Why You Must Manage Your Own Social Media

What are you getting for your investment?

There was a brief time when I considered hiring someone to manage my social media. There were several things that dissuaded me:

  • The first was that I didn’t understand fully what I’d be paying them to do.
  • Second, because I didn’t understand what would entail good service, I didn’t know what would be a fair price.
  • Lastly, I  firmly believed and understood that no one could represent me or my business better than I could.

I had no idea what I was doing or how I would do it

It is a interesting time to be alive and to be in business or even as someone cultivating a career. Technology is integrated into almost every aspect of life. Many of us have chosen to embrace it. Others do so with some hesitation. Others have stayed on the sidelines. Yet still others have only known this technological era as it is now.

I still consider myself to be new to social media. My very first post on Facebook was in June of 2015. Prior to that, I had social media accounts including Facebook and Linkedin. However, I did not engage on them. I occasionally accepted friend requests and connections.

When I decided to start being intentional about social media, I embarked upon creating a business page on Facebook. My plan was to do most – if not all – of my Facebook social media engagement from there. I didn’t know the first thing about starting a page. Including that at that time there was no way to have a business page without also having a personal one. I didn’t know why people talked about “hashtagging” and I didn’t know what it was, how to do it or why I should do it.

I learned all of that by taking a webinar by Amy Porterfield. I stumbled on to her because she has a very large social media presence and that lead me to join her e-mail list. From there I started listening to her podcast. I sought to learn whatever I could from others. However, I quickly moved into “action” and then learned from my own experiences.

Why you should have a heavy hand in your own social media

Below is a listing of my experiences and observations about mindsets and engagements that are necessary to grow your business via social media.

  1. Remove the barriers between yourself and the medium. I used to say to my brother “Why would be people go online and tell strangers about their life?”  It wasn’t until I started to read, watch and listen that I understood what people were gaining from social media. It’s quite simple: social interaction. The problems that people complain about related to social media are often reflected in our larger culture. Every new change or development means the end of something that came before it. There is still room to respect old traditions as well as new ones. I believe we are rapidly approaching a time when those who don’t get on the social media bandwagon and are trying to grow a business; are essentially saying “Leave me behind…I don’t want to grow.”
  2. Engage on other people’s posts. Engaging on other people’s posts means responding to what they share. It is not enough to go onto social media and “lurk” or spy. Watching what others are doing and having only private reactions in your mind is like walking past people saying hello to you on the street and ignoring them. You don’t have to engage on every post. But if you did in fact stop to read it, offer some acknowledgement. Another reason to engage on peoples posts, besides good manners and common courtesy, is that people are more likely to even see your posts if you engage on theirs.
  3. Do more than share your business ads. Many people create graphics or have graphics created to support their businesses. The most straight forward ones say “This is my service and here is how you can contact me.” Typically its more attractive than that, but that is the gist of it. When people hire someone to manage their social media this is often what they will receive. It is the equivalent of a poster attached to a bus stop bench. People will see it briefly as they drive by or walk by or sit down. You have to literally paste (or post) a whole lot of them for people to notice and have it stick with them.
  4. Share personal stories, anecdotes and insights. Social media is about relationships. People scroll past what appear to be boring ads. They stop, read and engage with content that speaks to them as human beings. That takes me back to #2 on this list. You can’t expect people to be interested in developing a relationship to you and your business if you don’t share meaningfully and show interest in them. If you do what I don’t recommend (see #3) and only share ads, people will get bored or not even notice. They will keep scrolling past your ad. However, people with whom you have developed a relationship are more likely to pause, support and even share what you have shared with their own friends and connections.
  5. Be consistent. The number 1 mistake I see people make in utilizing social media in their business is not using it at all or not being consistent in their engagement on social media. Right now I happen to be neglecting my Linkedin and Twitter accounts. However, no matter what happens I make sure to post at least once a day on Facebook. Why? Facebook is where people form more personal relationships. It is where I get to witness and share family events. It is where I get to celebrate people’s wins and it is where I am informed about people’s losses and hardships. Staying engaged there is a way for me to maintain professional relationships that become increasingly personal and thus invaluable. If I am not consistent, I lose the ground that I have gained. Not only because I lose contact with my colleagues and friends, but because the technology and algorithm of how Facebook works changes rapidly. If I am not there to be a part of it, I will no longer know how to manage it.

When people hire others to manage their social media platforms they do get some uptick in awareness of their business. However, that uptick flat-lines fast. When you hire someone else to post information, questions, statements and comments on your personal or business page as you…it is like starting a conversation with someone at a cocktail party and then walking away when you have peaked their interest. They might follow you across the room. But more likely, they think you are rude and go engage with someone else at the party.

Eventually, help with social media is beneficial. However, the people I’ve watched grow their business on social media ALWAYS have the personal touch. Ads will only get you so far.

Copyright © 2018 Ruby Blow. All rights reserved.

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