A Practical Guide to Social Media

If you are interested in getting involved with social media, especially from a business standpoint, there is no shortage of resources out there to choose from. Especially if you are a small business or an entrepreneur, the choices of programs, consultants, seminars, and articles (this being one of them) out there are staggering, and you could easily spend more time trying to figure out what you should be doing than actually doing it.

I noticed I was doing that – spending more time reading about it than doing it.  And if there is one absolute truth I have learned about social media, it’s that this is not a spectator sport.  Read a bit about it, do your research, but then jump in.

If you remember one thing, remember this.  It’s a conversation.  A conversation between friends, among you and your guests, and potential guests.  Wondering about what to say, tweet, or post?  What would you say if you were standing in front of someone?  Type that.

I am going to keep this brief because I don’t want you to spend a lot of time reading, I want you to spend time doing.  So here are three steps to get you going (assuming you already have a Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter account, and perhaps just don’t know what to do with them.)

  • Take no more than 5 minutes and find a discussion or topic you are interested in and make a comment.  Again, think about what you would say if you were right in front of that person, having a conversation.
  • Think of one of your most pressing business questions.  Post that as a discussion somewhere.  Chances are, someone else is struggling with that or they have a suggestion and they will continue the conversation.  Even if no one responds, you still started the discussion.  Don’t let that discourage you from trying again.
  • Set aside 5-10 minutes to do this every couple of days.  It takes time and consistency to build up these relationships, just like in real life.

I didn’t want to spend a lot of time on Likes, and landing pages and stats and followers and all that.  Make sure you are comfortable with who you are following or connected to and just be mindful (as you would in real life anyway) about who is seeing or hearing what message.

Lastly, I will say be nice.  That’s it.  Talk to people and be nice.  That’s my practical guide to social media.  Hope that helps!

2 thoughts on “A Practical Guide to Social Media

  1. I love how you succinctly encourage readers to just quickly find a conversation and be consistent with even just a small amount of time. I think I’ll take this advice myself. While I’m not new to social media by any stretch of the imagination, I do fall into the vortex of a time suck that eats my thoughts and steals my lunch. Get in, find that good quick hit, and engage! Love it!

    Mind if I borrow a few ideas and share with my travel readers? Total credit to you, of course!

    Jenn Seeley
    Community Engagement – Radian6

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