The next ten posts will be part of the Top Ten Tips series put on by SCORE.  SCORE is a great organization dedicated to setting small business owners up for success.  I’m so honored to be part of their board and kicking off the Top Ten Tips series.  Here we go.

For something that has only been in existence in the last ten years; social media has gotten a lot of press.  It has also grown in complexity as it has gone from a place for friends to get together to something companies develop entire strategies around.  This can be quite daunting.  When I put these three facts together: young, complex, daunting; it reminds me of a particular time in my life.  It’s called high school.  So we’re going to have some fun with this by connecting social media with high school.  My first tip is:

1.  Do now what works now.


BoredI don’t know about you, but I had a really hard time being motivated in high school.  When my parents would talk to me about this; I always had the same answer.  “Why should I have to do this?  I’m never going to use it.”  Does that sound familiar to anyone else?  Some of us felt our time would be better spent working on our pitching because after all, we just knew we were destined to become major league baseball stars.

Some people feel the same way about social media.  They believe that social media is just a fad and that it will be replaced with something else that will be replaced with something else.  Why put any effort into learning something that isn’t going to be around forever? However, we don’t let this kind of thinking permeate most other areas of our lives and so it shouldn’t necessarily be applied to social media either.

Currently there is over 1 billion people engaged in social media and a projected $5.9 billion to be spent on social media advertising1 it is not likely going anywhere soon, but yes, eventually it will.  Here’s the thing though:  That’s okay.  It doesn’t mean that it should be avoided.  What is working now should be utilized now.  Sure we don’t remember some of the things we learned in high school, but the tests we took and the papers we wrote were crucial to graduating high school. Temporary yes, but still important.

Here’s another way to look at it. It would be silly to think that just because one day we will be watching holograms instead of TV; that we should abandon TV or refuse to get caught up in it.  Use social media now because it works now.  81% of people are more likely to purchase a product because a friend recommends it2.  Social Media is a loud speaker for people to recommend products and services to their friends. Most likely they are already talking about your company. The question is do you want to be a part of the conversation.

12013 Projected Spending
2Friend’s Recommendations