Beware of the gigantic social media time vortex.
15 tweets, 6 updates and 8 status messages later, you realize your whole day has disappeared! The lure of social media is hard to resist. Instant gratification, constant validation, and the illusion of productivity make the channel irresistible. It's also so easy! So you can understand why many first-time entrepreneurs, even without a product or customer, turn to the social media first. I was definitely guilty of this: before I had a concrete business idea, a paying customer, or a vision, I created 3 twitter accounts supporting my future business endeavors! What a waste of time, in retrospect.
The irony is that clients and a real business comes from value, trust and relationships, not necessarily “twoots and tweets” on the new social media site of the week. (With so many new social media sites popping up, it’s now even hard to keep track of them!) Reliable business comes from opt-in loyalists who honestly love your business and your value proposition. Of course, don’t ignore social media, but spamming groups asking for likes with irrelevant content doesn't make a sustainable business. Random fans, friends and followers who are not truly committed your brand will waste your time, and result in low engagement levels. And to spend so much time building a base on a third-party network can be dangerous as you can be a victim to their policies and fate. The popularity of current “hot” social media destination may be history before you even know it.
Nurture your fans instead of aiming for large social media numbers. Create some exclusive content and offers for them and show them some love. And (we've all been guilty of this), no need to post when there is nothing useful to say! Your loyal followers will understand. In the long run you'll have more time to dedicate quality to those real customers who love your work.
Are you guilty of falling into the social media trap? Tell us about it in the comments below...
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