To a lot of us, social media is weird. It’s an unnatural constant feed of monotony. And for those of us who didn’t grow up with social media constantly in our lives (barely), it can be frustrating to figure out just how to use it.
I have to be honest, my first reaction when something exciting is happening is not to take a picture. When I reach a milestone, it’s not my instinct to notify my Facebook friends about it.
To be completely honest, it’s the last thing I think about.
I had to make a conscious decision to integrate social media into my life and business.
But social media is free and social media is a fantastic tool to have in your toolbox.
This blog is for all of you out there who don’t like talking about yourselves. For those who don’t have hundreds of selfies on their phone and for those who would rather be in a moment than document it.
Here are some tips on how to make yourself start thinking in social media.
Who Are You?
I’m sure you’re wondering why I’m asking this…
I always try to stay honest to myself in business. When you’re coming from an honest place, your audience will trust you more. I’m not much of a social media person, so I’m not going to have eight different platforms that I dread having to create content for.
I love taking photographs and making videos. So I choose platforms that utilize those kinds of content because I enjoy making it.
Accepting who you are and your strengths and weaknesses can be one of your best insights. Stay authentic or you run the risk of letting certain platforms go because you simply don’t have an interest.
Choosing the Right Platforms
Like I said above, choosing the right platforms for the kind of content you produce is crucial. If you’re an accounting firm, do you need a Pinterest? Most likely not.
That being said, if you’re a B2C company, do you need to pour hours and hours into your LinkedIn posts? Probably not.
Choosing platforms that best highlight your content will not only provide the best showcase for your company, but will also keep you interested in generating posts.
Pro Tip: I choose two tiers of social media platforms. I have my main tier that I post on pretty regularly and then I have my second tier, which I keep up with once every couple weeks but it’s not a main source of traffic.
Keep It Personal
The easiest thing to talk about is yourself, because you know you so well. Same goes for social media posting. You know your business and more importantly the reasons you decided to start your business, so talk about them.
If you keep content personal your audience will react favorably but you will also find yourself with a lot of ideas for content.
Find Your Fire
We all have things we’re passionate about. For a lot of small businesses what they’re passionate about somehow relates to their business.
In my own experience, when I was starting out I would dread coming up with blog topics and sitting down to write them. I never thought I had any ideas and to put those shreds of ideas onto paper was almost painful.
That’s when I realized that I was looking at it all wrong (thanks, Simon Sineck)!
See, I love design. The creativity that comes out of multimedia is fantastic. But that’s not what I’m passionate about. What I’m passionate about is helping small business owners succeed. I enjoy making the marketing world just a little less intimidating for entrepreneurs so they can get excited about campaigns and not overwhelmed.
It was only when I realized that my passion lied in my customers, that I started knowing exactly what content I wanted to put out there and it came to me easily.
Find your passion. Write about it.
Take Photos and Videos
This one is hard for me but I’m getting better at it. Whenever we do something exciting for the community or for a Client, I have to consciously tell myself, “Take out your phone. Snap a few pictures.”
Whether or not I’ll use them, I’m not sure but at least I’ll have them just in case.
Think about the content you like looking at online or even in print. It’s visual right? You’re far more likely to look at an article with photos or watch a video on a website than read a block of text.
Take more pictures!
Avoid Stock Images Like the Plague
Stock images are great. As a designer, they’re necessary. But stock images are off putting unless you do something to them.
You can put words over the top or change the photo slightly. We’ve all seen people on social media who have nothing but stock photos of cars and smiling people and we’ve all wondered if those people were on the up and up or if it was a fake account.
Don’t be one of those people.
Relax & Surf
This concept has helped my social media interactions with my audience significantly. Whenever I log into social media, it is automatically on my company page. When I’m sitting on the couch surfing the internet I’m doing so through my company account.
This makes it a more causal interaction. It doesn’t have to be an hour you set aside sitting at your desk forcing yourself to scroll through your newsfeed.
By relaxing and surfing you’re more likely to find relevant people to follow and groups you can join. This is also a great opportunity to post some comments and respond to some feedback from your audience without it seeming like a chore.
Make A Schedule
I have to give a huge shout out to Hootsuite for this one. I started with their social media calendar and tweaked it to fit my platforms and my desired posting schedule.
By planning the week out in advance I’m able to generate content consistently but also not talk myself out of posting. It does take me some time to complete the spreadsheet but when I’m done, I’m good for the whole week. Copy and paste baby!
Some marketing professionals might look at this article and scoff at the idea that content isn’t in the moment but please keep in mind that these are things to think about if you find yourself disliking social media!
Always remember to listen to yourself and keep it authentic. If you like what you’re posting, so will your audience!