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When it Comes to Social Media, Walk Before You Run

by in Social Media

When it comes to using Social Media to market your business or organization, walk before you run. It’s easy to get caught up in shiny object syndrome and think you need to hop on every site. I’m here to tell you, you don’t have to do that.

Years ago, I helped develop the Social Media Certificate Program at Middlesex Community College. The program included an overview of Social Media Marketing best practices and individual classes on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and LinkedIn, that ultimately led to an individual Social Media marketing plan. I’ll never forget a student asking me about Google+. I didn’t have a profile. He was shocked that someone who teaches Social Media wasn’t embracing Google’s new “it” platform. I explained that I’d rather wait and see if the site becomes popular before pouring any time and energy into it. I’m thankful I waited because that platform never took off the way Google has hoped it would.

The moral of this story… You don’t have to hop on every platform to effectively market your business. I advise you against doing this for a number of reasons:

  1. If you don’t take the time to learn the ins and outs of each site, you’ll likely use one or more of them the wrong way and potentially alienate your community. Remember, each platform has it’s own unique personality and loyal users that come along with it.
  2. You’ll likely feel overwhelmed. If you are just starting a project, you wouldn’t take on 3-4 more at the exact same time, would you? Hopping on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram all at once will almost guarantee a Social Media meltdown. Trust me, it’s not a good look.
  3. You’ll burn out really fast. So many people go all in and simply can’t keep up with the pace. Start off slow so you are excited about continuing to grow your business on Social Media.

When choosing which Social Media platforms to invest your time and energy in, think about your target demographic and find out what site(s) they are hanging out on. (You’re not going to find many Grandmas on Snapchat!) Also, go to each site to set up an account so you can grab the same username/handle across all platforms. This consistency makes it easy for folks to find you if you decide to be active on that site. It also prevents someone else from taking your username/handle of choice.

I’m a firm believer that you should pick a site and dive it. Create a stellar profile, post consistently, have fun with your community and learn marketing best practices for that platform (basically, pick a site and do it well). Once you get comfortable on that platform, feel free to move on to another site. At this point you’ll have some confidence about your ability and you’ll be ready to take on the next challenge.

Lastly, have fun with it! Social Media is an amazing way to connect with a community, create loyal fans and customers and market the heck out of your business.

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