How to Tame the Social Media Monster

In today’s world, social media invades all parts of our lives, both personal and work-related. On the one hand, social media can seem like a big time-waster. We spend hours uploading photos, responding to comments, looking through our streams… and nothing of any importance seems to get done. On the other hand, social networks are incredible marketing tool that offer small businesses like ours an opportunity to be noticed among the corporate giants. The sheer number of social networks – Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, 500px – can be a daunting task to manage. The trick is to find ways to simplify and streamline the process… and not to let yourself get pulled-in by the mind-numbing draw of millions of posts that are vying for everyone’s attention. If you do it right, social networks can take your small business to new heights. Here are some tips on how to tame the growing Social Media Monster.

Content Creation vs. Content Consumption

Content Creation Strategy


Our goal for social networks is to minimize the amount of content we need to create while maximizing its consumption. What does that mean? Well, we only have a limited amount of time to spend writing blog posts, updating our websites, posting on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. And yet we want to be sure that the content we create is seen by as many people as possible. So if I write one blog post, I want to make sure everyone knows it’s out there. I need to get it to my followers on Google+, my subscribers on Twitter, and anywhere else possible to make it more visible.

Right now, we create almost all of content on our website. Content from our website is automatically syndicated to other social media platforms. Ideally, a single source of content would be preferable but Google+ doesn’t yet provide means for automatic syndication. In order to share with our very large audience on Google+, we need to manually share a link or copy and paste content. Facebook a different story. There are plenty of tools where your website content is directly fed into the Facebook feed. This makes posting on Facebook more consistent and creates much larger engagement for us.

There is one exception to this rule… posting photos. Photos are posted on Google+ and Facebook every few days. This direct posting takes a minimum amount of time and creates far more re-shares than the links alone.

Relative Interaction

Interaction on social networks is great for building personal relationships, too. But with the number of social networking sites growing like weeds, it’s hard to interact equally on all networks. For us, interaction is maximum on Facebook and Google+. Why? Because the site design and tools of Facebook and Google+ (such as the hangouts, video sharing, commenting) make it easy to interact with others who have similar interests. We also have more followers on Facebook and Google+ than on any other social networking site, so it’s a logical way to maximize the return on our time.

What about Other Social Networking Sites?

So… what about other social networking such as Instagram, Digg, Stumble Upon, 500px, and the rest? We do have a presence on some of these sites, but they play a very minor role because they don’t facilitate the right kind of interaction. When you measure interaction on social media sites, you must have a goal in mind. The single-most important goal for interaction on social media is for our audience to read the content that is posted on our website. While a +1 or likes are important, they don’t necessarily educate our audience. For this, social media such as Google+, Facebook, Flipboard, and Google Newstand that allows us to share a direct link to an article becomes our top priority. While we can certainly build an audience on 500px and Instagram, this doesn’t readily facilitate the kind of interaction that we are looking for.

The trick to taming the social networking monster is to limit content creation and manage interactions to make the most of the time spent. It takes discipline and forethought – but you can make social networks work for you.

About Author Jay Patel

I could startoff like this – “Seeds of Jay Patel’s appreciation for beautiful places were planted early in his childhood….” but it would get boring really fast. I will just sum it up and say that I am a Landscape and Wilderness Photographer who loves to capture dramatic light. My photographs have been published in various magazines, calendars and advertising materials throughout the world.
Patience is a virtue...unless you are chasing your dreams

  • Hi, thank you so much for this really useful article, I’ve read a lot of your posts and it’s always a pleasure.
    I’d gently ask to you a suggestion, I’m an italian beginner photographer and I’m falling in love with photography every day more, I’ve already built my personal website (maybe too early, it’s my uncontrollable enthusiasm) in english language because I really love to speak and connect internationally and my images posted on social media (mainly Google+ and Facebook) are always followed by an english caption. Anyway I live in Italy and there isn’t any plan to fly away with my family, so I’m feeling that maybe it’s not the right way to present myself and my works to people in my country by writing in english language, specially if I’d like to do some photography related works one day, if ever of course (experience and fun come before). Here in Italy the average person has really big problems with english language, I have hundreds of acquaintances and friends but only a few understand and speak/write english enough, thus the risk of cutting me from italian social connection is almost inevitable.
    So, what do you think about the “know-me-&-connect-with-me” strategy I should consider? Should I start again from ground zero? I mean specially to connect with the other fantastic photographers like you out there and get visibility of my work in my country but at the same time be visible to international people.
    Thank you so much in advance!

    • You are facing a classic problem in our interconnected world today. My advise would be to first sit down and come up with a business plan. In this plan should include “What You Want To Sell?”. If you intention is to focus your attention on local market, then my advise would be to go with Italian language. If your intention is to market your work throughout the world then English would be a likely choice. Take a look at the Step 4: Ready to Go Pro? section on this page: A Complete Guide to Landscape Photography

  • Hi, I am a relative nuwbee to online business. I have just finished my first published website. I have got a lot of potential ideas about things. But, my very first concern is just simply how to go about getting that advertising on social media, or on worldwide-web. I know there are website that you can pay to advertise, but I’m on a very limited budget and need all the help I can get!!! I have paid for some advertising in my local newspaper, but not a lot of responses yet. My dream would be to build this into something that can sustain me without really having to work a full time job. I am retired and for years have always wanted to find that special website or business that would just set me over the top. Thank-you Sincerely B.Myers

    • Hi B. Myers. Yours is a question we get pretty frequently… maybe it’s time to write a blog post on the topic. 🙂 I think one of the biggest misconceptions about the internet is that you can spend a few bucks and a few hours setting up a business online, and then sit back and let the money roll in. It’s really not that easy. The internet does provide all kinds of great opportunities – and has amazing potential for marketing… but building a business goes far beyond that. If you are interested in starting a business online, take the time to put together a solid business plan, and then be ready to make constant adjustments to that plan as the internet evolves. Be prepared for long hours and hard work. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on internet marketing – in fact, our marketing budget is nil. But be prepared to spend a lot of time. Most internet users ignore ads, so you’ll need to find other ways to build a base of customers. We put out blog posts 5 days a week throughout the year. They take time and effort to write – and each one contains useful information. We are also active on social networks and photography forums, and we speak and teach regularly all over the world. Although we do offer fine art prints for sale, our main income is from educational products – eBooks, workshops, webinars, and so on.

      That said, building a business online is not impossible – and people are doing it every day. If you are willing to work hard, you can do it. I wish you the best of luck with your plans!

  • Jay Gould

    “Content from our blog is automatically syndicated to other social media platforms”

    Hi, could please explain further how, when you write/post on Google + it is automatically posted on, e.g., Facebook. I have been following you and other on Facebook; have not yet ventured onto Google +.

    • Jay,

      We dont have the post from G+ go directly to Facebook, but moderate them. Here is how you can automate it:
      Get a Google+ WordPress Plugin – This will allow G+ Content to go to your blog.
      Get a Network Blog Facebook AP – This will enable you to pull content from your blog to Facebook. I think there is a Facebook WordPress Plugin that does this as well, but I am not sure.

  • Excellent article.

    I have been on google+ for 4 months now, sharing my photos. I just started a photo blog this past week using WordPress and I am starting to feel the content management woes this article describes. Thanks for helping me tame the monster with these tips.

    • You are more than welcome, Thomas! Good luck!

  • Excellent article Jay.

    • Thanks…It has been a popular article for us.