Posted by: Jess Scheve | February 24, 2011

Staying Motivated as You Build Your Online Presence

If you’re anything like me, when you begin a new endeavor you feel really energized and excited. As time goes on, however, you begin to lose steam. You realize that you still have a long way to go to reach your goal and it feels like it’s going to take an eternity. Most of us have been there. 

Long and Winding Road

Image from manofthehouse.com

I feel this way at times as I work toward my master’s degree. While the past semester and a half seems to have flown by, sometimes when I think about every thing that I still have to do I just want to run and hide.  If I’ve learned anything about setting goals though, it’s that we have to accept the fact that there will be times when we lack motivation.

The same thing can happen when you begin to build your online presence. You get really excited about all of the great opportunities that social networking offers, but when you find yourself spending hours trying to set up profiles and obtain followers, the task becomes a daunting one.

So what can you do to keep yourself motivated? When it comes to social media the biggest deterrent tends to be the time commitment. Below I outline some tips and resources to save you some time and make your online life a little easier.

1. Remember that it gets easier.

Social networking tends to be the most time-consuming when you’re first starting out. Don’t let this stop you from participating. It’s much more difficult to establish your presence than it is to maintain it. Once you put the time into creating a profile and making contacts it’ll get easier. I promise.

2. Streamline your online life.

Trying to keep up with multiple sites can be overwhelming. Make it easier on yourself.

*Note-Be careful with posting to multiple accounts at the same time as some people might think you’re a spammer. One of my classmates recently posted some great information on spamming.

There are actually a lot of resources on streamlining – but don’t take my word for it. Check out these sites for additional information:

Socialmedia.biz

The World is Your Oyster

Mashable

If you’re a fan of The Office at all then you may be familiar with WUPH – the ultimate tool in streamlining social networking sites.

3. Start small

Don’t try to get involved in too many social networking sites at once. Try one platform and once you feel comfortable with that, gradually add more to your online repertoire.

4. Make social networking part of your daily routine

If managing all of your social media feels overwhelming, then try picking one or two times a day to check them. Try to do this at the same time every day until it becomes a habit. If you find yourself spending too much time on a site then set a time limit, say 15 minutes. It’s really easy to get “sucked in” to social networking sites; so once your time is up force yourself to log off right away.

5. Make use of “in between time”

If you absolutely cannot limit yourself to checking your accounts only once or twice a day, then try squeezing in some time when you’re just waiting around. If, for instance, you’re a student and you’ve got 15 minutes between classes or you’re waiting at the dentist’s office. Or you’re on your way out and you’re waiting on your significant other to finish getting ready…again.

*Note-I realize that some of these “in between” times only work if you’ve got a smart phone. We will talk about whether or not you need one in a future post.

6. Be selective

Certain sites, like LinkedIn or Twitter, may be a necessity if you’re in public relations, but don’t feel like you have to be involved in every single social network platform known to man. If you’re not sure whether or not you want to commit to a site then just observe for a while. If it seems beneficial to you then go for it, if not then don’t sweat it. Just be strategic about which sites you choose.

7. Have fun with it!

Okay, so this one may be obvious but I’m superstitious and six is an unlucky number! But seriously, social media should be about more than just work. Connect with old friends. Read interesting stories. Keep your family and friends updated on what’s going on in your life. The more fun you have with it the more motivated you’ll be to keep up with it.

For general tips on how to stay motivated check out Zen Habits. The blogger, Leo Babuata, was responsible for the Mashable article listed above and happens to be one of my favorites.

And remember: when your inner child screams “I DON’T WANNA” you’re not  alone.

Child Throwing a fit

Image from watchmojo.com

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Responses

  1. I was happy to see this post because I have recently hit a plateau with my social media involvement. This is alarming to me because, in reality, I’m still a newcomer. If I feel this way now, what is going to happen a year down the line? Your post was a helpful for me to re-frame my thinking about this frustration. I especially like the idea of having a regular time to check in and putting a time limit on it. I have a tendency to get sucked in and then get sick of it. I appreciate the advice and I am going to put it into practice!

    • Thanks for the feedback Natalie – I’m glad you found it useful! 🙂 I’d like to think that it’s more difficult on us now because we have to balance SN w/ school, work, etc. Maybe it’ll get easier in time? I hope so lol. I’m still in the process of implementing my own system for managing my SN so if you have any tips or want to share your own experience with managing SN I’d love to hear more about it. After all, this whole process seems to be more “trial and error” than anything else.

      • Jessica – I think the word “experiment” sums up the acclamation process perfectly. We’ve all learned that at times we all fail, that’s just a reality – I know I certainly have. I think I will find balance once I really develop my voice in the world of social media and the blogosphere. I applaud you for really coming into your own! Your blog is great!

      • You make some excellent points Natalie! Experimenting is really what it’s all about since social media is learned by doing and because there are constantly new platforms emerging. I’m glad that you pointed out that we will find balance once we establish our online presence. I often forget that the process of getting established is the hardest part. Thank you so much for the words of encouragement. 🙂

  2. I have to say that it feels different when I need to treat blogging as an assignment. However, thinking from another angle, there is no class like this need to deal with SNS as homework!

    For now, I am thinking about readjust the angle of my blog~~~ I want to make it readable!!!

    • It does feel a little different as an assignment but I’m kind of thankful that we’re doing it in class because it gives us an opportunity to ask questions and get feedback. I guess if we must have homework then participating in social networking is the best kind to have lol!

      What kind of angle are you thinking about taking with your blog?


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