Social media can be daunting. One might hear news stories about something going wrong because a person posted something that had serious repercussions. So I could see people having some apprehension about starting to participate in one social media platform or another. I’ve heard this sentiment periodically through all the years I’ve worked with social media. Well, I have some good news for you. I think there are many positive aspects of social, and that the best way to learn it is to just jump in and start.
Learn as You Go
Noone starts out knowing everything about any particular platform. Each has its unique audience, etiquette, and purpose. Plus everything changes constantly. One need only see the constant changes in Facebook to see that in action. Learning about and using any application is an ongoing process. Even those that work in social media constantly strive to keep up. With so many changes on so many platforms, it keeps us busy!
Bottom line: don’t expect to know everything at once. Learn as you go.
Test the Waters
Before going too far on any platform, I suggest just watching for a bit. As I mentioned, each platform has a different etiquette. It’s best to take it slow and watch how things work before joining in. Think of it this way. Visualize a person jumping into a pool doing a cannonball with the resultant splash dousing all those poolside. Then visualize a person putting a foot in the water to test the temperature or whatever and then slowly entering the pool. That’s a big difference. I suggest testing the waters first before jumping in and making a big splash. After you get to know the platform or conversations, just observe for a bit. Then absolutely, join in!
There has been much negative commentary and such on social media of late. Put all that aside and focus on the positive, fun aspects of social. It’s time to return to that and have some fun. Share your good stories, your photos, your thoughts, your exciting news, and whatever positive item you’d like to post.
Don’t be too nervous of what could go wrong. Just take your time to learn a platform and join the convo!
For other tips in this series, see the following post.