Is It Time to Jump On The Social Media Bandwagon?

Published: 24th August 2012
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Social media is white hot. "Everyone" seems to be doing it. If you own a business, you're probably curious about jumping on the social media bandwagon. But doing it wrong is actually worse than not doing it at all. Now is the perfect time to decide if you're ready to commit to a social media plan - and if it's the ideal choice for your business.

Know that it's interactive. That sounds very simple, but its one of the biggest things that many businesses (and people) who are eager to participate in social media forget. The best social media is interactive. Like a conversation - with a bit of back and forth, or perhaps like a tennis match some might say. If you're just sending information out via a social media channel, it's kind of like being the blowhard at the party that keeps talking and talking - and no one winds up listening to you because you truly aren't having a conversation with them.

Quality first. Some who want to do social media get pretty hyped up about sending out a lot of information. They want to send out Tweets 24 hours a day. Or they want to send out comments on their Facebook page 24/7. You actually don't need to do that to be successful. A few, high quality posts will do your business much more good than sending out tons of information that is just "fluff." The ideal posts should be: 1. informative, 2. fun and 3. keep people returning for more.

Who's going to do it? This is one of the most important things to think about if you want to do social media for your business. It's easy to say you want to do it, but sometimes it's not so easy to think of who's assignment this will be. Some say, "We'll all do it." But you need to have a specific person assigned to consistently update your social media on a regular basis. If you have "everyone" doing it, then who will be doing it on specific day…like Tuesday? It will take a lot of effort to check in with each other to see who has done it for that Tuesday, and probably you'll miss posting for days or even a week or so or you'll have lots of content on certain days and then no content on others.

But…what do I say? Its funny, but this is another challenge business owners face. They get excited about social media, but once they realize they want to do it they start to wonder what they'll talk about. It's better to have some idea of what you'll say before you get out there and say it! The best social media conversations you'll have as a business owner should be on the topic of your business. So if you have a gardening center, talk about gardening tips, lawn care, seasonal plants, the weather, things that would interest gardeners. Because likely the people who are following your posts, these are the topics that will interest them the most, and as a gardening center owner, this is your area of expertise.

How do I find time to write and do social media? It is probably best if you plan a little time each day for your social media. Lots of business owners suggest between fifteen minutes to one hour a day, depending on how much social media you are doing, and what types of things you are doing. If you're just getting started and are a little nervous about doing this, plan some extra time to do it. So instead of planning fifteen minutes, plan thirty minutes for the first week or so as you get used to it. To write your social media posts, write them out and put them through spellchecker. Remember this is a form of business communication; you want to present yourself in a friendly but professional way.

Many business owners successfully use social media each day. You can too!


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Lawrence Reaves writes for Galorath, a software company that offers a project management software tool that helps companies to prepare and manage projects. For more informaiton about this software and the company click here.

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