There is a time when everyone is terrified of social media. If you are just getting started, don’t be afraid to start slow. It is probably something new to you. There will be a lot of things you don’t understand, and things you need to learn before putting your voice out for the world to see.
The problem with social media is that is whatever you put out on the internet can be seen by anyone at any given point in time. If I were to put a positive spin on it though, people have short term memory. It is good to start slow and learn from others. Don’t be afraid of social media. It is an incredible engine and the best way to spread a message globally.
Social Media is everything from a personal blog, a tweet, a Facebook post, a picture on Instagram, a pin on Pinterest or your bio on LinkedIn. Where do you even start? If you aren’t active on social media, the chances are you want your life to be personal. Is that actually a reality though?
I wrote a post earlier this year discussing social media and if people want to find you, they will. I stand by that statement.
If I were starting today and jumping into the deep dark blue sea into the world of the internet, I would be an observer first. The great thing about social media is it can be whatever you want it to be. For me, I am passionate about HR. I talk HR & recruiting all day long. I write about it. I read about it. I follow people that have something interesting to say or share about HR. Others may have an interest outside of HR. You may enjoy sports, travel, music, cooking, weather,or even night life. You may even have a multitude of interests.
Some people call it “social media stalking.” Watching others behaviors will teach you a great deal. Some people are elegant on social media, while others still have a lot to learn. I am still floored about the audacity of some of the comments people make to one another. Social media is communication. Don’t ever say something that you wouldn’t say to someone’s face.
It is scary thinking about putting professional and personal life together on social media, but it is done all of the time. If you are going to do it this way though, start small and then go bold. I personally do it all of the time. Three years ago, I would have never dreamed I would have considered mixing the two.
Tweeting and retweeting is a good way to have people follow you, and you aren’t providing your own content. If you are on Pinterest, pin other’s pins. If you are on LinkedIn, “like” others updates. You will be amazed at how many people appreciate that you have shared their content and without realizing it you are beginning to build your social media presence.
Social Media is all about “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.” It takes a lot of time to build a loyal following. It doesn’t happen quickly. A mentor told me once “it is a slow sloth.”
If you are serious about increasing your awareness on social media, you need to think about it as a marathon, not a sprint. In future blogs I will discuss how to build a following, but for now, observe and share.
First things first, find out who YOU WANT to follow, what interests you and how it can help you in your career or personal life. Once you figure out that, then we can talk about what the next steps are in your social media growth.
Take baby steps. It will get you a lot further in the long run. Trust me.