Earlier this month we hosted a fireside chat with some talented bloggers and gave you an inside scoop on the conversation. We promised to tackle the challenges small businesses face in going social, so here’s the second of three in the series: Going Social.
You’re in a new relationship that makes the world seem wonderful and rosy. Yet in a matter of days something’s changed. All of a sudden there’s a nagging fear that plagues you whenever you try to express yourself, and instead you wind up radio silent. Sound familiar? It’s your relationship…with social media.
Commitment is a scary word, one that brings all sorts of connotations of weighty responsibilities that might make even the Twitterati shy away. Managing all the different platforms of social media and the notion of coming up with something new every day is a challenge that many businesses feel overwhelmed by. So take a step back and replace ‘commitment’ with another C-word: consistency, and immediately it becomes remarkably less daunting.
Here are a few C-words that will help you tackle the challenge of staying consistent:
You might have been told that the best way to manage a blog or social profile is to post as much as you can, every day, without fail. But you need to be realistic with yourself – if you don’t think you can contribute meaningful content every day then don’t bother. When do you actually have time to sit down and flesh out an idea properly? Once a week? Once a month? That’s okay, as long as you stick to a schedule, because people want genuinely useful/entertaining information and they don’t mind waiting for it. Consistency creates reliability – something that’s attractive everywhere.
Stuck on what to write? Sure, you might be able to base a few posts off current events and seasonal holidays – and by all means, you should keep on top of trends in your industry for a real time response rate – but you may find that this method doesn’t sustain you for the rest of the year.
Don’t let writer’s block overwhelm you: a series of blog posts can help structure the unsure blogger where they might need it. Find your niche, and ask yourself questions on what you know: each consequent answer that you develop can be parcelled neatly into a blog post. A series means continuity, which means depth: it gives you a chance you to explore and progress within a subject, allowing people to follow along.
Say you’re in a conversation with someone. That’s pretty great, since you managed to get a dialogue going, except what isn’t great is how the other person is talking incessantly about themselves and what they do, and they haven’t got the slightest bit of interest in you. That isn’t a conversation anymore, it’s a speech. And congratulations, you’re the audience.
When you’re using social media, you’re essentially in a conversation, or you’re hoping to strike one up. Producing great content is the bait that rouses someone’s curiosity on the internet, the same way you might make a nice comment on someone’s dress at a cocktail party to get the discussion started. But after that comes the interaction, which means listening to the other person and asking genuine questions.
Don’t feel under pressure to be constantly churning out material on your blog or spewing out comments on Twitter – that isn’t what it’s about. If you’re stuck for inspiration on what to write, sometimes asking a thoughtful question is just as meaningful.
Read the other posts in our Going Social series:
- Intro – Going social: The small business challenge
- Part 1 – Going social: Overcoming the challenges of a small business blog
- Part 2 – Going social: Comitting to using social media for your business
- Part 3 – Going social: The benefits for your small business
Anita Wong is a content writer at Go Up, a digital strategy, web design and SEO agency in London.When she isn’t busy navigating the intricacies of digital marketing, she takes a break to put her less serious thoughts on Twitter here: @houndstoothian.
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