Don’t Let Social Media Stress You Out
Don’t let social media stress you out, especially if you are just getting started. A misconception in the social media world is that you need to be everywhere at once. You don’t. All that will accomplish is stressing you out, making you stretch for content and setting yourself up for failure. So how do you set yourself (or your business) up for social media success? Take it one step at a time.
Figure what social media platforms your customers use. Not every social media platform works well for every business. First of all, most people are on Facebook. However, Facebook works a lot better for B2C businesses than for B2B businesses. That doesn’t mean your B2B shouldn’t be on Facebook. It means you should consider how much time you put into Facebook based on your company. The best social media site for B2B is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a great resource for finding customers and potential connections. If you have something very visual, consider sites like Instagram and Pinterest that highlight the visual. Twitter is a great way to get your blog out there. Check out this article in Entrepreneur Magazine and this one from TheNextWeb.com for more information on some of these sites. The main takeaway here is research. If you don’t have a good reason to be on a social media site, don’t waste time setting it up.
- Start small. Now that you’ve identified which social media sites will work best for your business, it’s time to set up your accounts. YOU DON’T NEED TO SET THEM ALL UP AT ONCE. Let me reiterate that: you don’t need to be everywhere at once. Choose the one you think will best benefit your business and start there. Figure out the time you need to put into maintaining that one social media site before you overwhelm yourself. Decide on what you are going to post, what times you plan to post and how often and see how much
time that takes.
- Create content. Have some content ready to go before you start up your social media accounts. This way, you are not left scrambling for content.
- Don’t do it all yourself. Just because you are on social media doesn’t mean you need to share your own content 100% of the time. It makes your business look better when you acknowledge there are other people out there who have good content as well. Maybe it’s a news article about something in your industry. Maybe you just found a great quote that inspires you. You don’t have to create 100% of your social media content. Let others do some of the work for you. NOTE: if you are sharing content that someone else created, you must give them credit for it. Don’t try to pass something off as original content if you didn’t create it yourself. You wouldn’t want someone to steal your work; don’t do it to someone else.
- Listen to your customers. Search through your chosen social media sites and see what people are saying about your business and industry. If you are using Twitter and Instagram, look into what hashtags are popular in your industry so you can get your content noticed.
- Don’t be a salesman all the time. Social media is about making connections. Customers don’t log onto social media sites to get bombarded with sales pitches. Blog posts are a great way to share content and show your expertise without being too “sales-y.” Have conversations, listen, be helpful. Don’t be a pushy salesperson. That will only work against you.
- Be kind and courteous. You have most likely heard news stories about companies getting into fights with customers online. Don’t be that person. Yes, you will get complaints or negative comments about your business on social media. You might as well just assume that’s going to happen. It’s how you handle complaints that will make you shine. Respond first to the customer on whichever social media account he/she posted the initial complaint. Acknowledge that they had an issue then try to move the conversation off-line. Ask them to direct message or email you a phone number or email address so you can resolve the concern. Don’t delete negative posts; someone will call you out on it. Stay positive and be polite.
The key to setting up successful social media accounts is to take on only what you can handle. Once you get in a good rhythm with one platform, add in the next one. It’s easier to do it in small pieces than to try to be everywhere at once.