How to Properly Leverage Social Media for Building Your Business
Here’s the truth: a lot of social media—even when employed for professional purposes—is instinct. If you’d find something abhorrent, you probably shouldn’t do it…except sometimes you have to do it because it is a part of a larger strategy.
So where do you draw that line? How do you figure out how to manage your social media as a professional without letting your personal preferences take over?
There are lots of great books out there that you can buy that will help you navigate the waters of professional social media management. The Zen of Social Media Marketing, The Social Media Bible, Likeable Social Media, The Twitter Effect, and Socialnomics are all good options. You can read them in your quieter moments. All of these books can be purchased for affordable prices or, if your budget is very tight right now, you can check them out of the library.
Classes and Webinars
It seems like your community center, local library and small business association are always having some sort of class on how to properly use social media to build an audience or promote a business. If you can manage to take one of these classes for free, go for it!
If there is a price for admission, be more cautious. Spend some time doing your research. Check out the background of the “teacher” and make sure that they are actually the experts they claim to be.
It’s also worth trying to find an online class or two. The great thing about these online classes and webinars is that you can attend them from wherever is the most convenient for you. Like with an offline class, you want to check out the giver’s reputation and make sure that the class is worth the price of admission.
A Note About Costs
Books, classes, etc.—they all cost money. It’s easy to go overboard buying all of the books and taking all of the classes only to find out after the fact that everybody says the same thing. It can make the debt you’ve accumulated very frustrating.
This is why it’s a good idea to have a dedicated line of credit for building your business. This helps you keep your business (and potentially write off) expenses separate from your personal expenses. If you don’t yet have this set up, check out some of the better credit card deals that are out there (pro tip: go after the flight rewards credit cards so that the things you buy can help you make your travel more affordable) and pick the one that best suits your needs.
TIP: Business credit feels the same as personal credit but is a little bit more involved. Learn how the minutiae of business credit works before picking out your card.
If you can afford them, go to conventions for your niche or that are related to the Internet and Internet based promotions (cons for bloggers and entrepreneurs are especially good for this). You can learn from the experts in your field as well as from colleagues with whom you’re hoping to network. The people at these conventions will be up to date on the latest techniques and might have some insights as to what will best serve your business structure.
Remember: you have to stay true to you, your business and its mission. If something feels truly disgusting to you, you don’t have to do it. Sometimes, though, you might have to do something that feels a little bit like selling out to help your business get ahead. Use these tools to help you figure out the difference between the two.