It’s almost impossible to avoid social media these days – unless you’ve been living in the middle of a desert for the past few years with no communication with the rest of the world. Everyone has opinions about it from ‘total waste of time’ to ‘most valuable tool that’s been invented in decades’. Whatever you think, it’s here to stay – and, no doubt, to evolve.

OK, whether eagerly or reluctantly, you realise you’re going to have to live with it – then let’s just look at what it is, and isn’t.

It is a means of forming and building relationships by communicating two ways.
It isn’t a broadcast only tool, people will very quickly get fed up if all you do is talk at them.

It is an effective way to extend your business profile much further than most people would otherwise be able to do.
It isn’t a waste of time if you have a strategy and a management plan (but it can be if you let it take over).

It is a way of growing a reputation as an expert in your field.
It isn’t a means of being irrelevant, spamming people or being rude or aggressive.

It is a way to share information easily so people benefit from the useful websites, articles, blogs and other online media that you find useful too.
It isn’t a way to sell at everyone who follows you or befriends you on any of the social media platforms (they can disconnect as quickly as they found you).

It is a very powerful business tool if you know how to use it.
It isn’t going to make you rich overnight, it’s no quick fix.

So what does all this mean to your business? You’ve got your hands on a very powerful and very low outlay tool – but it’s like any other tool in your toolbox; it won’t work if you don’t use it properly. That’s the secret, get some advice, think things through, work out what you’d like it to achieve and what you’ll need to do to get those results – then go for it, consistently and with focus.
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