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Renee Ballard

Don’t sweat the tech stuff

When I work with people on their social media, we do lots of work around how to connect with their target audience, how to engage with their community, how to create good content, how to move their followers through the sales funnel and how to create momentum on their feeds. But there’s one area I steer around… the tech stuff.

It’s not that I don’t think it’s important, it is crucial to know what levers to pull to get what you want done. But it’s not an area I want to get hung up on, because everything changes so quickly, I don’t want to waste time learning how to do something by heart, only for it to disappear tomorrow – MySpace anyone?!

I’m online every day, so I have the basics covered and UX (user experience) designers and coders make their sites easy to use, because if it’s too hard to use, then it won’t get used at all. But as for learning how to do all the hidden little extras with each channel, I let that learning unfold organically, because jaysus, there’s only so much my brain can take in at any given time.

The times I do get stuck on a technical problem is usually when I see someone doing something online that I didn’t know was possible (like using FB to transcribe your videos and auto-add subtitles, etc). This is where I reach a three-way fork in the road with three options: firstly, feel so overwhelmed that I won’t be able to do what I want to and that it’s probably best to just give up. If that doesn’t work – and I still have that (annoying) urge to get something done, then I can have a crack at it and see if I can work it out through noodling and trial and error. If that fails, I trust someone else has had the same issue and they’ve delightfully done an online tutorial about it that shows me how to do it too.

Social media channels are constantly refining what they offer to try to stay current and popular, so beating yourself up because you don’t know how to use all their latest features is unfair. Whilst I wouldn’t recommend my first (and instinctual) option of my three option process for how to deal with a tech problem, it’s usually the impetus I need to delve a little deeper and work out the problem. Once I overcome the overwhelm, I take a smash at it and just see how it goes, I’ve got a 50-50 chance I’ll get it right, and if I don’t, then I google for the solution.

The tech side of social media can be off-putting, but keeping it in perspective and taking it step by step helps to overcome the overwhelm. You don’t need to be a tech expert to use it, with knowing the basics, you have 90% of what you need already to post your glorious content.

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