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Social Media can be Simple

There's this myth about social media that its complicated, takes up too much time, is too hard to learn, and doesn't really produce results. But Social Media can be simple...
Written Aug 16, 2011, read 728 times since then.


There's this myth about social media that its complicated, takes up too much time, is too hard to learn, and doesn't really produce results. I see a lot of people shudder when social media is brought up, or sigh and give in to being on social media because they are being pressured into doing it. Mostly what I see is lots of frustration that this technology, this medium of communication, has been thrust into our lives and it isn't going away. It's here to stay. And business owners, who already have a gajillion things to do, don't really want one more thing to do. So is it really possible for social media to be simple? Yes it is, but keeping it simple involves doing the following:


1. Pick your sites carefully (not all are equal): Not every social media is equal to others and you won't necessarily find your audience on every site. There are lots of social media sites available, but unless you're audience is actually using those sites, you don't need to be on them. The best way to figure out what sites you need to be on is to figure out who your audience is (i.e. clients and potential clients) and learn what sites they use. Then establish your social media presence on that site so that you can interact with them.


2. Be consistent with your time on social media: A lot of what stops a business being successful is inconsistent time on social media. You don't need to devote an entire day to doing social media, but you do need to be consistent about activities and showing up on social media. If you're worried about spending too much time on social media, buy an egg timer and once the alarm goes off, finish what you are doing and then get off the computer. But remember you need to put some time in. Whether that's 15 minutes or an hour, it needs to be consistently done.


3. Do actions that put you in front of your audience. Just spending time on social media won't work, unless you know what actions to take. You want to get in front of your audience, so you need to do actions that will catch their attention. Since every social media site has a different interface it's important to remember that what you do one site may not work on another site. For example, answering questions on the Q and A forum works on Linkedin, but there is no such forum on Facebook or Google Plus, so you need to do something else that still gets you in front of your audience.


4. Develop social relationships to grow your business. Social media is social. People expect social behavior and not surprisingly social updates get a lot more response than updates that come off as promotional, marketing oriented, or otherwise spammy. People also want you to comment on their news, care about them, and otherwise show some sign of interest in what's going on with them. Businesses that learn to be more personal do better on social media, because people want relationships. And relationships are what grow businesses. So work on being more social. It will get people interested in you and in what you offer and help them decide if they want to work with you.


5. Keep Social Media in moderation. Despite all the hype, social media isn't the end all, be all of marketing. It's one avenue to reach people and it can work. So can traditional marketing. For that matter, good ol' fashioned networking can be an excellent way to meet people and find out what they do as well as what you can do with them. Be consistent with social media, but focus on other avenues and activities as well. Volunteer to be on a committee for your chamber or non-profit, or put together a flyer and bring it to a networking event. In other words, don't put all your eggs in one basket. By exploring multiple avenues you can help people get to know you and your business, while also learning more about them and your community.

Social media can be simple. It only becomes complex when we blow it out of proportion. Yes there is technology to learn, and yes it can take time to get the social aspects of social media, but if you stick with it and understand that it's just one way of communicating with people, you may find that it really benefits your business. Keep it simple.

Learn more about the author, Taylor Ellwood.

Comment on this article

  • Social Media Consultant 
Memphis, Tennessee 
Toshiba Burton
    Posted by Toshiba Burton, Memphis, Tennessee | Oct 22, 2011

    Thanks for sharing your article I agree with you 100% Social Media doesn't have to be as confusing if you get yourself a strategy & stick to it.

    I'm sharing & bookmarking this one:)

  • Holistic Business Coach 
Portland, Oregon 
Taylor Ellwood
    Posted by Taylor Ellwood, Portland, Oregon | Oct 24, 2011

    Thank you Toshiba. I'm glad the article was helpful!


  • Web Marketing Consultant and Business Analyst 
Athens, Attiki Greece 
Pavlos Skoufis
    Posted by Pavlos Skoufis, Athens, Attiki Greece | Dec 25, 2011

    Fully agree with what you say and also for the consistency part. Being consistent with your social properties and engaging with fans on a regular basis is the foundation for a successful social media presence.

  • Holistic Business Coach 
Portland, Oregon 
Taylor Ellwood
    Posted by Taylor Ellwood, Portland, Oregon | Dec 28, 2011

    Hello Pavlos,

    Its what makes social media viable for business. Anything less makes it a waste of time.

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Article tags

  • social media
  • social media behavior
  • social media marketing
  • social networking

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