How to Make the Most of Your Time on Social Media: Seven Easy Ways

How to Make the Most of Your Time on Social Media: Seven Easy Ways

How to Make the Most of Your Time on Social Media: Seven Easy Ways

Social media is no longer an option for any sized business. And it’s not optional for people of any age range, either. Everyone and their grandma is on social media these days. So how do you create posts that are easy to share, quick to read, and how do you maximize your time? Read on!

Have a System and Measure

Having a system is probably the most important part of managing your time. My dad used to say “Do something, even if it’s wrong.” While that’s probably not the best approach, in a way he was right. You can tweak your system later. So decide where you’ll be on the internet (Facebook? Twitter? Pinterest?), and most important–pick the places that you love to be! For instance, I don’t enjoy Google Plus much, so I don’t spend much time there. But you, on the other hand, might love Google Plus!

As Katie Lance write in this article from the Huffington Post, “The right question should be, “What social networks should I focus on that will build my community and build my business?” Also, what platforms do you enjoy the most?”

Measure your efforts. These days, I prefer the analytics within social media platforms. You may prefer to use Google analytics. And most business accounts have built-in analytics, so you can see which posts are getting the most traction.

 

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Curate the Best

Here are some ideas for curation. The important thing is to batch and use blocks of time when you’re curating, to get the best results.

  • Twitter Lists. You can make them public or private. Set them up in columns in your scheduler.
  • Saved Searches. Save these in Twitter, so next time you can go to your topic easily.
  • Secret Pinterest Boards. Think of this as a vision board. You can use secret boards to share things with your clients or save pins that you want to check out later.

For more details, you might want to read:

Keep Tinkering

Once you have a system, improve on it. If you’ve measured your progress and success, and figured out what you really like to do, challenge yourself to make your system more streamlined. My friend Bridget Willard likes to gamify her time to see how fast she can respond to mentions. Could you do something similar?

Since we’re discussing time here, do you think you can do your social media in an hour a day? Would you believe you can create a wonderful blog post in an hour? You definitely can! Of course, it might take a little practice.

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Repurpose, Recycle, Reuse

Once you’ve written something, find ways to use it again. And again. Don’t use it just once! My friend Randy Clark suggests 6 Ways to Reuse Old Blog Posts. I must admit, I’m considering the idea of creating some e-books. At the very least, reusing content on your other social channels helps you save time.

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Mention Others and Engage

Mentioning others in your article or on your social media can be a good tactic. If your audience is engaged, that makes your job so much easier. You may need to post fewer times if you have an engaged audience.

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Interviews

Interview influencers. Then go back to them and let them know that you’ve written about them or published an article or put up a video. Again, you can reuse your articles or videos over and over.

Power Partners

Sharing from others with a similar audience to yours saves you time and effort. You can share people in the same field if they’re not in competition, too. For example, a plumber and a tile setter might have a similar target audience, and can refer work to each other. Who do you refer to?

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Hire Someone

Why not hire someone who’s an expert to handle the social media for you? If you’re too busy to do your own, why not a done-for-you approach?

 

The Best Reasons Baby Boomers Must Start Using Social Media

The Best Reasons Baby Boomers Must Start Using Social Media

The Best Reasons Baby Boomers Must Start Using Social Media

So you’re a baby boomer. And you’ve been avoiding social media despite having a website, and spending inordinate amounts of time online, especially on Facebook. You want to continue using printed documents, but you’d also like to learn something about social media. But where can you start? Where should you start? And do you really have to use social media? In my opinion, yes. You should. And here’s why.

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Your Peers Are Online

Not everyone is online, but more and more of your peers are. They’re sharing photos and stories on Facebook, for instance. They’re doing research online, making larger purchases from Amazon, and selling things on EBay. They may not be using Snapchat or Twitter, but you’d be surprised how many of them are on LinkedIn. In fact, you might be surprised to learn that Boomers spend more time than 16-32 year-olds on social media, according to this article on How Baby Boomers Use Social Media.

Your Peers Are Active Yet Use Social Media Differently

Boomers are becoming increasingly active online, but how they use social media differs from Millennials and others online. Their identity isn’t tied up with how many followers they have (or other vanity metrics), as much as some younger internet users are, according to this Forbes article: How The Boomers Differ From Everybody In Their Approach To Online Privacy And Security.

In addition, you might like these articles about Boomers and social media:

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Social Media Isn’t a Trend

Remember back when everyone got a cell phone “just for emergencies”? And then slowly, parents were forced to use their phones to keep in touch with their kids? Me, too. Those were the same people who said that social media was a trend. Guess what? It’s not a trend. That was over ten years ago. Social media is here to stay. Here’s a handy infographic: How Baby Boomers Use Social Media that you might like. Hint: Take a look at how people 50+ have increased their usage of social media during the past 12 years.

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Don’t Get Left Behind

Do you need some coaching on how to use social media? I’d be happy to talk to you about it. Or take over research, posting, and engagement for your business. Because it’s about time to take a leap and start using social media to connect and engage with others or for yourself or your business! Really.

 

The Best Social Media Managers Are Like Octopi

The Best Social Media Managers Are Like Octopi

The Best Social Media Managers Are Like Octopi

What the heck, you’re thinking to yourself: doesn’t she mean octopuses? Well, no, although I’ve seen a lot of people use that word. And why an octopus? Because they have eight arms, they’re exceedingly clever, and they can do a million things at once. Octopi are the original multitaskers!

Flexibility

Flexibility

Flexibility

Your social media manager (“SMM”) needs to have the flexibility of an octopus. They sometimes have to be able to squeeze their entire body through a small keyhole in a locked door. Metaphorically, that is.

Shifting Focus

Shifting Focus

Shifting Focus

Your SMM needs to be able to move from research, to writing headlines, to engagement within the space of a few moments. She needs to be able to do all of this and remember all of it. By the way, here’s a post about writing headlines that you might like: Headline Writing: 10 Reasons it’s a Pain in the Asterisk.

Big Picture

Big Picture

Big Picture

Having an idea of where your company is headed is one of the tasks an SMM needs to always have in mind. Without a destination…aww, you know that saying already, don’t you? Thought so.

Small Picture

Small Picture

Small Picture

There are a lot of details in social media. Engaging with people requires diligence to those details. Everyone wants to feel appreciated! And you never know who’s behind an account! Speaking of which, here’s a post about appreciation and paying it forward that might interest you.

Engagement

Engagement

Engagement

Speaking of engagement, that’s of utmost importance to you and your account. So your SMM needs to be friendly and engaged on your company’s behalf. That means she needs to know what to say when, and to whom. And that engagement matters more than follower growth, as outlined in this article: How to Sell the Importance of Engagement Over Fan Growth on Social Media.

Fast Moving

Fast Moving

Fast Moving

Social media moves quickly. You can practically watch the trending topics as they change from one to the next! And if there’s an emergency, you want your SMM to be on top of it. If you’d like to learn how to use trending topics, you might like to read more: How to Use Trending Topics for Your Business: Twitter.

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Good Humor

Have grace and a sense of humor are critical. Sometimes people just need someone to listen to them so they feel that they were heard.

 

Intelligence

On top of everything else, your SMM needs to be intelligent, able to compile reports when needed, and have the willingness to show you possible strategies and new tools as well. So she needs to be able to show you new platforms or strategies for your accounts.

Need An Octopus?

I have space for a new client, so please let me know if you want someone to work with your business!

 

Why Friendships Are Absolutely the Best ROI Of Social Media

 

Why Friendships Are Absolutely the Best ROI Of Social Media

Why Friendships Are Absolutely the Best ROI Of Social Media

This is something I really can’t say enough: your ROI (Return on Investment) with social media is all the connections you’ll make. Some of those connections deepen and become associates. Some of those deepen and become friendships. Some will lead to business, and some will not. Either way, expect magic from those connections.

WordCamps

WordCamps

WordCamps

When you connect with people online you have something to look forward to, and something to look back upon with fondness. For instance, every year I attend WordCamp Orange County with my best buddy Bridget Willard. We met through Twitter. Here are some of the posts I’ve written about WordCamp Orange County, by the way:

Who you'll meet

Who you’ll meet

Who You’ll Meet

You’ll meet people who are brave, and people who touch you with their writing abilities. You’ll also meet people who make you laugh, and a few who’ll make you cry. My bestie Amy Donohue is one of the bravest ones I’ve ever known. She donated her kidney to a stranger and now she’s one of the most awesome entrepreneurs as her career is skyrocketing! Go follow her on Twitter: @TheFabulousOne

The Future

The Future

The Future

Dyane Harwood, Kittie Walker (@avidmode on Twitter), and Larry Mount (@LazBlazter on Twitter) are people I’ve not met yet. But I’m planning on it! You probably have a few people you really want to meet, too!

Instagram is Next

Instagram is Next

Instagram is Next

So far, I’ve corresponded with lots of people on Instagram, but haven’t met anyone. That’s my next frontier! Maybe do some photography and travel around locally and then post the pictures.

What's Next for You?

What’s Next for You?

What’s Next for You?

Have you met a lot of people through social media? What’s that been like for you? I really do want to know, so leave me a comment!

How to Save Time and Money with Social Media

How to Save Time and Money with Social Media

How to Save Time and Money with Social Media

You’ve probably heard the idea that you should focus on your strengths, not try to develop your weaknesses before. If you haven’t, here’s a blog post that I wrote: How to Focus on your wonderful strengths, forget your weaknesses. After all, are you really going to learn all the ins and outs of social media while trying to run your business?

Hire Someone to Help

Hire Someone to Help

Hire Someone to Help

This might seem simplistic, but do you do your own plumbing? Most people would say no, except for those few who might try to unclog a sink, that is. Do you fix your own roof? Again, probably not. Just because social media is free, doesn’t mean your time is free! And by the way, you might like: Finding Your Next Social Media Manager.

Hire Someone to Help

Hire Someone to Help

Work with the Person You Hire

Before you hand over everything a Social Media Manager (“SMM”), give them some information about your business. After all, they don’t know your businesses like you do. Give them some hints. Tell them what kind of content you’d like to post, and why. Tell them who your business clients are, and what their lifestyles are like. Tell them as many details as possible about your best clients. That way your social media manager can find the best places and times to post. Here’s a good list of questions to ask your social media manager. For instance, how have they handled a crisis in the past?

Hold meetings

Hold meetings

Hold Meetings

Have meetings occasionally to go over strategy, and make tweaks. I recommend once a month. Ask your social media manager to explain why certain posts were chosen, and to give some more details. I like to create a short report outlining which posts performed best, and why. Have a meeting agenda, and respect everyone’s time. Inc. Magazine has a good article on how to conduct a virtual meeting. Their advice on asking a specific person a specific question is a valuable tip.

Ask questions

Ask questions

Ask Questions

Ask your SMM if there’s anything else you could be doing. For example, one of my clients is on Facebook. The age of those who follow their Facebook account is steadily going up, while young moms (their primary audience), is going down. So in order to reach a younger female audience, I suggested they post on Pinterest, which is 80% women and perfect for their demographic. Spreading posts across different social media platforms can help a business reach everyone in their demographic. And if they hadn’t asked, they might not know.

What Did I Miss?

What Did I Miss?

What Did I Miss?

Is there some other way you have found that using social media helps you to save money? Please let me know in the comments!

 

Why Social Media Does Not Correspond to Exponential Growth

Why Social Media Does Not Correspond to Exponential Growth

Why Social Media Does Not Correspond to Exponential Growth

Recently, someone mentioned an old Faberge shampoo commercial. It reminded me of what people often believe about social media. In the Faberge ad, Heather Locklear says “I’ll tell two friends, and they’ll tell two friends, and so on…” When does that ever happen? Answer: Never! Almost never, anyway.

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Long-Term Strategy

Social media is a long-term strategy; you need to be in it for the long haul. As this article from Inc Magazine, 8 Things You Need to Understand About Social Media, underscores, “There are very few brands that have instant fame and exponential growth on social media, just as there are very few overnight successes in business.” Amen to that.

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The Reality

Here’s a scenario that’s closer to what really happens. Say someone is at a party, drinking. And the subject of your business comes up. At that point, someone might say, “oh, yeah. She did a pretty ok job.” And then, if both people remember what you were talking about, one of the people might write down your website or phone number. Maybe. And that’s if someone was looking specifically for your service or product.

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Social Media Helps

When exposed to your business or brand, people will tend to remember you longer. And if they know you personally, they’ll remember you even more. Social media helps to get your business in front of more people, but it’s not a magic bullet. Speaking of which, you might like Social Media Expectations that Are Full of Baloney.

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Social Media Can’t Help a Rotten Business

If you treat your customers badly, social media can’t fix that. If your product is one that most people don’t want, social media can’t fix that, either. For instance, I once had a client who manufactured clothing. The fabric and manufacturing were very nice, but the outfits looked outdated. Social media can help get people to your website or get more eyes on your product, but it’s not magic!

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Testimonials Help

What people say on social media does help, but it’s not magic. It does remind people that your business exists. Sometimes people just need a little push so that they will buy from you. So if they don’t know that you exist, your sales will suffer. And if you’re looking for a new social media manager, you might want to read: Social Media Manager: 10 Secrets to Care for Yours.

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Influencers Also Help

If you have influential people in your life, hearing them talk about a solid business can help even more. So having one or two people who believe in what you do can really boost your business.

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Follow Those Who Like Your Posts

Here’s a good tip, and way to improve your engagement and maybe up your follower count, too: “like” or follow people who like your posts. It’s pretty simple. That was a good tip from Fast Company’s 6 Social Media Tips That Will Improve Your Marketing.

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On the Other Hand

If you really mistreat people, you can bet others will hear about it on social media! There’s a local grocery store that I’m always hearing about on Facebook. They may not even know that people are talking about them, either. In that case, two people will tell two people, and so on. Unfortunately.

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How to SuperCharge Your Blog Posts On Social Media 10 Easy Ways

 

How to SuperCharge Your Blog Posts On Social Media 10 Easy Ways

How to SuperCharge Your Blog Posts On Social Media 10 Easy Ways

Your company or startup is just getting started on social media. You have 72 followers after three months of pushing hard and daily posting. After a full day’s work, you have no energy to post, let alone think about social media! What to do, what to do? Here are some easy ways to get more mileage out of your posts.

Hashtags

Hashtags

Hashtags

Keep a list of the best ones for your company and add them automagically every time you post. No need to reinvent the wheel. Look at your competitors and see what they’re doing. Here’s a wonderful article about Instagram hashtags: How to Use Instagram Hashtags.

Repost Your Article with a Different Image

Repost Your Article with a Different Image

Repost Your Article with a Different Image

This is particularly easy if your post includes more than one image. Just use the second (or third one). And don’t forget–most people won’t read your wonderful writing, but some will retweet/repost it.

Repost with a New Headline

Repost with a New Headline

Repost with a New Headline

You thought about another headline while you were writing your post, didn’t you? Dig that one out and use it now! By the way, if you need help writing headlines, you might like Headline Writing: Ten Reasons It’s a Pain in the Asterisk*, by moi.

Recycle that Post

Recycle that Post

Recycle that Post

Nobody remembers that you used that post two weeks ago (at least not on Twitter!), so use it again. Try a different time. Early morning will hit the people on the east coast, and late night will bring in readers on the west coast.

Do a Quick Rewrite

Do a Quick Rewrite

Do a Quick Rewrite

If the post is a little older, why not update it and republish it? Surely not everyone can recall that post from 2009! And that includes you! You could also rewrite a blog post so it ranks higher.

Change the Voice

Change the Voice

Change the Voice

You can make that post more casual or more formal to appeal to different readers. Read it aloud and change it accordingly.

Stagger the Times You Post

Stagger the Times You Post

Stagger the Times You Post

Post it on Facebook at 9 a.m., Twitter at noon, LinkedIn at 3 p.m., Instagram at 5 p.m., Pinterest at 7 p.m., etc.

Use a Customized Post for Each Platform

Use a Customized Post for Each Platform

Use a Customized Post for Each Platform

Each social media platform has a different language. Use the language of each platform so your headline catches the most people. Here’s a post about the different social media platforms and languages of each you might like.

Include Friends in the Post

Include Friends in the Post

Include Friends in the Post

If your writing makes you think of a company or person you know, include them when you write your post. Make sure to include a link to their website or one of their posts, too. Everybody needs a few links in and links out.

Tag Your Friend When You Post

Tag Your Friend When You Post

Tag Your Friend When You Post

Tell your friend that you included them in your post. Not all your friends will read your post without your telling them, so go ahead and let them know. Most people will be flattered!

How Do You Keep Posts Alive?

Do you have any tips and tricks? Let me know in the comments! And thank you!

What Happened to Quality versus Quantity on Social Media?

What Happened to Quality versus Quantity on Social Media?

What Happened to Quality versus Quantity on Social Media?

Whatever happened to good quality social media posts? In the beginning, there was the Facebook, and it was good. Reach was fantastic, everything was free, and everything got good reach. You could post a picture of an old rotten lemon, and your friends would make a million comments. “Great rotten lemon!” they’d say. “Where’d you get that lemon? I want one!” “That lemon reminds me of the ones my grandma used to grow!” And so on. An out-of-focus picture of a dirty sock might do even better.

The Good Old Days

Those were the good ol’ days. The Internet seemed smaller and quieter. Now lemons have to be ripe, and if you make lemonade, you even have to know how the best recipe for ice cubes. P.S. read the comments, but then come back here!

Suddenly, everything changed.

Suddenly, everything changed.

Suddenly, Everything Changed

Now that out-of-focus dirty sock picture and the image of the rotten lemon don’t get such great reach, do they? Nope! Suddenly, socks have to be woven using gold thread, and the gold has to be mined in ecologically and socially responsible ways. And the picture even has to be in focus! What is this world coming to?

Et Tu, Branding?

Et Tu, Branding?

Et Tu, Branding?

Not only does the sock have to be gold, but it has to matter to your audience now, too. Holy target audience, Batman! The person in the center of that elusive bulls eye has to care about golden socks! By the way, here’s an article about rebranding for startups that you might like.

Is Quality An Issue?

Is Quality An Issue?

Is Quality An Issue?

When someone wants you, as a social media manager, to do something that’s clearly unrealistic (like posting a picture that will bring in 10,000 followers in one week), you might say “Is quality an issue? Do these followers need to be real people?” Because if they don’t, then you could just plunk down $20!

But heck, now that quality does seem to be an issue, everything has to be on point! That is, you can’t just post more. The stuff you post needs to be even better. So if you’re on Twitter, for example, then you must focus on awesome quality if you want to get the best followers.

Better Images

Better Images

Better Images

Yes, you’re going to need better images that actually connect back to your text and pictures that are in focus. Also, the text has to make sense and be grammatically correct. And you can no longer steal images! Sheesh!

Lemons & Glitter

Lemons & Glitter

 

 

How Much Confidential Info Do You Share On Social Media?

How Much Confidential Info Do You Share On Social Media?

How Much Confidential Info Do You Share On Social Media?

Recently, I had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad thing happen. When you work in the social media realm, people expect certain things. They expect you to share. And yet, although some of my best friends knew about the terrible event, I did not share it widely.

Connection Does Not Always Equal Friendship

Connection Does Not Always Equal Friendship

Connection Does Not Always Equal Friendship

Being “friends” on Facebook does not mean that someone is truly friends, despite the saying that a stranger is just a friend you haven’t met. If you are squinting at someone’s image, wondering where you met them (or if you met them at all), maybe it’s time to cut them loose if Facebook is your “safe place.”

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Being a Private Person

Are you a private person? Now, I’m not necessarily talking about being an introvert because that’s different. But are you private in your communications online? Would you be ready to share something and then have a relative stranger come up and say “oh, hey, I heard that you fell off the roof while on vacation!” If not, then you might consider not sharing that tidbit, although it’s easy to forget that 100s or 1000s of people could potentially see what you post.

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How to Decide What to Share

Here are a few questions you could ask yourself before you share something:

  • Will this hurt me later?
  • Will this expose a friend?
  • Will sharing this get back to the person I’m sharing about?
  • Could this have any negative impacts?

And here are 9 things you should never share on Facebook, from Post Planner.

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Where to Share

Certain people have places that are more private than others on social media. For instance, I consider Twitter to be the most filled with strangers of all of my platforms. Yours could be Facebook. Or LinkedIn. At any rate, there’s a hierarchy of places for all of us. I might share something in a closed Facebook group before I share it on Twitter.

Some would say that you could share more safely on Twitter, since it doesn’t ask you to share your own or your friends’ information as much. See Facebook vs Twittter: Privacy Issues.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Social Sharing

There are many good aspects of sharing. For instance, you could share a picture that you want all your friends to see. It beats emailing it to everyone! And you can create an album on Facebook or a secret board on Pinterest for those images. By the way, here are Ten Ways to Be Social, from the archive.

The Bad and the Ugly

There are also many, many ways to fail on social media. For instance:

What’s Something You’d Never Share?

I promise not to tell! Leave me a comment. Thank you.

Ten Simple Ways to Choose the Best Social Media Platform

 

Ten Simple Ways to Choose the Best Social Media Platform

Ten Simple Ways to Choose the Best Social Media Platform

There are so many social networks these days. If you’re new to social media, or you’re a startup and you’ve been busy with other things, how do you choose the best one? Here are some ways you can get through the maze of choices you have.

Pick from the Most Popular Networks

Pick from the Most Popular Networks

Pick from the Most Popular Networks

Don’t go with that social network your cousin started as his senior class project. There are only 14 users, and besides, there are still a boatload of bugs! Choose from the most popular ones:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest
Where's the Competition?

Where’s the Competition?

Where’s the Competition?

Check with other brands like yours. If you sell makeup, you probably want to be on Instagram and Pinterest because they are good for visual  brands. Additionally, Pinterest’s audience is largely female. If you sell real estate, Facebook and Twitter might be better choices for you. Again, see what your competition is doing.

Is Your Demographic There?

Is Your Demographic There?

Is Your Demographic There?

Please don’t say your product or service is “for everyone.” The narrower your audience, the easier it is to choose a social media platform. If you don’t know, Pew has a terrific explanation of the Demographics of Social Media Users. For instance, many CEOs are on LinkedIn, but not on Twitter. So if CEOs are part of your demographic, you’d be better off on LinkedIn.

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Choose the One You Like Best

You’re more likely to post frequently if you choose the place you like to go. I’m a firm believer that if you really learn to use a platform, you can get tons of traffic there. My brother, who had a plumbing service, had tremendous success with Yelp, for instance. Since it’s locally based, having good reviews on Yelp can be valuable to a local business like a plumber or electrician.

Pay Attention to Where the Action is!

Even if you really like the platform, if people post and run, that’s probably not a good option for you. For instance, Google Plus doesn’t seem to attract and hold people’s attention for very long. If you must be on a platform without much action, monitor your efforts and see if it’s worthwhile. Use your analytics to check out what’s working and what’s not. Here are analytics for Twitter, in case you’re wondering.

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Realize That Social Media Isn’t Free

Sure, signing up is free. But will you be available to post? How much time can you give it? If you can’t give it the time it deserves, hire someone to do it for you! Ahem. I might know of someone! And should you do your own social media? I don’t think so!

LIGHT WORK photo

Get a Reality Check

Hire a social media manager for an hour or two to brainstorm your proposed choice. That might be the boost you need to get started. And you’ll feel that you’re on the right track if you do. Otherwise, have someone take it over for you, after you’ve worked out a strategy together. By the way, here are ten worst ways to hire a social media manager!

Check That Your Name is Available

You want a similar name across platforms. You may need to change the name you use slightly across platforms, but make sure that you use a recognizable logo on each.

LIGHT WORK photo

Set up Social Accounts

Even if you don’t use an account, grab the name so you can use it later. I call that squatting. Later, when you’re ready to start using it, it’ll already be there for you. If you don’t grab the account, someone else might nab it!

Be Successful with One First

You don’t have to start all your social media platforms at the same time! Get one ball in the air before you start juggling with three. And you might not need or want a second ball, depending upon your success! Startups in particular can do a staggered start.

LIGHT WORK photo

How Did You Choose to Get Started?

Leave me a comment and let me know! Thank you.

 

 

 

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