Five Tips to Keep Your Head Above Water with Social Media

There are so many different avenues when it comes to social media, and for someone just getting her feet wet, it can really seem daunting.  That’s when you call on an expert, like Laura Click of Blue Kite Marketing, who can bring it all down to size.  If you haven’t dipped your toes in the social media waters, this guest post will give you the courage and steps you need.  Thanks, Laura!

Facebook. Twitter, YouTube. LinkedIn. Oh my! It’s certainly enough to make your head spin. Although social media offers considerable value to small businesses, it can be challenging to make sense of it all – especially while juggling everything it takes to run a successful business.

It can be very easy to get overwhelmed with social media even before you dive in. And, once you do, it can quickly consume your time and prevent you from doing the other necessary tasks to build your build your business.

So, how do you make sense of it all and keep your head above water? Although there’s not one simple answer, there are steps you can take to make sure social media doesn’t get the best of you.

Whether you’re still deciding to take the social media plunge or already knee deep in the social media pool, here are a few tips to keep you from drowning:

1. Determine your goals. Social media is much more than posting status updates and sharing pictures. The various tools can be used a number of powerful ways to boost your business – build your network of contacts, engage customers, offer customer support and drive traffic to your blog or website. To get the most out of your social media efforts, you need to decide what you are there to accomplish. If you’re not sure, pick one small goal to get started and work on that before adding more to it. This will help you keep your effort targeted and manageable.

2. Set expectations. Although social media can be used to expand your network and drive sales, don’t expect people to be beating your door down overnight. Just like any other marketing effort, social media is not a magic bullet. It’s something that takes time, effort and patience to develop. Make sure you are realistic with your expectations, especially at first. If you stick with it, you will see results over time.

3. Master one network at a time. So often, businesses are quick to open up profiles on every social network out there and then let them sit dormant because they don’t know what to do with them. No one says you have to use every social network. Pick the one that best meets the need of your business. Find out where your customers are and start there. Then, learn out how to best leverage that network for your business. If you need help, hire an expert, read some blogs or seek advice from peers. Whatever you do, take the time to learn how to use the tools so your efforts won’t be wasted.

4. Make it part of your routine. To truly get the most out of social media, you should incorporate it into your daily routine. The more you use it, the sooner you will get the hang of it and start to see results for your business.

5. Schedule your efforts. One of the challenges with social media is that it can be a huge time suck. Don’t let it. Schedule time every day and stick to it. For instance, you could concentrate on one task in the morning (i.e. share articles, find new people to connect with, answer comments) and focus on another in the afternoon. If you build a schedule and use your time accordingly, it will make your efforts more manageable and will help you stay on track.

What is your biggest challenge with social media? Do you get overwhelmed when trying to figure social media out? Share your thoughts in the comments and we’ll work through it together!

Laura Click

Originally published on Dr. Shannon Reece’s blog

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