A good horror story may keep you awake at night but social media nightmares shouldn’t! If you have a fear of social media, these not so scary social media tips for beginners will help you get over that fear.
Are you someone who is hiding out behind your computer screen? Are you scrolling through your newsfeed, liking Instagram pictures and retweeting tweets? Are you consuming so much content but not actually sharing much yourself? It’s time to get over the fear of social media and start using it to grow your business.
Getting started on social media can be scary. If there’s a tiny voice in your head telling you everyone else is already a perfect graphic designer, caption creator, and photographer and that their content is so much better than yours…
Tell it to stop, because it’s wrong!
Honestly, they’re not all experts and their content isn’t better than yours. The only difference between your social media pages and their social media pages is that they share content.
Getting over any fear is tricky but when you’re in business for yourself you have to learn to look terror in the eye and keep right on moving.
Social media can be intimidating when you’re starting out. We are going to ease you into it with some not-so-scary social media tips for beginners so you can start posting today.
Before we get to our social media tips, let’s talk about some common social media fears and why they are not as frightening as you think.
1. The fear of wasted time and money
Many entrepreneurs worry that they won’t see returns from their social efforts. Since most new business owners have tight budgets and very little free time, they don’t want to waste any of it on something that might not work.
While this fear is valid, you can’t ignore social media’s opportunities. 67% of the world’s population is on at least one social media channel. Which means, that at least some of your audience uses social media. Also, your competitors are there too. 50 million businesses use Facebook business pages and over 2 million use Facebook ads.
Those aren’t just the big businesses with huge budgets either. A recent survey of small business owners showed that 92% of small businesses plan to invest more time and money in social media in 2018.
If millions of businesses and more than half the planet uses social media, then it’s a good indicator that something works!
2. The fear of having nothing to say (or worse saying the wrong thing)
Picture it, you’re standing on a stage, underneath the spotlight in front of thousands of people. You open your mouth to speak and… nothing. The idea of freezing is slightly scary. Or how about when you make a joke in a room and are met with blank stares! Cue all the embarrassment!
The fear of avoiding these two feelings often stops people from posting anything on social media.
However, if you are in the trenches working to build your business, then you know your business and your audience better than anyone else. And you’ll know how to talk about and how to talk to them. It’s time to trust your expertise!
Most entrepreneurs build this trust in themselves and their knowledge as they build their business. Learning to trust your expertise is a practice that comes when you share your expertise on a regular basis. It will feel scary at first but the more you share, the easier it becomes!
Is it possible you might say the wrong thing on social media? Of course! You’re human. You might make an error or have a typo. It happens to everyone. If you own your mistakes, then you will be able to course correct and improve along the way.
3. Fear of negative comments and reviews
Oh, the negative Nancy’s of the world! We all know they are out there and they always seem extra loud on social media, don’t they?
It’s impossible to avoid a negative comment so how will you handle them? First, it’s important to realize that everyone deals with negativity on their social media pages. You are far from alone in this.
We recommend creating a list of set responses for negative posts. You can edit and adapt these as necessary but it’s incredibly helpful to have a go-to response that you can use so you don’t respond in a negative way.
Second, look at negative comments as an opportunity. 67% of users now use social media channels to seek resolutions and 1 in 3 social media users prefer using social media customer care services over phone or email.
When you engage on social media, you have the opportunity to turn a negative experience for the customer into a positive one. This can help grow your business because customers spend 20%-40% more with companies who engage and respond to customers via social media.
Customers who experience positive social media experiences are 3x more likely to recommend the brand.
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Dealing with social media complaints is actually a huge opportunity for your business!
This example from DC Brau Brewery, a small independent brewery in DC is a great example of how small businesses can address customer service issues on Twitter.
They could have ignored the tweet or simply apologized but instead, they took it a step further and invited the customer to the brewery to resolve the issue. It doesn’t take much to offer a thoughtful response but it can make a huge difference!
4. Fear of sounding braggy or salesy or pushy
Self promotion is a non-negotiable part of starting a business. No matter what type of business you run, you have to be able to talk about it.
To avoid feeling salesy on your social media, focus on providing value to your audience. Your business provides value to your customers, no matter if you’re a health coach or if you are an e-commerce business. If you trust in that value, then you will trust your audience will want your content.
One of the best social media tips is to use a content mix of 80/20. In 80% of your content, you share value with your audience. This could be educational, inspirational or entertaining content. The remaining 20% of your content can be promotional or sales oriented. This way, your audience feels like they are getting value from your content and won’t feel like you are only pushing sales.
Now that we’ve covered the top fears about social media, we know it’s time for the next step: taking action. If you are ready to face your social media fears and get started on social media, here are some social media tips for beginners.
1. Recognize the possibility in social media.
We already talked a little bit about how many opportunities social media can bring to your business but we’re really going to hammer this point home!
Consumers are already using social media to make buying decisions. 64% of online shoppers say that a video on social media helped them decide on a product to buy and 86% of women will look at social media before deciding to make a purchase.
Your customers are already on social media and they are expecting you to use it. Additionally, customers do more than just follow brands. They engage with them. 48% of Americans have interacted on a company on at least one social media network. This goes for new customers and current customers.
Social media is the top choice for customer care channels and customers expect a response from a business in four hours.
Whether it’s attracting a new customer to click a link or solving a customer service problem for a current customer, you can use social media in a variety of ways to grow your business.
2. Take advantage of the learning opportunities
If you ever Google “social media guide,” you will find hundreds of thousands of resources that are designed to help you get started on social media. Study the experts and learn the best social media tips to give you an extra dose of confidence.
Just don’t overwhelm yourself with learning and then avoid action. We recommend reading one resource and then implementing one strategy or tactic from that resource before moving onto the next one.
A really common beginner social media mistake is trying to be everywhere at once. Start with joining one network and grow your audience on that network before you dive in everywhere.
Facebook is the most popular social media network if you are looking for a place to start but when in doubt, always turn to your audience and find out what social media platform they use.
Do audience research or use your audience personas to start with the right social media platform.
4. Create a strategy
Creating a strategy will help you ease the fear of wasted time and money. You can measure your efforts and you will know how social media is working for your business when you create a strategy that ties to your business goals.
Creating a social media strategy also helps to eliminate overwhelm and makes it easier to manage your content. If you’re a solopreneur without a huge team or big budget, then creating a social media strategy will save you time and stress in the long run.
Worried about knowing what to say or not being able to stay consistent with your social media? Say hello to your new best friend, batching!
Batching is doing a group of similar tasks together. For example, writing all your blog content in one afternoon or, creating all of your social media content in one hour. There’s a lot of science behind batching but the overall consensus is that when you batch your tasks, you can focus better, which helps you work faster.
When you batch your brain is able to focus on the task at hand, which means your creative juices will start flowing and you’ll be able to come up with more content.
This makes it much easier to write posts then when you’re trying to come up with something in a 10-minute window!
After you’ve written your posts, you can use a social media scheduling tool, like Edgar, to schedule your posts.
There’s no doubt that starting your own business is filled with scary tasks but social media doesn’t have to be one of them.
Put your game face on, move past your fears and follow these not so scary social media tips for beginners and you’ll be feeling like a pro in no time!