If you haven’t jumped into the world of social media, the thought of doing so can seem intimidating. Like walking up stairs in the dark or jumping into a lake you can’t see the bottom of. You can creep to the edge and look over for ages but until you leap, you won’t really know what’s down there.

So here are some tips to keep in mind when venturing into the intimidating social media sphere.

Social media should entertain and educate

Unlike other methods of communication, social media should not be strictly confined to cold informational messaging. If it was, you'd be unlikely to see much engagement, which is the thing you’re aiming for.

Social media should generally have a casual tone and make people feel comfortable starting a conversation with you — of course exceptions do exist. Keep your brand in mind when deciding on a social media voice and make sure that voice is consistent with all your other marketing.

By mixing entertainment and education you are doing what children’s programming mastered decades ago. You are providing valuable information in a way that makes people want to keep coming back.

Develop relationships with your audience

With social media, there is no wall between you and your audience. They can immediately respond to your messaging. With other mediums like television, radio, or print there is a gap between your message and their reaction. You don’t have the immediacy that builds relationships.

This means you’re going to get responses at all times of the day. Make sure you can handle these responses, especially if it’s negative feedback. Handling negative feedback allows you to show other audience members how you respond in these situations. It builds trust with them because they know you will be there to help them if needed.

By building this trust you create a group of followers willing to have your back and support you. And there is nothing better than that for a brand.

Create a social media plan

Creating a plan gives you a road map to work with. Knowing where you are going and how you get there will add more confidence than you realize. It’s like taking a weekend drive. Sure, driving without a map can seem freeing at first but eventually you need to get somewhere.

Your plan doesn’t have to be set in stone. It will likely change and evolve, but having a foundation to work with will make your social media use more efficient.

Keep your goal in mind

If you know what your goal is at the beginning, your efforts are going to go further. By focusing on your goal you can track relevant metrics and adjust to benefit that goal. Video posts getting more engagement than anything else? Make more videos. Behind the scenes photos of your team getting a higher reach? Post more about your operations. 

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all offer ways to view data. Utilizing it and you’ll see some major benefits. Yes, data can also be intimidating. But knowing what your goal is, will allow you to focus on the metrics that matter and ignore the vanity metrics.

Ask for help

You can also hire a social media expert to help you through the process. It’s always good to ask for help when you need it and there are people out there more than happy to help you… like us! Things are always less scary with friends.