Social Media: Encouragement for the Frustrated

Is this you?

I’ve seen the frustration of small business owners who work extremely hard to keep their clients happy, deliver fantastic results on time, and stay innovative in their fields, and at the end of the day are still left wondering why the needle isn’t moving.

While you put off learning how to use social media, your competitors have realized its importance and are using it to outstrip you.

Where are the new clients? Why don’t people know about us? Why are our regular channels for new business yielding less and less? We are doing everything right.

Not everything.

While you put off learning how to use social media, focusing all your time on the urgent and important tasks of the day-to-day within your business, your competitors have realized how social media can help them and they are using it to outstrip you.

Do you have social media anxiety?

Social Media: Encouragement for the FrustratedA few weeks ago I gave a brief tutorial on blogging and Twitter at a friend’s company, a successful company with 30 employees. The session was designed to show them how they could more effectively use social media to drive traffic to their website and raise awareness about their brand and services.

They were not starting from nothing; they had a Twitter account and a blog. They had even briefly signed up with Hootsuite before canceling in frustration.

Over the course of the session, it became clear to me that their lack of training and regular “tending” had effectively rendered these assets useless to them. As a result, attention for their firm from the web was next to nil.

Social media can and should facilitate brand exposure.

Social media can and should facilitate brand exposure. If you’re interested in brand marketing and in spreading useful information about your company and your offers to those who might buy from you, you should be using at least some of these tools. And if you truly believe that your enterprise is delivering value to the world, James would argue that not to market is a crime.

What’s the first step?

If you still haven’t made the push to begin learning how to use social media, a first step is in order.

Do you have time to improve your business?

As usual, a state of ignorance, feeling “in the dark,” hesitant or incapable, can be remedied through learning. You are not “too old” to learn this stuff. And you do have time for it. If you still don’t think you do, let me ask you this: do you have time to improve your business? In most cases, that is exactly what you will be doing.

Mastery

Like any tool, a social media platform is only as good as the hands that wield it. It’s not Hootsuite, Twitter or Facebook that’s not doing its job. Their survival in the marketplace is evidence that a lot of people/companies actually find them quite useful. What these tools require on the path to mastery is patience, persistence and consistency, all supplied by you.

What these tools require on the path to mastery is patience, persistence and consistency, all supplied by you.

If working with these tools presents an obstacle for you, I will assume you are either: a) frustrated by them because they are not immediately easy and can be somewhat abstract, b) you feel you don’t have enough time to devote to them, or c) you lack the necessary belief in their value and thus lack the commitment to see them through to a successful outcome.

10 minutes a day

If you knew that by setting aside 10 minutes a day for a few weeks you could greatly improve your life, would you do it? Most people would say yes, but how many actually do it? Far fewer. This is related to intrinsic motivation.

How does this psychological principle apply in business? It’s very much like exercise in that the benefits are all in the actual doing of it, but this requires a habit of regular action. This habit must be fully established before the benefits can be felt.

Proper use of social media holds the power to increase your online exposure, and this is a benefit for nearly any business. More importantly, the consequences of not diving are very real. Social media is a means to assert and communicate your value. Its efficiency in doing this will vary depending on your actual target audience—if your audience skews younger it is vitally important, but even consumers in their 50’s are increasingly tuned in, and virtually everyone uses Google. And like it or not, Google cares about social media.

You can do it!

You have 10, maybe 5 minutes in your day to learn how to use these tools. You can learn how to say to the world “I am here!” to share with potential clients all the insights you have gained in a career characterized by learning and continuous improvement, a career focused on delivering value through services or products. If you don’t have 10 minutes a day, someone on your staff probably does. And when they acquire the skills, maybe they can give you a hand.

Don’t be shy; dip your toe into the world of social media. It’s not that scary. It can actually be fun, almost like a game. A game which, if well played, can result in real benefits to your business.

Here are some helpful sites to get you started:
3 Ways B2B and B2C Businesses Differ in Social Media from BoldThink
How to use Twitter from Wikihow
31 Twitter Tips from Forbes
Do’s and Don’ts of Facebook [infographic] from HubSpot

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