The Right Way to Look at Social Media

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cd-binocularsI often hear people tell me their struggles with social media. I hear things such as:

  • The things I try are hit and miss
  • I am on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and… I’m exhausted!
  • I feel so overwhelmed and don’t know where to start

Those are real worries, but the bigger problem is their failure to understand the role social media should play in their business.


Social Media Is Not Your Primary Business

Business is about serving someone, providing value to them and extracting a return on your investment (and that return is not always financial.) The problem with social media is that people believe “doing” work on social media = business. It doesn’t.

Social media is just another way you serve your customers.

For example, my friend Charlie sells cars. Does Facebook serve his customers? You and I both know it’s the relationships his staff builds with their customers that makes the sell. What gets those customers in the door? A variety of platforms, including social media.


Back to Business Basics

No matter what business you run, you need to answer these questions:

  • What do you sell?
  • How does what you sell help others?
  • Who buys what you sell?
  • How do you reach the people who buy what you sell?
  • What matters to the person buying?

Once you know the answers to those questions, then you can start to figure out how to use social media, blog posts, podcasts, etc., to achieve your goals.

  • Will a podcast help you reach the people who buy what you sell?
  • Do the people who buy what you sell live on Facebook? Twitter?

In other words, the digital tools are chosen because they help us reach our business goals.


Action Plan

If you feel stuck in social media, take 15 minutes today and answer those five questions. Write them down and tape them to the wall by your desk. Look at them every day, then write out a to-do list that gets you one step closer to reaching your target customers.

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