A social media meditation on balance and focus

Take a moment or two to get comfortable, soften your gaze, and begin to take some deep breaths, in through the nose, out through the mouth. And with your next exhalation, gently close the eyes and…no wait, keep your eyes open for just a few more minutes…

I recently took a bucket-list trip to the southwest, and I couldn’t help but be inspired by recurring instances of balance and focus in the great landscape all around me.


As I gazed in awe upon the massive cliffs of rock carved away by ancient rivers, I was impressed by what I imagined to be the singular focus of the water. Its one purpose being to wash everything away, even mountains. It wasn’t trying to be an ocean with the greatest waves or a hurricane with the greatest strength at the same time. No, it washed and washed and wore down at the rock grain by grain until a grand and expansive canyon landscape was carved.

For this beautiful landscape to emerge, there too must be great balance, in addition to trained focus. A balance of harder rock and softer rock, flood and drought, wind and calm. Without such a unique balance of many different elements, we wouldn’t get to see such a unique topography in this area today.


What does any of this have to do with social media, you’re probably thinking…okay fair enough.

Think about your brand’s social media strategy as the water and the results you want to shape as the carved-out rock formations. How can your social media strategy have such an effective focus to carve out what you want to see from everything that exists out there?

When it comes to social media, many of us can easily feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of content, the charged emotions behind the content and the all-too-quick-to-judge culture of the internet landscape.

While there is A LOT to be distracted by on social media, especially during Presidential campaign years, by applying balance and focus to your social media strategy, you can flow like water past the jagged clutter and get your brand messaging on track to effectively and efficiently reach your audience.

Social Media Balance

When I talk about social media balance, I’m thinking about what you have to offer to your audience and what you want from your audience in return. By ensuring these elements are clearly defined and always in balance when creating content, you can be assured that your interactions on social media will benefit both your organization and your audience. You’re not giving too much or asking for too much, both of which would spin your social media efforts out into ineffective and irrelevant zones.

A good template to build from when defining your statements of balance around social media give-and-take is to run all your content against this filter: Will this content entertain, educate or inspire my audience? If you can’t in good faith agree that your message will offer one or all of those to the majority of your audience, don’t post it.

And when it comes to ensuring you get what you’re looking for from your audience in return, always have an easy, relevant and useful call-to-action clearly identified in your message. If your CTA is too one sided—all benefiting you and offering nothing of value to them—you’re out of balance and your efforts will be wasted.

Social Media Focus

When it comes to finding your social media focus, it helps to make a social media mantra. This is really about knowing your social media story—the reason why you are there and what you are there to do. Can you define this, or would you fall into the camp that says “we’re on social media because everyone is on social media, so we should be, too?” It’s important to make it personal to your organization and not a generic statement that says nothing about you.

In its most simple form, your focus-answer is your strategy for social media. You need focus to know how to achieve the desired outcomes derived from your exercise in finding your balance on what you want and what you can give.

Be wary of the social media strategy that focuses too much on social media in and of itself. Remember that social media is a tool–a means to an end–to deliver value to your online community and extract a reasonable amount of benefit from using the channel.

By approaching social media with balance and focus, you will see its value through a business lens, and your audience will feel it is a worthwhile use of their time and attention.

And hopefully it will become clear that it’s not about all the noise, all that you can’t stand about social media. Those things are not in focus and they lack balance entirely. The noise is meant to be ignored and the signal is meant to be heard.

Now gently close your eyes, take a few more deep breaths, think about your balance and focus, say your social media mantra in your head, and get on with your day feeling less overwhelmed and more centered. Breathe…


Holly Fearing

Holly Fearing

Holly lives and breathes social media; if you can’t find her IRL, try reaching out on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram, and you’ll likely get her right away. ... Web: www.filene.org Details