Traveling around speaking as I tend to do, I’ve been asked almost every possible question about social media that you can imagine. Some are REALLY good ones and others are just well…I’m going to keep it real…others are asked by people who want someone else to think for them — and not in a good way.

Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not my intent to criticize people who are brave enough to ask questions at a public event. I guess this is where all the misinformation about social media kinda gets under my skin.

There are so many people who dub themselves as social media experts and they have 20 followers on Twitter (yep, I went there) and the closest they’ve come to a stage is the local Karaoke bar. And, these same people spout formulas at people — as if every business should approach social media in the same way.

Granted, there is some validity in the need to systematize social media marketing – heck, I do that with my clients.  Systems are easy, they help us remember and, when acted upon, they help us to become more consistent.

However, I draw the line when people buy into the notion that you should spend 85% of your time using social media to market your business and 15% of your time “chatting”. Or, what about what percentage of time should be spent on Twitter versus Facebook. And, the cream of the crop, that it’s OK to outsource 55% of your social media tasks, but the other 45% should be done by you.


This is taking systems to the extreme and it paints everyone in the same box. The reality is that the answers to those questions have everything to do with the company, its goals and resources to get the social media marketing tasks done. What works like gangbusters for Company A is going to stink for Company B — and vice versa.

So, please, for the love of all things righteous about social media, stop looking for down-to-the-nth-degree-formulas to insert into your business’ marketing. Guidelines are cool, but when you start plugging in activities “just because”, that’s going to cause all sorts of problems for you — you will, in essence, be following a strategy for someone else’s business, not yours. Bad, bad idea.

Take the time to THINK for yourself.

Ask yourself questions like:

Based on what I’ve said I want to do with this business, what seems to be the best course of action?

Based on what I’ve been able to achieve thus far on my own, what’s realistic for me to outsource — where do I need the MOST support?

Is the majority of my market on Facebook or Twitter? How can I find out? (Hint: ASK THEM!)

You’ve put a lot of time, love, energy and money into your business, you and it deserves better than a pat formula. C’mon, don’t start cutting corners now.

AvatarLena West

Lena L. West is the leading expert on how women entrepreneurs can monetize social media. She is also the founder of the Influence Expansion Academy, the only social media mastermind program created EXCLUSIVELY for women entrepreneurs.