Caught up in tactics

I wasn’t able to attend this year’s PodCamp Pittsburgh, held last weekend at Point Park University. PCPGH had become an annual pilgrimage of sorts for me, giving me a reason to travel back to the city I’ll always call home to reconnect, learn, and share information with some really awesome folks who I’m lucky to call friends.

So, since I couldn’t make the trip, I did the next best thing – I followed the hashtag for the event on Twitter and caught a couple of the sessions that were streamed live via Google Hangout.

It’s admittedly difficult to get a true feel for an event when you’re attending virtually, but one conversation in my Twitter stream caught my attention – a dialogue surrounding the pros and cons of Hootsuite, Buffer and Tweetdeck for social media posting. Which one is better? Which one should I use?

There’s a part of me that wishes I would have chimed in on the discussion now (but we know what they say about hindsight) because here’s the thing. There isn’t a right answer in this conversation. And dare I say you don’t even have to choose just one tool.

I use all three services, depending on what my goals are. If I want to schedule a couple of tweets for specific times of the day, I prefer Hootsuite. If the exact time doesn’t matter, but I want to hit a broader audience, I use Buffer. A couple of years ago, I was a Tweetdeck loyalist, using it for all my posting and monitoring.

And that’s the key here – for all of us. I’m just as guilty of this as anyone, but when it comes to social media and marketing, a lot of times we get hung up on the tactics being used instead of the strategy and our end goals.

Fellow Nashvillian John Michael Morgan touched on this topic in a post in Owner Magazine last week. The post, titled “How to Cure Yourself of Failure,” hit some really important points, but the one that resonated with me most was the idea of stressing out over the little things.

“Way too many entrepreneurs focus on the little things that don’t matter and fail to focus on the things that lead to results,” he wrote. “I recently spoke with someone who told me they couldn’t write new blog posts because their header wasn’t how they wanted it to be.”

I think we’ve all been there at least once, haven’t we? Spending time worrying over the pros and cons of social media tools … or holding off on writing a blog post because the headline font wasn’t right … or not being sure which social channels are the best ones to use, so avoiding all of them altogether and doing nothing.

The honest truth is that the tools don’t really matter all that much. It’s the strategy behind all of it that counts.

So, choose the tools that work best for you. Seek advice from others if you’re not achieving the results you desire. But otherwise, don’t get caught up in the tactics and instead focus on the end goals. It’ll save you a lot of time and stress.

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