Unless you have been hiding under a rock you will know that social media is a key part of running a business in 2016. According to the last Sensis Social Media Report, almost 50% of consumers use social media every day. Yet only 31% of small - medium sized businesses have an effective social media engagement strategy.
Do you have one?
Struggles with social media include lack of time and resources, too many platforms and not knowing where best to position your brand, confusion about the best times to post, what to post and whether to use paid advertising, how much personal content to share, and how to engage customers who are overwhelmed with content.
One of the major things I see in hesitating to use social media for business, is a a lack of confidence in your ideas. This is a normal part of life for lots of people, and particularly if you work in your own business.
When creating a social media strategy you need to tap into your why, understand what you are using social media for, who are your audience and what do they need? Making sure to create excellent content and building in self care tactics, will increase your self confidence and your success.
If you are an Entrepreneur, coming up with ideas and putting them out into the world, your self confidence and belief in yourself can take a beating from time to time. You might feel you are not good enough, that you and your ideas are rubbish, and that nobody will like what you are selling. Sound familiar?
It is scary putting something out there. And there is a chance nobody will like it. But if you have done some research, and you know that what you are offering is something people actually need, and you have the right audience, you should find a market for your ideas. Sharing content on social media is also a time where you can face a serious case of the confidence wobbles. Let's face it, you don't really know the people you are sharing with a lot of the time, you don't know how they will react and you do know that there is a lot of hate out there on the big wide web.
Here Are Some Tips To Overcoming The Fear Of Putting Yourself Out There On Social Media
Create A Strategy For Your Content
Randomly posting things all over social media may be fine for a personal account, but for a business, you need to have a clear strategy in place for when you post, why you are posting, what your are posting, who you are posting to, and who you would like to post to. Part of that may be to post some on the spot content - not everything has to be premeditated, and some of the best content happens on the move, in real time. Tweets at events, Instagram pics while you are wandering the streets in a new town, a Facebook post after you find out a really helpful piece of research that will help your community. However it should still fit with your overall brand message and plan, and be of relevance to your audience.
Remember It Is Not About You
An Instagram or Facebook account that is just for your weekend shots, the kids first day at school and your regular running times, is lovely for your friends and family. It is also fine to drop in some more personal posts that allow followers to get to know you and the person behind the brand on your business accounts and in fact is a great part of a solid strategy - but continually sharing these kinds of posts is not appropriate for a business account. If you remember it is not about you, it makes it easier to put your content out on social media. Because really you are putting out ideas, information and opportunities to help your target audience. Refocusing this helps because there is far less risk for you as an individual, as long as you have a clear strategy in place.
Shift your focus from you to your audience when it comes to your social content
Use The Block And Delete Functions
Anything that happens on social media can be filtered. As the account owner you have the power. On a blog you can approve comments. On your social channels you can delete comments and people, and totally block them where needed. You do not owe them an explanation. This is as much about protecting the experience of other members of your community, as it is about protecting yourself.
Seek Out Collaborations
Social media is after all, about getting social! If you are a solo business it can get very lonely. Be sure to look for other people in the same market as you, and approach them for collaborations on social media. It may be a joint competition, a share for share (where you share perhaps a photo of theirs and vice versa) or a guest blog post. Finding people to connect with will help you keep a broader perspective and stop you naval gazing too much about what your followers might think about you.
Do Your Best Work
If you take the time to plan, create a good strategy that fits your brand, produce quality content, and remember it is about your audience, not you - you will be offering your best work. And that is something to be proud of, not worried about.
Don't Share Everything
There are times for sharing and times for staying silent on social media. Picking the best times to post depends on your audience insights and when they are online. Sometimes it can feel like you have to be constantly connected. You don't. If you go for a walk and see something you know your audience will love, an impulsive post can be lovely, but it may be even lovelier (and healthier) to sometimes keep that moment just for you.
This post is an edited version of an original post on my blog www.care4social.com
If you are sick of all the competition and noise on social media, come and join me to create a social media strategy with heart.
Consultant, Writer and PhD Candidate