Should you even bother with social media? Stay with me for a second–I’m being serious.
Creating a Facebook Page because someone told you “should,” or opening an account on Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram because you heard you can’t do business without one is crazy.
Now obviously I believe you should bother, that social media is worth your time and energy and WILL help your business–I wouldn't be much of social media strategist if I didn't–BUT you need to do it with intention, with a clear idea of how it’s going to help you, and not just because I (or anybody else) said you “should”.
Doing social media without understanding WHY will likely lead to you feel:
- at a loss for exactly what you should be doing on your social profiles (content, strategy, all of it)
- resentful towards your social media channels for taking up your valuable time
- like you haven’t created any real community or any real value on your social media
- ALL OF THE ABOVE
So let’s get real. Let’s figure out WHY social media is important for you and your business–so you can get on with developing strategy, content and real connections!
5 reasons why social media is so important (and how it can HELP you):
1) Better connections with your audience
There are people in my community that I've never worked with, who rarely respond to my weekly emails but with whom I have developed relationships with on social media. I know who they are and what they do. This helps me serve them better and allows me to connect with many more people than I could ever work directly with OR those who are moved to respond to one of my weekly emails.
Social media also helps people to see my human side and feel more connected with me–yes I share little tidbits in my weekly emails, but Facebook, Twitter and Instagram lends itself more to the little peeks inside my life or behind-the-scenes of my biz.
2) Be a part of the conversation
People are on social media sharing your stuff and talking about your work. Take it to the next level by actually being a part of these conversations. People are touched when they are ‘seen' and acknowledged and it helps you build a deeper connection with them.
If you are newer in business, people might not yet be talking about your work, but I can guarantee there are people there having discussions you’d be interested in and would have lots of great information to contribute to! This is *exactly* how you meet potential partners and clients.
3) A place to test ideas
Once you have the community, it's so powerful to ask what they need help with and to ask for feedback on possible projects or even blog post ideas. Again, this can be done by email but especially with little quick requests like would you prefer A or B, nothing beats the real-time environment of an engaged social audience.
4) Claim your ‘expert' status
Whether you are newer or well-established, having an active social media community really demonstrates your expert status to new members of your community (as well as attracting these new members!) and provides a place you can curate all the great content people in your industry are creating: an amazing service to your audience. It also helps you stay top-of-mind for your people!
5) Networking (or “making interesting friends” as my friend and genius networking mentor Marsha Shandur puts it)
This is related to #4 but social media connects you to your peers in a casual yet powerful way. You can contribute to discussions, share their content (and give them a shout-out so they know you've shared) and form friendships and biz partnerships that you wouldn't have ever come across previously!
When I first moved to Bordeaux from Canada, I had to start from scratch with no professional network. One of the best professional connections I've made here is a friend I met through Twitter. She’s a fellow female entrepreneur who runs her own small social media management agency and we started talking on Twitter shortly after I'd moved to the city. We connected on LinkedIn a little while after and finally went out to lunch together. Now we touch base every few weeks for coffee, sometimes we co-work together, we bounce social media strategy ideas of each other and generally support each other. I would never have met her if it hadn't been for Twitter!
I could go on, but that's basically my top 5!
I’d love to hear from you
Why do YOU do social media? Have I forgotten something that should be in this top 5? Please share in the comments below : )
If you are sold on WHY you should be investing time & energy into your social media presence but you aren't sure how to start, I have just the thing: