Three Basic Principles to Help Relieve those Social Media Stresses

With a swelling 2 billion tweets per month, a swarm of over 400 million active Facebook users, and 24 hours of fresh video being uploaded onto YouTube each minute of every day, it comes to little surprise that Social Media is the talk of the town — nor  a surprise that everyone and their mother wants to employ it.

I am no expert, not yet, but I think I can help. I recently assisted Ric Dragon, Executive CEO of DragonSearch, as he presented to B2C businesses the 15 Days to Social Media Fitness. His presentation was on point — full of enthusiasm and gripped with rich and useful content. He just has a certain presence about him — an entertainer’s quality — that really captivates an audience. As the presentation drew to a close, we packed up and grabbed some grub. It didn’t occur to me at the time — it wasn’t until the drive home — but throughout lunch, and for the better part of the day, these successful business owners were coming to me, the intern, for advice on how to better grip Social Media. And like any ambitious twenty-one year old predisposed to the digital world, the words came flowing. For a second it was overwhelming and I had to take a step back. Not because of the questions, but because five years ago —before Facebook chat, before News Feeds, heck, before Photos were added as an application — I joined Facebook. Back then Facebook was a way for college kids to connect — not anymore. Here I stand five years later, talking to business owners of the Hudson Valley about how to better use Social Media. It felt otherworldly, but I’m not being tetchy — I loved every second.

Anywho, let’s get down to business. You need help with social media, and I don’t want you looking like that guy above — I’m sure you don’t either. I’ve thought up three basic principles to help relieve some of those stresses that come to mind when “thinking social media.” They are very basic, but we’re not talking rocket science here people; we’re talking social media.

Start Slow

If you are looking for a simple step by step guide that slowly steers you to Social Media stardom — or to at least gets you on the road — Ric Dragons 15 Days to Social Media Fitness is, without doubt, the easiest and most effective guide I’ve seen yet. With Social Media you want to start out slow. You would never swan dive into the deepest of waters before you at least knew how to tread water — I hope. So don’t spread yourself thin, creating thousands of profiles on various social platforms, before you at least know what Social Media is. The easiest way to keep up with the ever-changing ways of Social Media is to follow a few blogs. Not to sound self promoting, but these guys over at DragonSearch — myself included — work diligently to stay on top of this dynamic digital world. If you want to start out right do yourself a favor — subscribe, read up on current trends in Social Media, establish a basic understanding on how it came about, and when you feel as if you can at least tread, let’s go diving!

Stay Simple

Not each status update, tweet, nor blog post has to be deep and insightful — or lengthy. Just be interesting. If you’re running a sale, let people know — maybe even run a sale specifically for your Facebook fans (likers). Whether it be Facebook, Twitter, the company blog — or any other Social Media tool you use — there are three things to consider when posting:

Be relevant. Be consistent. Would you let your mother read it?

Be Relevant – When people follow you on Twitter, “like” you on Facebook, or subscribe to your blog, they do such for a reason. That reason is simple. They want to see what you are up to. They want to know what’s going on in the world of your company. So tell them! ( Just make sure you keep it positive but we’ll touch more on this in a second ) What they don’t want is for you to bombard their feeds with “COME TO MY STORE!” comments. That’s a big no-no in the Social Media world. Don’t do that  or you will blocked, hidden, or even worse (bust out a drum roll) removed!

Here’s my rule: before you post it, roast it. And no, I’m not talking of the method for cooking a large, tender cut of beef. I’m referencing the comedic term. That’s right, roast it! Take that post and try to tear it to shreds.  Essentially, if you look at the comment and laugh at how spam-ish it looks, press delete and try again.

Be Consistent – This is probably the hardest part for most people. Think of managing your social media like dieting. At first (all jokes aside) it’s rough, but just keep at it. Soon enough, as goes with dieting, it will become second-nature, and next thing you know you’re knee deep in Social Media and loving every second.

Would You Let Your Mother Read it? Mothers’ always know best. If mother dearest would have her hands on her hips, shaking her head, best not post it. We all know how aggravating certain situations can become — a headache client here, a problem co-worker there — and we all know how letting out those frustrations can sometimes leave you with that euphoric feeling of ultimate satisfaction — well don’t! Those frustrations can and will be damaging to your brand, and you don’t want that. Simple rule here: Keep it positive!

Also, avoid any profanities — that’s right, no F-bombs, unless you want the soap. This is your business. You wouldn’t use a potty mouth when dealing face to face with your customer, so don’t use it on your Facebook page.

Have Fun

That’s right, have fun! This isn’t supposed to be a struggle or a headache that leaves you lost, pulling out hairs. Social Media is designed to be a fun and interactive way for businesses to keep in touch with consumers. So let it be just that — have fun and be interactive! When you sit down during “social media hour” (I’ll touch on this later) get comfortable, get those creative juices flowing, and most importantly, smile!

Alright, so there we have it — three basic principles to relieve those social media stresses. Very basic, but very effective, and that’s what keeps this world turning. When diving into the world of Social Media just remember, start slow, stay simple, and have fun!

Oh and….

I’d love to hear about your thoughts on the topic — maybe even share a story or two about a stressful situation you encountered with Social Media. Thankfully  someone out there in the world created a way for this to occur — leave a comment!

This is Clayton William Walter, it’s been fun.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2010 and is filed under Social Media in Marketing.

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