Let’s be honest: some days it seems that social media has gotten out of control.  Not only is there a new platform seemingly every week, but even the platforms you’re already familiar with have endless updates, new features and new algorithms.  It can make any business owner’s head spin and throw up their hands in frustration.  If there is one reason we hear the most when we’re asking business owners why they don’t do social media, it’s because they don’t understand it.  And really, can you blame them?

However, when we press further, we find that most business owners DO understand something about social media.  Maybe they regularly post and connect on LinkedIn, or spend an hour on Pinterest every night pinning recipes and craft projects.  However, what they’re really saying is that they don’t understand EVERYTHING and therefore don’t feel like they can do any of it well for their business.  We’re here to tell you IT’S OKAY.  We’re actually in the business of social media and even WE don’t understand everything (well, I don’t.  Pretty sure my business partner Dan does.  And no, I’m not just saying that because I want the last bottle of water in the office fridge.)  The point is, no one can understand everything that is going on in the social media world and you don’t have to.  To make social media work for your business, you simply need to focus.  What does that look like, exactly?  Let us explain:

Focus on one or two platforms  Would your social media exposure be better if you were able to capitalize on every single platform?  Absolutely!  Is this feasible for anyone but the largest of companies?  No.  For a small business owner to succeed, the worst thing they can do is spread themselves too thin and do a bunch of platforms poorly.  Focus is the key.  But how do you choose?

Focus where your customers are  Do you have a retail store that caters to the 20-year-old college students?  You should focus on Twitter and Instagram.  A law firm that draws most clients from the 45-60-year-old executive pool?  Facebook and LinkedIn are probably the way to go.

Focus on what you LIKE  If you hate a social media platform, you’re not going to do it well and you’re going to despise every minute of it.  Where’s that going to lead?  Nowhere good!  If you enjoy pinning DIY projects on Pinterest for personal use, find a way to use Pinterest for your business.  Found a way to bond with your teens by using Snapchat?  Why not try connecting with potential customers on the same platform?

Focus your time Make a schedule for yourself or for your employees who are helping you with social media and build it into your day.  If you don’t, you’ll either forget to do it altogether or find yourself falling down the ‘Facebook rabbit hole’ and realize three hours have gone by and you’ve done nothing but spy on old girlfriends.  If you make it a timed task and get done as much as you can during that time frame, you’re way ahead of most people.

Focus on learning  As soon as you think you know everything about a social media platform, that’s when it goes and changes on you!  If you’ve pared down the number of platforms you use, you can really dig down deep and learn how to use them effectively and can learn about new options as soon as they are available.  Think how much you could have capitalized on Facebook’s ad platform if you’d known it inside and out before anyone else in your market did.  The potential is HUGE!  By reading about social media on the numerous blogs out there, picking up a book or working with a professional in the field, you can be on alert for that next big thing and be ready to make it work in your favor.

There’s no need to be afraid of the social media monster!  By focusing your time, focusing on a few chosen platforms and focusing on learning, you can tame the monster and make it an ally.  Have questions?  We’re always here to help!