social media for the new year

Almost with every contact I get, I’m asked about whether the client or business should be using social media. “Do I need to set up a Twitter account?” People ask me these questions with trepidation and fear, because adding one more “to-do” task to their list is daunting. We are all working so hard to keep up with our careers, our families, our households even the smallest task can look monumental when it’s sitting on top of an already gigantic pile.

The answer to this questions is simple. When it comes to social media, you don’t have to be everywhere. You only need to be where your customers are.

Are your customers on Facebook? Then you need to be on Facebook. Are your customers on Twitter? Pinterest? Tumblr? Wherever they are, that’s where you should be. Don’t worry about being on every type of social media. If your customers aren’t there, then you don’t need to be there either.

For example, if you are a baker, then probably it’s a good idea that you are on Pinterest, and you are sharing photos of your baked goods. People love to pin photos of food! If you’re a writer, Twitter is the place to be to share your writing. If you’re a realtor, then you really need to be on Facebook. And sometimes, of course, you need to be on all of these.

I have a caveat, of course.

Don’t get on any social media unless you plan to maintain it. Nothing makes you unconnected, out of business, and out of date like an unused social media profile. If I click on a link to your Twitter profile, and you haven’t tweeted in two years? Then why bother? Why have the account? There’s no point. Social media is about engaging with your customers, and if you aren’t engaging, then you are missing the point.

Engagement is key.

It shouldn’t be one-sided. It needs to be a back and forth. You need to share things, but also, you should respond to what your customers are doing. People who use social media to engage with their audience have a higher satisfaction with their results.

I got on Twitter and it didn’t help me.

Well, did you set up an account and abandon it? Did you seek out your customers and share things with them, and engage with them in a meaningful way? If your answer is no, the the problem is likely with you.

I don’t have time to update social media.

I totally get this argument. We are all busy. You don’t have time. Let me give you some options on how to make this work.

  • Do you have multiple people who work in your business? Have everyone contribute. Make a schedule for staff when they should be posting and engaging.
  • Ask friends and family to help.
  • Plan 10 minutes a day to login and engage. You’d be surprised how much you can do in 10 minutes and anyone can spare 10 minutes.
  • Make it part of your bedtime routine – brush your teeth, hop in bed, check Twitter.
  • Set up auto-post for important updates on your website. Got specials? Coupons? Those need to be shared!

Social media can be an important boon to your business… but only if you actually use it.

Amy Masson

Amy is the co-owner, developer, and website strategist for Sumy Designs. She's been making websites with WordPress since 2006 and is passionate about making sure websites are as functional as they are beautiful.

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