have been a number of changes since I wrote Using Facebook to Promote Your Organizing Business last year, but I think it will give you some ideas to get started.

  5. Avatar Lauren Giammarco on April 27, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    Thank you! Love these tips and information.

  6. Avatar Anna E. Lee - Interior Design on June 18, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this Janet. While my blog and social media presence is still growing, I’ve been quite busy lately engaging with new followers, seeking out people/influencers, responding to tweets, etc. – it’s a job in itself! I just try to do the best I can do – setting aside 2-3 hours per day to tackle it.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on June 18, 2015 at 2:37 pm

      Wow, Anna – that’s a lot! What’s great about that is you’ll have a regular system in place, so when your client work prevents you from spending as much time on it, it will be easy for you to delegate it to a virtual marketing assistant! 😉

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