4 Tips for Getting Started with Social Media

Trying or starting something new is exciting but can also be intimidating.  Getting started with social media is no different.  You hear people talking about twitter, facebook, LinkedIn, etc and wonder what is all the buzz about?  Do I need to be a part of this?  Will people really care about what I have to say?

Trying something new sets off emotional triggers of excitement and a rush to do it again and again, if successful, of course. With great excitement comes fear sitting in the back of our mind trying to creep forward. This past weekend I took my son to the beach for the first time. I love the beach but we do not live very close. He was very excited and eager to go into the ocean.  This gigantic body of water with waves that you run into.  Social media is similar – a gigantic community of followers that spend hours and hours interacting with each other. As you start delving into the various types of social media applications, fear begins to set in. What will I say?  What are the “rules”?  How much time will it take? These are all very common questions those getting started with social media face.  It does take time to research the platforms, developing profiles and listening to and then engaging others.  Social media is a place where everyone is invited – so come on in and get to know us.

4 Tips for Getting Started with Social Media

1. Define Goals. Determine what do you want to get out of it? Do you want to learn and contribute or just learn?

2. Explore the Communities.  There are blogs, forums, microblogging (twitter) and networking sites (LinkedIn).  Check out each and see where you fit in.

3. Join the Communities. Create a profile by uploading photos and telling the community about you.  This is not a sales pitch but rather a introduction and get to know you.

4. Be Active.  So many set up profiles and let them sit there for days.  You took the time to set up the research the communities, create a profile and then it collects dust?  Be active and engage.

Being new to social media is exciting but also scary. Everyone knows you are new which is where the fear comes in. It is time consuming to learn the applications and start adding value but the good news is that you can control the level of interaction you have and where you fit in.  Not all applications work best for everyone.  A blog might not be the right fit for you but reading others and commenting may work better.  This is the one time that you and your company will have control in social media as the challenge that many companies face when becoming active in social media is losing control of the brand.  In social media the community controls the brand. Take the leap and come on on.  We’re waiting to meet you.

How much social media have you incorporated into your business? What has worked best for you?