5 Tips on How to Think Zen in Social Media
Author's Note: This post was originally posted on http://www.gailmoniquemallo as a personal blog article.
Patience is a virtue, an old saying says, it's true because a patient mind is a gift. Not everyone can be patient in the middle of a horrible traffic jam or in the middle of long lines at the cashier when you are already running late. I think I am generally a patient person but every time I think I'm doing a good job in keeping my cool, something comes along that makes me want to break plates. Sometimes people can go on long periods of being patient and keeping cool. It takes a little bit of distraction like keeping busy with mundane or important things but one can only keep cool for too long especially when you've gotten used to being impatient. My patience has been tested for countless of times and have failed more than succeeded. I am not proud but I admit my shortcomings when it comes to patience. Whether it is patience when it comes to waiting for things to happen about your life, your job, relationships, or just small tasks at work…patience takes a lot of stress load off your back.
Social media marketing is more than just social networking. Strategies are involved and social networking is just the tip of the iceberg.
Social media marketing requires a lot of time and patience because you can’t get instant results. Impatience is what got started black hat SEO in the first place. This impatience of creating quality content, creating genuine conversations and building relationships to establish networks online got the whole voodoo of SEO started but this is also what got them in trouble with Google. As a social media marketer, it is normal to be impatient at times. Day in and day out you have to curate content and be on the lookout for the latest buzz on tech and social media, the learning process is endless because you need to be updated with the latest strategies and trends in social media marketing and you need to builds authentic relationship with people in the same industry as yours. When I am asked about what I do, people always think of “Facebook” or “Twitter” when they hear “social media” and all the other important things under it fly out the window. Most responses I get involve, “Oh, cool! You get paid to Facebook!” or “Ahhhh…Twitter!” It used to annoy me but now I have to be sympathetic because they probably don't know any better. Again, patience.
So several years into this chosen career of mine, I think I have found out the most important things on how to think zen or as others would say it, “to keep cool” while working your social media magic. Sure, more often than not, I wish I had a magic wand like Harry Potter to see instant results. When I keep checking how many Twitter or Facebook followers the accounts I manage have I get impatient at times but impatience will get me nowhere. Here are practical tips on how to be patient in the profession.
5 Tips on How to Think Zen in Social Media:
1. Get enough sleep every night. Sounds basic? It’s true! This is because sleep is necessary to produce hormones that are mood stabilizers. Not getting ample sleep can affect performance during the day most especially at work and poor sleep also makes a person impatient so don’t be labeled as cranky pants, get your snooze on and notice a more productive you in a happier disposition.
2. Fear of Missing Out? Don’t burn yourself out!
Believe it or not, in the advent of social networking websites, comes a new mental condition called Fear of Missing Out or FOMO. This is described by experts as the feeling of anxiety, envy and the feeling of negativity towards one’s own life as one skims through friends photos and newsfeeds on Facebook or other social networking sites.It is the feeling of missing out on life as you live yours and your friends live theirs that seem more interesting than yours. It’s okay not to keep checking your social networks a hundred times a minute. With the availability of internet on mobile, our social media networking lives are with us everywhere we go. It doesn’t help that a lot of handheld devices have sprung out of the market such as tablets, “phablets” (no, it’s not a fabulous tablet, it’s a phone + tablet) and other handheld devices. In fact, going offline is close to impossible! We keep checking our phones for notifications and if we get disconnected from our online lives we feel that something is amiss. Our obsessive checking behaviors can be explained by FOMO too because we have this erratic behavior that if we don’t regularly go online we might miss out on something really big that’s happening. This is also one of the major reasons why those who work in social media cannot get enough sleep. It’s that fear of going offline and missing out on tech news, tweets and other happenings online like checking site stats, new network friends and so on that keeps us awake!
3. Rome wasn't built in a day… and it also applies to social media marketing. The difference between social media marketing then and now is that the old ways of social media was to purely invest on link building regardless of quality. Companies pay thousands of dollars to rank their pages up on Googles SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) and they want instant results. If they want 10,000 followers on Twitter and Facebook, they can deliver. However, the strategy is different now and quality of content and genuine conversations in social media are now top priorities being monitored by Google. This is why companies with serious social media marketing agenda should realize that marketing online is all about the stories about people say about them and how the word is spread virally, not through spamming.
4. Organize your newsfeeds.
To avoid getting cross-eyed and brain going short circuit on information overload, organize your feeds and use a newsreader. As social media specialists, we read a lot and write a lot. I used to go on panic mode whenever I hit a bad case of writer’s block. Organize your newsreader according to topic of your feeds so you don’t have to deal with clutter and confuse yourself. All the articles you have to read can be overwhelming. My favorite newsreader is Feedly because of its clean user interface and the color scheme (green and white) and minimalistic design is so Zen! Bottom line is that you need a lot of patience so that you will be able to live and breathe social media by reading through tech and social media news and write about what could interest your readers, viewers or target audience. Aside from that, you have to incorporate strategies that would make your content effective in social media marketing then monitor your progress by utilizing analytics tools to see how you rank among websites of the same niche. It isn’t a walk in the park and it most definitely isn't Facebook-ing and Twitter-ing all day either.
5. Unplug for a day or two just to recharge.
Love your work and your work will love you back, it’s true. But even robots wear themselves out so get as much rest as you can and when you can, go offline—UNPLUG. Go out, stop and smell the flowers, have coffee al fresco and hang out with friends and family. When you de-clutter your mind you get to go back to work and be awesome again with your social media skills. I usually have a hard time unplugging from the virtual world but once I tried disconnecting from everything totally for a day and got myself busy, I got to rest, get some sleep and finished a basketful of laundry in just one day.
That's it! Sounds easier said than done but when you think about it, it does make sense to just “think zen” than be stressful about every single detail of your life.
If you have other tips you would like to share on how to think zen even if it isn't social media related at all…do share! I am always looking for practical ways to “free my mind” especially when day in and day out life becomes a big giant routine.
About the author
Gail Monique Mallo is a Social Media Manager for a tech startup in Abu Dhabi called Fissionlink. It is a social media marketing company that developed an on-site internet marketing platform that promotes user engagement and viral marketing for brands. She is passionate about tech, social media, writing and everything social science related.
Add her on Twitter or read her blog: http://www.gailmoniquemallo.com.