What’s the point of social media?

Okay, so you’ve been told you have to use social media otherwise there’s no point being in business.  Dutifully you’ve set up your Facebook account, come up with a few day’s worth of witty tweets, had some grand ideas about your YouTube channel and started a load of boards on Pinterest.  Well done you, you’re using social media!  Aren’t you?

Well, no.  You’ve signed up to some sites, but unless you know what the point of your social media is, you might as well unregister yourself and forget about the whole silly affair.  The main point to remember about social media is that it’s a conversation.  You need to engage people otherwise you’re just another profile floating about on the ether.  So, while it’s all well and good dutifully tweeting and updating your status several times a day, what are you actually saying?  Is it something your target audience would be interested in?  And more importantly, are you reading what they’re saying?  If you’re unsure about the answers to these questions, it’s time to rethink your social media output.

It’s pretty easy to treat social media as a distraction; i.e, have a look at Twitter or Facebook and consider it working.  Remember, when you’re using it for work, it’s a business tool; sure, have a quick glance at that cute cat picture, but focus on the business side and making sure what you’re saying is relevant and interesting to your audience.  If you get stuck, think about what you like to see and read, chances are your audience will have similar tastes.  And, of course, all that reading of other people’s updates means you’re more likely to join the conversation.

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