The phrase “mind-boggling” is a bit over-used.
You hear it in contexts like this…
“The number of choices on this menu is mind-boggling.”
“Enjoy this mind-boggling board game”.
“I don’t know what she turned me down, it’s mind-boggling”.
But these aren’t really boggling the mind.
What the phrase actually means is ‘intellectually overwhelming’.
It should be used when something is so gigantic to comprehend, your brain can’t deal with it.
For instance, take the known universe….
There are at least 100 billion stars, in the Milky Way alone. scientists reckon that there are over 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe, each one containing potentially 100 billion stars…
It’s impossible to “see” this number of stars in our mind.
It’s so vast… so huge… so overwhelming…
I was thinking about this in the context of running an online business in 2018.
Its size is overwhelming, even frightening
It can be hard for a start up to get to grips with the sheer size of the internet… and the vast reach of social media… it can be paralysing.
Information overload, as it’s known.
For instance, check out these stats – all true as of April this year.
• There are 3.03 BILLION active social media users.
• That figure grew by 121 MILLION between the second and third quarters of last year alone.
• Which means there’s a new social media user every 15 seconds.
When I read those stats the other day, I was taken aback.
You what? I thought, my mind-reeling.
But this is the new reality we live in. There is an exploding universe of internet use, vaster than you or I can imagine and it’s growing even as you read this email.
Just look at the numbers now on social media…
• Facebook: 2.072 billion users
• Google+: 111 million users
• Instagram: 800 million users
• LinkedIn: 500 million users
• Snapchat: 178 million daily users
• Twitter: 330 million users
• WhatsApp: 900 million users
• YouTube: 1.5 billion users
As an entrepreneur trying to get noticed online, it can feel like you’re a tiny voice struggling to be heard over billions of baritones, all singing at the same time.
But don’t let your mind be boggled…
Because there are huge possibilities here.
These users are potential customers. It’s no longer limited to the young or tech-savvy, they include all elements of society and almost certainly your target market.
People now consume information, make friends, organise outings, find recommendations and share their views on social media platforms… not only on computers but on devices they hold in their hands all day, and have by their bedside at night.
And they’re not on one network but many.
On average, internet users have FIVE different social media accounts.
The top 3 content marketing strategies used by businesses are now the following:
• Social media content (83%),
• Blogs (80%),
• Email newsletters (77%)
These are the three main strands of what we show you in Digital Upstart, and they’re getting stronger than ever.
So the good news is, if you’re using these elements in your marketing, you’re truly in the game. Don’t worry about the size of the internet, just keep up your activity.
The bad news is, if you’re not doing this stuff, you’re getting less visible by the day. You’re not in the game – you’re not even in the conversation about the game.
Sorry if that sounds harsh, but that’s how it is.
I realise that it’s a lot of work to write a blog, send emails and be active on multiple social media accounts, but it’s worth it.
And I’ll finish with a tool that will make social media a bit easier.
Spend less time and get better results on social media using this free tool
As I mentioned earlier, users have around 5 different social media accounts, which means it’s good to try and spread your activity over multiple networks for the best results.
One way to do this (without your head exploding) is to use a tool like Buffer.
It helps you advance schedule posts on major social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Pinterest and Google Plus.
You can also shorten the links, track the results of each post and analyse your performance. It also allows you to create social media image posts using a feature called Pablo.
You can get started on it for free, as long as you don’t mind there being limited features. See how you get on, and once you’ve seen how it works, you can choose if you want to pay extra for all the whistles and bells.
By having a tool like this, you can organise your working time more efficiently – you don’t have to sit by the computer for hours every day, letting your time get sucked away by social media.
It also means you can test messages at different times of day and night in a scientific way, creating them all at once in a single working session, then scheduling them.
Here’s another tool you can try.
It’s called Social Oomph
The free version allows you to schedule social media post, track keywords to find content and influencer, and manage up to five accounts.
The key is to use these management shortcuts so that you can make the most of the mind-boggling number of potential customers who are active online every day.