• Robin Kastengren

Social Media: Is it Right for You?

Many business owners are not convinced that it's worth the effort to keep up with social media feeds.

Many business owners are not convinced that it's worth the effort to keep up with social media feeds. You scroll down your Facebook feed and see a bunch of photos everyone's kids, a ton of political rants, and ads for things you swear you were only thinking about, but never mentioned out loud. Instagram is a long stream of posed, filtered selfies; Pinterest is a hoard of fashion pins and DIY projects. Does anyone read their LinkedIn feed? Did you even know you had a LinkedIn feed?

The trouble, most likely, is that these are all your personal feeds and your connections are likely to be your friends and family. That means your feeds are full of what's important to your friends and family. A business page needs to be far more focused and your audience curated more deliberately. If you do this, you'll be able to see a whole new side of social media.

Social Media: What Have You Done For Me Lately?

The thing about social media is that you only get what you give. You can't really have high expectations if you're not willing to give a lot to anyone who is following or reading your content. On the other side of the fence, there are real people who are also crunched for time and only have so much room for new people and new information. Social media readers are picky, and they're not going to waste their time with half-baked efforts.

If you're looking at your spluttering social media accounts and thinking that they're not giving you enough in return for your efforts, it's probably because you're either not doing enough or you aren't focusing your efforts in the right directions.

Ask Not What Social Media Can Do For You…

In most cases, people tend to approach social media by thinking about what they can get from it. Instead, you should be thinking about what you can give to those who arrive on your pages or who find your content in their feeds. That means to first make sure you're putting out enough content so you DO show up in feeds, and then to make sure that content is interesting and useful to your customers.

You may have your friends and family following your social media accounts, but remember that they're likely doing so as a sign of support for you as a person. They may be your biggest fans, but they are unlikely to be your best customers. It's always nice to see those likes and shares from your people, but keep a harsher critic in mind when planning your content.

If You Build It, They Will Come

The good thing about social media is that it's never too late to build up your presence. It's a constantly changing landscape and there's always room for newcomers. Even if you've given up on social media entirely, you can change your mind and decide to get in the game right now and in a few months, maybe even a few weeks, you'll have a respectable presence and lots of people to talk to.

The key to social media success is smart placement. You want to be in the right place at the right time and deliver your messages to the right people. Don't waste your time dumping tons of content just to get something out there. When it comes to real people reading information online, less is usually more. Nobody likes to be spammed, nobody wants their feeds clogged up with advertising and marketing, and nobody likes a space hog. Focus on being useful and entertaining and not a distraction.

Find the right outlets that work for you and focus on joining the conversation rather than posting content. Social media is social, just like people are. Your blogs are a great place to drop information for people that need to learn something or solve a problem. Social media is a place for conversations and connections and fresh interactions. Join, don't post, and give rather than receive and you'll find success.

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