Social media seems to be a bit like Marmite.  Some people love it and are happy to spend time uploading pictures, making video, posting the latest snippet of info, sharing interesting posts and more.  Others think it’s a massive time-eater, is hard work for questionable return and is impossible to keep up with the rapidly changing filters, rules and regulations.

The challenge for businesses is that social media is here to stay.  It’s no longer a fad, a five-minute wonder or only for teenagers, it’s a powerful business tool.

Without a social media presence, you could find your visibility suffers, your reputation isn’t as good as it could be and you’re dropping behind competitors. 

I know people who have tried to get to grips with it and have decided that it’s never going to happen and pretty much given up.

I know people who love Facebook to chat with friends, but don’t get on with LinkedIn at all and can’t see the point of Twitter.

I know people who have the best of intentions, but find it’s always at the bottom of their to-do list – so never gets done.

Do it, delegate it or dump it

If you want to harness the power of social media the secret is to choose one platform – ideally the one where your potential clients are most active – then learn how it works.

TIP:  Put time in your diary to do social media e.g. daily 12 noon for 

15 minutes and Friday afternoon for an hour.

Choosing just one social media platform avoids overwhelm.  Scheduling time in your diary will help to ensure you take action.

Once you’re comfortable with one platform you can always add another.

If you know you’re just not going to get around to it, delegate it to either a member of your team or a virtual assistant or social media agency. 

Bear one thing in mind – unless someone knows you very, very well and shares your expertise, they can’t be you.  They can post on your behalf, they can monitor comments and engage with other members of the platform, but they can’t answer questions, respond to enquiries or provide your expertise, so there’s likely to be times when you’ll simply have to grit your teeth, go online and respond.

If you decide you just can’t face social media in any shape or form then dump it.  By dump it, I mean take your profiles down, remove or close your accounts.  There’s nothing worse than people doing a search and finding accounts that aren’t maintained.  There’s a subliminal message that you can’t be bothered and don’t take your marketing seriously.  It’s better to not have an account at all.

Before you take this radical action consider that most business people use the search engines to check out potential suppliers, possible customers, people coming for business meetings and potential candidates.  Social media platforms are so active that, if you have an account on LinkedIn, for example, that will probably come further up the ranking than your About page on your company website.

It doesn’t have to be as onerous as you think – it just takes a little planning and you might find it easier than you think.  If you get really good at it, you could find social media an excellent source of leads and third party recommendations.