Those of us who voluntarily use social media on a regularly basis, be it for professional or non-professional use, tend to adopt patterns of behavior that can be repeated over a span of time. These behaviors are either self-realized through experimentation, encouraged through set out communication systems within an organization, or adopted through education obtained via books, blogs, lectures, or a simple do what the crowd is already doing type of mentality.
Any set of behaviors can be improved on, meaning we can always be improving our ability to reach the objective behind those behaviors. In the case of social media, the objective may be marketing based (I want to create a Facebook ad campaign that will increase site traffic by 20% with a budget of $2000 over 3 months) or a more subjective goal such as increasing awareness around and mentions related to a brand. No matter the case, the mission should be to find the optimum amount of efficiency to reach the goal.
Efficiency: accomplishment of or ability to accomplish a job with a minimum expenditure of time and effort. – Dictionary.com
When we use tools or adopt a system of work, it’s all in the pursuit of increased efficiency. For example, I use HootSuite on a daily basis as a Twitter client (here’s why) and I’ve found it to best fit my needs based on workflow, organization, and analytics. I use the tool because it helps with efficiency. I decided upon it after trying out the competition and spending weeks figuring out the pros and cons related to each dashboard in relation to how I like to work.
Google+ was released several weeks ago and there’s currently a wide range of articles on how to optimize the use of the service. Because the network is still in its infancy, what we’re seeing right now is recommendations based on guesswork. Some of the guesswork is intelligent and comes from hours of use and in depth analysis of the features, while other articles are rooted in nothing else other than self-imposed opinion. No single individual has yet to crack the code on how to best use Google+ and everything at this moment should be taken with a grain of salt.
As a professional or part time/casual practitioner of social media, increased efficiency should remain at the top of the priority list. Tools, networks, and marketing campaigns come and go, but best practices and systematic processes that yield results rarely change. It’s easy to get caught up in what’s new and around the corner and with social media there’s always something new to learn, but ultimately success comes down to optimizing time, effort, and investment (a combination of time+effort).
Start with the goal of maximizing efficiency and let it be a catalyst for ongoing success.