How can I succeed with social media?

Don’t scare people.

Here’s a good rule of thumb when it comes to social media: if people aren’t your “thing,” if your dating game has a worse record than Leo’s Oscar wins, if interacting with people feels like gouging out your eyes with a spoon, then perhaps you need to outsource your social media. And perhaps all customer interaction in general.

Because this — SOCIALIZING.

Social media directly implies that you must have some ability to interact and connect with people. It’s kinda like public relations for the web world …. except, geez, stop talking about yourself! Conversations happen when both parties communicate and *gasp* care. 

Social media success

What Social Media is NOT

It is not a place for sales robots. People hate conversations with robots — because they don’t have hearts. Why else do you think Tin Man spent his whole life trying to get that heart? He knew he was the future nemesis of the internet.

So step one of succeeding with social media is to figure out what socializing means and looks like for your people on the internet. What do your customers care about? Talk about those things.

How do you know if this is working or not?

Litmus test: are people running away and screaming? Or perhaps just ignoring (more likely)?

OR are they liking, sharing, reacting, anything. Be edgy if you need to — just find topics and a voice that your people will listen to.

Once the engagement starts, then you can go deep.

Wearing all the hats is tough

When I work with business owners about social media specifically, we work on “Who the heck is actually going to be taking care of all this?

Oh yeah. You are.

Don’t you love being in small business?

So, it’s up to you and you alone to handle your social media accounts and it can get messy.

So the second tip to succeed on social media: Choose 1-3 platforms where your customers spend time and focus solely on those accounts.

Yes, you could be on all 50 gazillion social media sites just to get your name out there and come up in search results. But c’mon, that is such a short-sighted goal. So what if you come up in search results if that leads to your potential customer clicking on a site that has never been updated and looks puppy-eyed sad?

Enter mis-trust. Don’t half-heart anything. Be all in or out. Wait until you can completely give yourself into a social site to learn, relate, communicate and grow. Then you’ll actually be effective and not shady.

Here’s several platforms you can consider as a small business owner who’s running the whole show (and I’m thinking B2C here):

Facebook

Instagram

Google +

Pinterest

Twitter

YouTube

LinkedIn

Yelp

Again, pick one.

One.

Uno.

Then add another uno.

Then wait, work it, wait, watch, listen, learn.

Don’t be too fast, take your time, but stick with it.

Story time: just over a year ago I worked with an owner to start focusing efforts on Facebook. We had a content strategy, posting plan, small advertising budget, etc… and then we just stayed with it. Results were not immediate. They typically never are with marketing. But here, a year later, Facebook is literally one of the major components for why new customers walk in the front door. And we maybe spent $30-40 a month in promoted posts. Most of it was simply engaging, organic efforts. And the pay-off is increasing the top and bottom line of the business very well.

This could be you!

But seriously, don’t have ridiculous expectations, but give few things your focus and grow steady and sure.

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