Don’t let Social Media Phobia Stop You

social media

 

 

 

 

 

No, I haven’t reverted to publishing posts about social media strategy and tactics on this blog. Yes I did publish a post on 9 July about Finding stars in the chatter, but  this is a different concern.

I am addressing the fear that social media induces in many baby boomers and younger people who have not previously thought about it from a marketing or business angle. People who have overcome adversity and huge challenges in other areas of their lives, but get stopped in their tracks by the thought of using social media to market their business.

It becomes a major hurdle for people who through necessity or desire are trying to launch themselves in a new direction after a lifetime in an offline career or business. Squeezed between the constraints of insufficient or no, capital to invest, a pressing need to generate a new source of income or replace an old one and the pervasiveness of the internet, many would-be entrepreneurs think they have to become social media experts overnight to have any chance of succeeding.

But social media looms like an impenetrable cloud. I get the feeling that it is one of the biggest blocks to action, and the more we spend time researching it, the more confusing it can get.

Do all new small business owners, entrepreneurs, artists and professionals need to master all the channels and complexities of social media?

Certainly not.

There are highly successful businesses that have very little or no social media activity. There are others that use it extensively, some successfully, some not. For others it is a huge time waster.

There are plenty of resources to get information on incorporating social media into your marketing strategy available on the internet, some excellent blogs, books both real ones that you can hold, turn the pages and scribble in, and e-books. I have published posts in the archives here and on my Focused Prosperity blog.

Today I want to persuade you that social media is just another part of the modern world that we need to get comfortable with. It may be important for your business and your life, it may not be. It is not the cure-all answer to all marketing problems that many of its self-appointed experts claim it to be. Diving into it is certainly not a guarantee of huge increases in sales. Not all businesses “have to” be active in it.

Here’s a link to a post by Drayton Bird, one of the most successful Direct Marketing people and someone older than most of us that puts social media in perspective.

If you are one of the many forced by circumstances to start out on a new road in life, or following a new path by choice, don’t let the apparent complexity of social media hold you back. View it as you would any other new challenge to be mastered, think back to the apprehension you probably felt before driving a car on the road for the first time, playing a new sport, starting your first job. With years of pre-computer age experience, you will easily get to grips with this one.

Much of the daily social media activity can be delegated to junior staff (suitably directed) or family members, that does not mean you can relinquish responsibility for content control. But it does mean that you do not have to be a slave to every detail yourself.

Your time involvement in social media must be worthwhile, at some point it must bring in sales, not just likes or shares. If not why spend time on it?

If you are working to capacity, have more business than you can handle already, then perhaps you don’t need to spend much time on social media. If not see it in perspective, make it work for you, don’t become a slave to it for little or no real benefit.

How is your relationship with social media? Are you in control? Or controlled? – Leave a comment.

 

Peter Wright

 

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  4 comments for “Don’t let Social Media Phobia Stop You

  1. Roberta
    August 3, 2013 at 9:09 am

    This quote from your post says it all: “Today I want to persuade you that social media is just another part of the modern world that we need to get comfortable with”

    I read some where – and do not know where – that Nike is the best at using Social Media. Have you heard this? Or do you know more about them and what they do?

    • August 7, 2013 at 12:05 pm

      Thank you Roberta, and compliments to you for the way that you have selectively embraced social media.

  2. August 3, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    I think that social media becomes a HUGE time sink for those who feel they have to know everything before they jump in – to give an analogy, it’s like jumping into the pool: You should probably know how to swim before venturing into the deep end, but you do not have to know the molecular composition of water, or the names of all the other swimmers in the pool, before you get your feet wet. Getting in is the first step towards learning and getting comfortable.

    I hope that people read this and take heart – but there are still people out there who believe they can break their PCs (if not the ENTIRE Internet) by pressing the wrong key on the keyboard. Sometimes, it comes down to motivation – my mom was one of those people, until she discovered that there were contests and sweepstakes she could enter online. She loved (and was QUITE fortunate with) contests and sweepstakes, so this was great motivation, and she eventually overcame her fears in order to enter these online versions.

    I’d urge those entrepreneurs to think about their customers, first and foremost. Figure out where those customers hang out, online. For example, if you’re selling running shoes, maybe hang out where runners are – seems obvious, but I wonder how many people immediately assume they have to be on Facebook, or Twitter – and don’t think of things like MapMyRun or SparkPeople or some other fitness or sport-oriented site? Go where your customers want to be. Then, if it occurs to you that they don’t have the perfect place to play, and you KNOW you can build one that’s better, go for that. Play your own game, not everyone else’s. But always remember that the whole point of “social media” was to be sociable. NOT to broadcast YOUR message (spammers!) or try to cannonball into a pool full of people you don’t know.

    • August 7, 2013 at 12:14 pm

      Good points Holly, I am convinced that in the next few years smaller, more focused social media platforms lke those you mention, will become increasingly popular. That will make selecting the best channels for marketers of consumer brands more difficult as customers could be scattered over one or some, of many platforms.

      Whereas today many followers of your example of MapMyRun, or my fellow horse owners on Barnmice are probably also on Facebook, and a few other major sites, that might not always be the case.

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