Learning to Swim in Social Media

There are two ways to learn to swim: start in the shallow end and make your way in gradually while you figure it out, or jump into the deep end and hope you don’t drown. (Ok, there are probably more than two ways, but bear with me…)

From a business perspective, it’s tempting to jump into the deep end… to get onto every social media available. It’s important to be everywhere that your prospects can find you, so why not sign up for all of them and be everywhere all the time, right?

The thing is, being on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, SnapChat, setting up all of the accounts correctly in a way that matches your brand, and then posting to them almost every day in a consistent, useful way that engages, and then taking the time to connect personally with people you meet online and build trusting relationships… That’s a lot to manage! And don’t you have a lot of other things to do?

We all have to make wise decisions about how we spend our time. With all of the other things you need to be doing to run your business, do you really want to spend it all on Social Media? Even if you enjoy tweeting and posting and publishing… probably not.

On top of that, how you handle your social media impacts your business. A social media account with an incomplete profile looks unprofessional. Just a missing profile pictures can undermine trust. Social media account that are set up but then lie dormant look… empty. Vacant. And that impression can carry right on over to your business! So wherever you decide to be online, make sure you’re completely there. If you only go half-way, it shows and it can have a negative effect.

So what should you do? I recommend you wade in slowly. Pick just one or two social media channels to start with. Get them set up, learn to use them, get in the habit of using them regularly… then consider whether to add another to your collection. You’ll learn how to use them well, you’ll be more effective, and – bonus – you’re less likely to drown.