Introducing "The S.T.A.N. Plan"

Don't Waste Your Time Catching Up!

Enjoy the stream

Take a look at the stream to the left. Imaging trying to fish upstream in that current. You'd have to be a strong swimmer, and it would take some time to go very far.  Now imagine fishing downstream in the same current. Even if you catch something it's going to be a struggle getting back to your campsite. Neither scenario sounds like much fun.

Now Imagine Staying Put

And try to catch what's passing in front of you.  The fish have been going upstream and downstream all day. That's what fish do.  You didn't have to move.

Now Think About Your Social Streams

Imagine Facebook, G+, LinkedIn and Twitter as rivers. Think of that information posted in them as fish. There is valuable information posted. It's not all cats, hot dogs, and quotes. Do you want to go through all that information, or do you want the fish to come to you?  So ...what's important now is that you have the right bait. 

What Are You Looking For?

That's really what you need to think about. What fish are you trying to catch?  If you want catfish - use chicken livers. Trout will need a worm or fly.  What bait will give you the best results? The bait you use is in the form of posts, or responses. If you're a vet, pictures of cats should be just fine. Responding to cat pictures would be good. Or you might even be an accountant that specializes in vetenarian tax breaks. Again, cat stuff is just fine for bait. Just don't get caught up into trying to answer every question. And don't worry about the stuff you missed.  Research says 80% of the stuff is just fluff anyway.  Let it go.

And Get A Guide

Certain fish live in certain areas.  The same thing goes for the social crowds on the Internet. They hangout in certain places. You need a guide. A good guide can help find them, but a great guide can tell you what they're biting.  And make sure that it's a great guide for THAT river. A person specializing in WordPress might be a great guide for WordPress.  But they probably don't know as much about Google Apps as they think they do, and vice versa. 
Just quit trying to catch everything in every river. It's not going to happen. Spend your time on the important stuff.  You fish too much anyway.