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8 Magic Pills to Eradicate Social Media Ignorance

I am not fond of clichés. Take ‘Ignorance is Bliss’! Stumble across your boyfriend’s secret magazine stash, and your grandma nods knowingly and says it. Learn your BFF spends happy hour with the rival camp, and your coworkers shake their head and say it. In fact, our life is filled with people who resort to these old sayings when they have nothing valuable to offer in terms of opinion or advice. And therein lies the problem.someecards.com - If ignorance is bliss, why aren't you laughing?

Ignorance is Not bliss. It is a disease that can keep you from reaching your true potential. Choosing to stay ignorant is just the easy way out. As information is thrown at us at warp speeds, we can no longer afford to shut our minds to all the knowledge and facts pouring in. Especially when our competitors and peers are assimilating it. Social media is a perfect example.

 

Rooting Out Ignorance

If you’re a solopreneur or business owner trying to build a business, you cannot shy away from using social media. There are many reasons you might fear social media, and ignorance is one of them. But this is a fear that is easily overcome. All you need to do is be open to learning and be ready to invest some time in updating your skills or retooling.

And I have the perfect plan for you. Treat it like any project and go through these tasks. Your ignorance will recede as you go down the list, and you will be ready to adopt social media for your business.

1. Review available networks

There are many social networks out there. Assuming that you are a newbie, the first step would be taking stock of what social networks are available. Ask your friends what they use, do some Internet research and you will soon have a list of some of the most popular ones.

Tip: Get familiar with different networks and watch how they work.

Suggested Reading:

40 popular social networking sites

20 most interesting social networks

2. List top 3 features of each network

This is easily done. You will come to know the salient point of each network, and what it is most useful for.

Tip: Research and compare

Suggested Reading:

Top social networks for business owners – Infographic

Most important social networks for business

 

3. Take your pick

Choose one network from your list that suits your business and product the most. This could be Pinterest if your products have visual appeal, like arts and crafts, designer dresses, gourmet foods etc. Or Twitter if you want to engage with your peers and potential customers. Or Facebook just because they have such a high user base.

Tip: Check what your competitors are using

Suggested Reading:

How to choose the right social network – infographic

Which social media network is right for you

Choosing the right social platform for your brand

4. Optimize your profile

Once you create your profile on your chosen network, fill out your profile completely. Refer to product documentation and online articles on how you can best portray yourself on that network.

Tip: Highlight skills related to the products or services you offer

Suggested Reading:

10 amusing Twitter bios

Formula for an Awesome Twitter bio

Top brands with great Google+ pages

5. Follow the Leader

Follow leaders in various categories. Aim to follow at least 5 people who are experts in how to use that network. Follow 5 industry leaders in your field on that network. These could be your competitors or in a different league. For example, if you’re a dress designer just out of school, follow brands like Armani, Ralph Lauren etc. If you’re a new chef just setting up a small bistro or sandwich shop, follow famous restaurateurs and chefs like Wolfgang Puck, Emeril etc. – actually anyone who is at the top of that field. You can find the top people in any industry with some simple research.

Tip: Go through ‘influencers’ or ‘top X’ lists published by Forbes, Fortune, Inc etc.

Suggested Reading:

Forbes Top 50 social media power influencers

Top designers on social media

Top 10 wedding photographers of 2013

6. Observe and Learn

Learning is our goal here, so spend some time in reviewing how the leaders’ profiles are set up, what kind of updates they post, how they introduce new products, how they respond to any customer queries etc. Take notes. This will give you an idea of the general etiquette that is followed in your peer group.

Tip: Connect with or follow as many leaders as you can

Suggested reading:

Social Media Success Stories from diverse brands on different networks

9 Small Business Social Media success stories

7. Start small

Once you get the hang of how your peers or competitors are using social media, start small. Initially, you can just share updates from the people you follow. You can ‘like’ or ‘retweet’ and add comments. If people respond, thank them and post a reply. Gradually increase your activity until you get comfortable with using the tool.

Tip: Start conversations with the people you already know

Suggested Reading:

21 social media engagement rules

5 stages of social media engagement

8. Ramp up

As you take the steps listed above, you will gradually find that you’re not ignorant any more. This is the time to ramp things up a bit. You can plan your own content and post it at planned intervals. You can start connecting with more people. And yes, you can choose another network from your list and repeat all the above steps.

Tip: Start thinking of putting a social media strategy in place.

Suggested Reading:

12 tips to engage people on Twitter

7 Cardinal Rules to Generate Valuable Content Consistently

8 ways to grow your social media footprint

Wrapping Up

overcome social media ignorance

John Leech Sketch from Punch 1848

I know just reading all this sounds exhausting. Doing it even more. Believe me, I’ve been there not too long ago. But carrying out all these tasks one by one will get rid of your ignorance in no time. And going through the suggested readings will give you access to a host of other informative sites and blogs, further increasing your knowledge base. So in a nutshell, these are the tasks you will be carrying out at a high level.

1. Review available networks

2. List top 3 features of each network

3. Take your pick

4. Optimize your profile

5. Follow the Leader

6. Observe and Learn

7. Start small

8. Ramp up

I hope this post has been helpful for you and has convinced you to take that deep dive into social media. Please share this with anyone you think might benefit from this plan. Please leave a comment below to give your feedback.

 

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