Photo credit: Nina Matthews Photography
Sure, tread lightly and do your homework but don’t let the questions you have about social media paralyze you. Want to know why? Because everyone else has the same questions.
We had a nice conversation with a man while we were at Summit last week. He said he thought all this social media stuff was cool but he wasn’t really using it for his business yet because he had a lot of questions and not a lot of answers.
He was curious about how much time this would take out of his already busy work day, how would he measure if his efforts would help move his bottom line or make his phone ring more often. He wanted to know what types of content he would put together that people on social networks would find interesting. He just didn’t feel comfortable yet.
I gave my presentation on social media and had time for lots of questions at the end. Imagine this man’s surprise when the questions he shared with us in confidence were now being asked by a roomful of his peers. Were they audience plants I put in the room? Was the room bugged? Nope, everyone just has a lot of the same questions.
No one knows exactly what to do. There is no one solution for every business. Social media is growing and changing every day. Any social media expert that acts like they have all the answers – I would wear some type of protective gear when I was around them if I were you. Expert or no expert, it is an uncomfortable medium to use for business.
What can you do?
- Educate yourself – find a person who is experienced with social media that you trust and read their blog. Get some ideas and educate yourself on how social media is and is not working for businesses.
- Educate your staff – most of the social media snafus I have seen could have been prevented with more in-house training. Let your staff know what you are doing with social media, why you are doing it and what they can/should do.
- Create a social media policy – work with your lawyer and your staff (if you have one) to make up a social media policy that outlines what you can and cannot do on social media as the company, what the public can and cannot do with your content and what your staff can and cannot do on social media sites. Just having those conversations will make a lot of your concerns go away.
- Chart your progress starting the very first day you can – you won’t know if this is working or not if you aren’t measuring data points along the way that are helping to try reach your social media goals.
If you are ready and even if you are not ready, laying this foundation will help you understand how social media can and cannot fit with your business. If you are still nervous because you don’t have all the answers… you may just have to give up on that. No one has ALL the answers.