My number one rule I tell people is this. Social media is not a good place to hide. So if you are one of those still who are still squeamish about “things that go bump online,” my advice is simply to stay away till you either 1) learn enough to become comfortable, or 2) decide to be brave and stick your toe in the social media pool. There are still people without social media or even cell phones doing just fine. But the world is changing, so “just fine” is ever leaning more and more away from the center.
Next, realize there are already hundreds of ways to participate in social media. My best advice here is to pick one social media platform you like, learn about it, see if it has any appeal, and if not, move on, or if so, give it a go. There’s no way, other than simply hiring a consultant, of diving into all the social media that could help you in your online business. Even consultants don’t typically hit all the social media outlets. Most will concentrate on 1, 2, or 3 tops. Unless it’s a large firm, no one can be expert in all. It’s like asking a Real Estate attorney to help you with a traffic ticket or asking your podiatrist about your heart palpitations.
The three big hitters are Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. But in some areas, Instagram or another platform may outperform the big guys. It’s important to know your platform (along with its inherent capabilities) and your objectives (along with your tools, knowledge, skills, and resources).
A famous literary quote states, “no man is an island”. The same principle applies to social media. No one platform exists or operates in a vacuum. No social media ad, post, or campaign does either. A lever without a fulcrum is just a stick. A mainspring without gears, hands, and numbers will never tell time. Regardless if you are going to do it yourself, hire someone internally, or use a professional, these basics apply. Now, you have a basis on which to begin thinking about social media as it applies to your business.