I work with people who love and utilize social media every day AND I work with people who avoid it like the plague and are overwhelmed
I end up having love and hate conversations about it weekly. Encouraging small business owners to use it more and for students to use it correctly. I want to encourage you, whether you are on the love or hate side, to healthily use it to connect, learn, teach, encourage, and share.
First, let me tell you about my relationship with social media and then let’s dive into some tips and encouragement.
I LOVE Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat because I get to keep up with my friends and family near and far. I see what is going on in their day-to-day lives and I can quickly message them. I am still close to my 11 bridesmaids and many other close friends because of social media.
I LOVE social media because it supports my business and allows me to share and teach to people across the world. I would not have served businesses and individuals these last 2 years if it hadn’t been for Instagram and Facebook. People across the nation have found me, trusted me from my posts, and hired me to assist them in their branding projects or career hunt. Additionally, without social media, I would not have a vehicle to share, encourage, and teach. It is SO rewarding to run into someone and hear that one of my posts encouraged them, helped them, and provided them with information they needed.
I LOVE it because it provides information, inspiration, and encouragement. As an entrepreneur and consultant, I can run low on inspiration. I give a lot to others in my job and I need to fill up on new knowledge, encouragement, and motivation in order to continue serving. I find authors on social media, I find new products to make my job and life easier, I find quotes that uplift me, I find fonts, graphics, and design inspiration to keep me current.
Unfortunately, I also find more than I really need….
Thus I HATE that (like everything else) we abuse it. We are given delicious food and we abuse it. We are given wine and we abuse it. We are given physical things and we overuse them. It is not the food’s fault or the wine’s fault that we abuse them. It is our responsibly to use in moderation and use it for its intended purpose.
I HATE that we use it to over sell and pester people. I hate the pyramid marketing/selling techniques encouraging people to abuse their personal relationships to sell sell sell. We don’t want to be sold to 24/7. That is why when you watch GOOD commercials, they are not just selling their product, they are communicating a feeling you want or state that you want to achieve.
I HATE that it creates unrealistic views of people's normal lives. For the most part, we are only posting about fun, happy, or interesting things in our lives. We are posting about our oil change or cleaning the toilet or paying the bills or our boring 1 hour long commute. So stop idolizing that person you follow on social media. You know who I am talking about! Stop thinking they have it all together or a perfect life or stop obsessing about how crazy and lucky their life is. If you don’t like your life, stop scrolling and then do something about YOUR life. We are supposed to have the same life or the same journey. That would be INCREDIBLY BORING.
Now that we have ridden that love/hate roller coaster of social media, let’s focus on thinking about HOW we can use social media to connect, learn, teach, encourage, and share.
<STUDENTS + PROFESSIONALS>
Get yourself an accountabil-a-buddy!
If you know social media is affecting your confidence and self-esteem, making you compare yourself to others, making you covet other’s lives, or making you shop too much – tell someone. Talk about how it is negatively affecting you. Seek advice and encouragement to limit it in your life. Ask a friend to check in with you about it and keep you accountable.
People are watching – use it to your benefit!
I am not going to tell you to hide on social media. When I was in college, Facebook was new and the rule-of-thumb was to keep your profile private, especially on the internship/job hunt.
We are in a different world now. We are social and we are digital. There isn’t anything wrong with that (unless we abuse it). We can search anything and find the answer – pretty awesome if you think about it!
As you grow in your career, be aware people are looking for you and they WILL find something on you. Make sure it what you have purposefully put there. Make sure it sells you and puts you in the best light. People should find you and have a positive perception of you.
Remember people aren’t just searching for you or finding you when you are on the job hunt. Keep an updated profile on any of the platforms that you like to use. Don’t feel like you should have a profile on every platform. But I do encourage every professional to have a LinkedIn profile for your own benefit.
If you need help with your social media
profiles and LinkedIn, contact me.
I would love to give you a social review! firstname.lastname@example.org
Check Yourself Before You Post Yourself
Put every comment and post through these filter questions:
1. Is this post helping me connect with others in a healthy way? Or am I just oversharing?
(Remember – some mystery is a lovely thing)
2. Is this post teaching someone or helping someone?
3. Is this post encouraging someone or making someone happy?
4. Is this post sharing something that could not be communicated any other way?
When you are scrolling and pursuing social media, ask yourself:
1. Is this helping me in a positive way? Yes – keep enjoying!
2. Am I learning or finding something useful? Yes- good for you!
3. Am I connecting or keeping up with people? Yes – Awesome!
Reach out to someone you haven’t talked to in a while!
4. Is it making me covet someone else? Yes -Abort the scrolling!
5. Is this making me happy? Great! You needed a break.
6. Is it making me jealous, depressed, overwhelmed, or distracted? Yes – get off now!
<SMALL BUSINESSES OWNERS>
Your New Best Friend … kinda!
I encourage you to view social media as your best marketing friend. It is an affordable way for you to connect, teach, encourage, and share with your customers. It is also there to help you! With a simple search of a hashtag, you can find tools, products, inspiration, support groups, and so much more.
Your new marketing best friend also has other friends. They are apps that make your life easier! We love to use Google Sheets to create our content calendars and then use the PLANN app to see how posts will look and then schedule them so it is easy to post when the time comes.
We always recommend planning a branded photoshoot so you have authentic photography for your website, social media, and promotion materials. If you can't set up a photoshoot (with me, preferably!), take photos in natural light and edit with the same filter in VSCO or Instagram every time for consistency. You can also use free and paid stock photography that matches your lighting and coloring of your other photos.
(We like www.pexels.com)
The un-known is scarier than reality.
Don’t focus on the competition or not knowing everything about the beast that is social media. Focus on wanting to utilize it to communicate to YOUR potential customer. You can take online classes on strategy, google how to post, hire someone to help you – but you are the one who knows your product/service and know why people need it. Start there.
Think about if your perfect potential customer was in front of you, what would you say to them to make them believe in your business and product/service? Think about the natural connection you would try and create with them. Those same communicate on social media.
Set yourself up for success…
I have had a few small business owners tell me they don’t use social media because they tried it once and it didn’t do anything for them.
Social media is not a one-time thing. You don’t just post one time and think Facebook or Instagram will take care of the rest. People are on social media at different times and may have missed that 1 post. Don’t rely on the customer to do all the work. It is up to you to be consistent in posting, sharing, commenting, and engaging. It took a good 9 months of consistently posting and engaging for me to see a quality following. I had to put quality work out there for an extended period of time in order to get quality customers, collaborations, and opportunities.
Other small business owners have told me they are overwhelmed by everything it takes to communicate effectively through social media. I totally get that.
It takes planning, strategy, and creativity. It isn’t easy (that’s why people hire people to do it!) but it is possible. If you know you don’t have the time to put in the planning, strategy and creativity, hire someone or look into my services. I can provide you with tools and processes or I can consult on your strategy or I can completely manage your social media for you.
Let's plan a time to talk and we will figure out HOW I can help you. (Email: email@example.com)
Don’t just give up on it and not use it.
Equip yourself with people or tools to make it benefit you AND your customer.
For more information about how I work with small businesses on social media strategy, visit HERE.
If you are an individual and need a social media profile review, email Eloise at firstname.lastname@example.org