Last week was Friday the 13th and that always makes me think of social media superstitions! In fact, this amazing song was playing all day.
After I played that on repeat 50 million times I finally settled down to work. There are actually a lot of connections between superstition and social media. In fact, social media superstitions are one of the biggest reasons why small business owners hesitate to adopt and fully utilize social media to grow and expand their business. Webster defines superstition as "a belief or way of behaving that is based on fear of the unknown and faith in magic or luck: a belief that certain events or things will bring good or bad luck."
To break it down, people either don't do social media because they fear messing up or they believe that social media has some sort of voodoo magic behind it that they don't understand and consequently can't effectively use for their business. Well, were going to get rid of that superstition today.
Social media is just a tool. Like any tool you use, you can only learn so much from a book before you actually have to start doing to gain expertise in its use. Did you learn how to ride a bike by reading a book? What about swimming? Or public speaking? These are all activities that you can read about but don't become good at until you do it. Social media is the same way. Follow these steps to dispel the superstitious fear of social media.
1. Spend a week reading and understanding 1 platform.
Understand how it is used and how it can impact your business. You can use sources such as the FAQ on the platform, Social Media Today, workshops in your area, and even spending time on the network to see how others use it. The important thing in this step is to understand the mechanics of the platform but not to be an expert in the platform. Understand what you need to do to upload a picture or video, how to schedules posts, and other items like that.
2. Create a Strategy
This does not have to be a perfect strategy. However, it does need to contain goals and metrics. Why do you want to participate on this platform? What results are you expecting? What impact will those results have on your business? More newsletter subscribers? More clients? More appointments? How many more? 5%? 15%? 25%? Setting your goals and measurements now will make it easier to evaluate the impact a platform is having on your business later.
3. Ignore the thought that you are "Not ready"
You're going to have multiple thoughts that you don't know enough or that you are not ready. Did you know everything you needed to when you started your business? No, you learned on the job. You encountered situations and dealt with them. If you had a situation you didn't know how to deal with you had trusted advisers you sought advice and assistance from. Social media is the same way.
4. Dive in!
You've done the research, you've set your goals, now it's time for real world testing. Push record or post and keep consistent. As you gather more data about your efforts keep referring back to your strategy to see if these efforts are having an impact on your goals.
Social media is not hocus pocus. Don't fall prey to social media superstitions. It is a tool that you can use to leverage the exposure your business gets. As with any tool in your business you have to learn how to use it but it not more complicated than learning any other aspect of your business. As my mother would say, "You have to put some gray cells on it."
Moon photo by Roman Pauwels on FreeImages.com.