Are you a business owner floundering in your attempts to participate in social media? Don’t despair. These simple ideas will give you a boost.

1) First, look before you leap.

Are you sure you’re in the right place? Social media platforms are not all alike.

  • Join Twitter and you’ll discover that your posts (tweets) are limited to 280 characters or less. Not so on Facebook or Instagram.
  • Join Pinterest and you’ll discover that all “pins” must include an image or a video.

If you’re not having any success with one social media site, try another. Don’t let one belly flop discourage you. Switch pools and try again.

2) Don’t spread yourself too thin.

Having 5 or 6 social media sites sitting idly by is worse than not participating at all. If you’re inactive on Twitter, your followers will eventually notice your absence. Active Twitter users have tools to track down and remove inactive accounts from their list.

Don’t let your least favorite social media account just sit there. Delete it. It will feel good. Also be sure to remove the link to it from your website.

social media icons

3) Examine your News Feed.

Are you rarely on social media because you haven’t bought into the whole concept? Admit it. You’re bored. If so, it’s time to freshen up all your news feeds. Take a look. Is your Pinterest home feed cluttered with Infographics and your Twitter timeline overrun with inspirational quotes? It’s likely caused by the simple act of over-following others with no attention paid to who you’re following. You can fix it.

  • Take 5 minutes to unfollow some accounts that don’t spark your interest.
  • At the same time, find some new companies to follow. Be choosy.

4) Prepare for “Show and Tell.”

You should also inspect what you’re posting. Social media gives you a free platform to share anything you want. But how can you step into the spotlight in such a busy place?

Think back to your childhood. Remember “Show and Tell?” How did you decide what to bring to school? You chose a “shiny new object” of some sort. Perhaps it was a model boat you built or a seashell from the beach. You picked out something meaningful, trying to impress your friends.

Everyone likes Shiny New Objects at Show and Tell and on Social Media

The same holds true for social media. Everyone likes to see something interesting and different. We all like “shiny new objects” when they’re shiny and new.

But, even shiny new objects can lose their luster if overshared. Cute photos of newborn babies posted repeatedly will eventually annoy even the newborn’s grandmother.

Take a moment to scroll through your personal profile.

Look at your last 5 updates. Stop and really look at the last 5 things you’ve posted. What sticks out to you when you study your profile? Do your posts all look similar? Do any stand out?

Be honest with yourself. Have you posted, just to post? Have you tweeted just to promote your business?

If no one is “liking,” commenting on or sharing your posts, stop doing what you are doing. Try something different. It’s as simple as that.

  • Are your images clear and colorful?
  • Are your captions short and sweet?

People are more likely to engage with visual content than text-heavy content.

Do you have a camera or smartphone readily available at your workplace? You can capture more unexpected and entertaining moments, just by having a camera or phone close by you. Snap photos of employees in action, customers enjoying your products and special events.

capture unexpected moments with smartphone

Try adding a little humor to your captions. Then share these “real” moments on social media. You’ll help humanize your brand.

5) Participate actively.

Social media is not a one-way conversation.  It’s the place join conversations. You must show up and participate.

Picture yourself at a pool party. You wouldn’t just introduce yourself, pass out your business card and leave, would you?

Do you have a so-called “shiny new object” you could you bring to that party to spark a conversation? Whether it’s a corn hole game set, a quadcopter drone or a bottle of wine depends on your audience. Think of post on social media as great conversation starters, but not the whole conversation.

Social Media is not a One-Way Conversation

With social media, it’s important to also be interested in others. Leave comments on posts that inspire you. Share posts that you think would resonate with your followers. Retweet. People will respond.

6) Sign up for a newsletter.

You don’t have to be on social media every day. But if it’s out of sight, is it also out of mind? As business owners, posting to Facebook is not likely to be a top priority of each day.

And so Facebook begins to sit idly by.

Then after weeks of neglect, you finally check your page and realize that it looks different. You’re confused. You pause and stare at it for a moment, not sure where to start.

Social media has that annoying habit of constantly evolving to give its frequent users a better experience. But for business owners, who are not participating every day, it can be hard to keep up with those changes.

Consider setting up a subscription for a newsletter so the news about social media changes comes to you. Social media experts are the first ones to hear about changes, so receiving their newsletters will keep you informed as new updates are being released. 

Here are some great social media websites with newsletters subscriptions available:

If you’ve been thinking of social media as one big hassle, these simple fixes could change your whole outlook. Get inspired and involved. Grab your smartphone, capture an unexpected moment, find a “shiny new object” and then dive into social media.

6 Simple Ways to Stay Afloat with Social Media