Don’t focus on social media tools; focus on creating the connections they help facilitate.
Social media are one of the biggest distractions you’ll face when building your business. It’s easy to delude yourself into believing you are *working* when spending time there. However, unless you are using social media to create the connections these tools facilitate, you are wasting valuable time.
Drinking the social media Kool-Aid is bad for business. As I explained in this “Language of Business Lesson”, by definition, there is no ROI to be had there.
Despite what you have been told, this digital space is not a viable sales channel; it’s a relationship-building vehicle. Just one of many such vehicles you need to pay attention to. It only supports your business-building efforts when you make your focus about the user experience.
For better or worse, social media have spawned a growth industry but this fad is rapidly losing steam; the smarter folks in the herd are starting to see the emperor has no clothes. The substance of your business is not what social media tools you’re using or how popular you appear to be based on how many *likes* you’ve acquired on Facebook. With this mindset, social media are more likely to break, not make your business.
From the beginning, I found social media tools boring and extremely annoying. There is only one redeeming feature for having to participate in this space for me. And that is, the people I’ve connected with there are anything but boring and their reasons for using social media can be very cool. I appreciate that I would likely have never met or interacted with them had it not been for having had access through social media.
That said, you do have to figure out your mix of social media tools. You might be surprised to learn there are more than 750 of them to choose from! While you won’t (and shouldn’t) be using every tool out there, you do need to be able to select and appropriately use the tools that best serve your business objectives.
To use social media effectively requires investing time in crafting valuable communications and content that best serve the needs of others. Then, and only then, will you be ready to share them with a specific audience, for the specific purpose of enhancing the user experience and building solid relationships.
The infographic below can help you sort that out.
More next time. Until then, remember to LOVE YOUR WORK, whatever it may be.
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