Anyone working in the world of social media is guilty of sharing content about the latest changes. Hands up, I do it too. But it’s starting to drive me a little bit crazy.

The feeling of overwhelm couldn’t be more closely associated with social media, from interns who receive a ‘post once a day’ briefing to CEOs who think that Donald Trump is getting attention on Twitter, so perhaps I should do it too.

Teenagers not yet in the world of work are apparently saying that they would not mind if social media had never been invented and fears of being offline were replaced by feelings of relief.

Change is inevitable, but we need to get better at dealing with it.

What’s the point of social media?

I was recently asked to put together a ‘social media updates’ presentation, and my first instinct was to do the bullet-pointed list of recent changes to each platform, but then I recalled the title of the very first social media presentation I gave – “What’s the point…?”

I started reviewing the official blogs of the various social media platforms to double-check the changes, but then it hit me. The list of changes were purely functionality updates. If I, as a day-to-day social media user, wasn’t aware of every minor change and couldn’t put them all to good use, then how could the interns and the CEOs be expected to keep up when they have so many other things going on?

Go back to basics

So, my ‘social media update’ presentation went back to basics and focused on the words of Lewis Carroll, ‘If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.’

You need a plan. If you do not know which social media platform is best to use (hint – the one where you will find your audience) and you don’t know what content to share, or what you want it to achieve then knowing any latest change to a social media platform is just going to be noise.

And then you’ll find a raft of ‘experts’ shouting about ‘have you noticed a drop in likes, comments, and shares… here’s my fool-proof way to beat the latest algorithm updates!”

Of course, I take a look at this content – I see it as much a part of my job – but then I get upset because I can’t find the original source of the updates and any other insight into the advice being offered. And then this information gets shared like a bad game of Chinese whispers.

What does it all mean?

Social media presentation complete, I did include bullet points lists of recent changes, but I also summarised some top tips to reduce overwhelm and maintain focus.

I advocate following the official blogs for each of the social media platforms you choose to use; perhaps also reviewing monthly round-ups from credible sources such as HootSuite and Smart Insights. That’s the only content I share on my own profiles.

Thereafter, I now add this note; ‘while new features are nice to know, if you do not have a clear picture who you are talking to, or what you want to achieve via social media, then new functionality is not going to get results for you or your business!’

Here’s a link to the presentation. If you would like to discuss what the updates mean to you and your business, get in touch.

Thanks to Luan for those wise words. You can see more from her at the Luan Wise website or by following her on Twitter here: @luanwise