- Can't stand Facebook? Try the more "grown up" LinkedIn.
- LinkedIn too stuffy and formal? Try Twitter
- Love visuals, hate writing? There's YouTube, Flickr and now Pinterest
- Enjoy writing but don't have time to check what's going on? Blogging could be the answer.
- Want to hang out with the cool kids? Have a go with Google+
You'll get far better results by doing one or two things really well, than having loads of platforms to update that you actively dislike. Your lack of enthusiasm for what you're doing will come through in your posts. Even worse, you may get fed up of the whole thing and stop doing any of it. Time is something we all need more of, so choose something that you want to do - or at least don't dislike!
Whatever platform you choose to engage on there are some "golden rules" to abide by:
Once you start, keep going!
Nothing looks worse on your social media footprint than an abandoned blog or an unresponsive Twitter feed. What impression does a static Facebook page give of your business?
Don't just sell
Remember to give back to the community you've joined. Be helpful, be pleasant, be informative and the rewards will start to flow for you.
Keeping it fresh
It takes time to create or source new content. Make sure you're willing to put the effort in before you get started. Recycled content gets very dull very quickly.
Remember you're a business
Social media is fun and more than a little addictive! You can get so caught up in the talk that you can easily forget that you're there to be a business, as well as an individual. Online behaviour is a very important part of your reputation. A momentary flash of irritation and a thoughtless comment can scupper all the good work you've put in.
Keep doing the other stuff too
Social media isn't a replacement for face to face conversation or traditional marketing. It works with, and enhances, your networking and promotional activities. You may even want to consider having a plan...