November 7, 2011

Rachel Strella

Social Media "Ah-Ha’s"

When I consult with new clients, they often have a surprising revelation about social media: it’s not magic!

A successful social media presence requires time, energy, and creativity.  I hate to be a buzz kill, but social media is not a silver bullet. Just because it’s the new thing that everyone is talking about, does not mean it’s a one-way ticket to profits.

Once new clients understand this, they often ask: so what now?

Well, now, I say… comes the fun part.  Here are five “ah-ha’s” about social media:

Change the way you look at media forever. You can start by looking at social media as an ongoing conversation. Begin by conversing with your audience and don’t even think about sales. Just talk!

Put time into it. If you’re busy and think you won’t have time to converse, schedule it.  It’s like scheduling exercise – put it in your planner and do it! How much time should you schedule? To start, I recommend two 15-minute increments at the beginning and end of your day. Once you have a routine and an established following, rev up to two 30-minute sessions. After awhile, you’ll find that social media will be a part of your day – weaving in and out of your normal tasks.

Establish a game-plan. Not sure what to say? Think about what’s going on the next month for you, your business, and the world at-large. Build an outline of topics to talk about within these categories. This will be a roadmap for your content and help ensure that your content is relevant to the audience.

Don’t compare social media to anything else. This is not advertising, sales, or telemarketing. This is a two-way conversation. It’s a consumer-controlled world, whether you’re ready for it or not.  Be prepared to address customer feedback.  Accept this now. It’s time to listen and respond.

Stop being scared. Many are afraid of the technology. If you take a few minutes to play around with new media, you might be surprised at how easy it is to navigate.  Others are scared of what people will say. You have to be willing to embrace feedback – good and bad – and have a system in place for responding.

Do any of these resonate for you? How have your learned to adopt? What else have you discovered about social media?

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