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Shedding the shell: confidence is essential when starting out in social media

It’s taken as read that everyone has confidence in their new product or service when starting up; it’s a given that you’ll need to be confident whenever you meet someone and tell them about your business.  What often comes as a bit more of a surprise though is finding that you need confidence on your social media platforms and that it can sometimes feel, well, a little unnatural and alien.  First of all managing your online business presence can be an altogether different ball game from running personal social media accounts. The responsibility of getting a message across clearly, creating the right impression and showing the personality of a business can make us retreat into our shells.  As a generally outgoing person and regular twitter user I was surprised to find myself struck by bouts of shyness when it came to putting our business out there.  But effective social media can be pivotal to a new business so you can’t fall into this trap.  You need to feel at ease in order to come out of your shell.

First of all remind yourself why social media platforms are so pivotal.  When networking and social media are used effectively, you are utilising free sources of promotion.  In a previous blog post we pointed out how one tweet can ruin a business and in turn one good tweet can make a business but what’s more likely is that 100 good tweets or Facebook posts will be able to create a continued success.  What a business starting out needs to know is how to use those platforms correctly.

To effectively communicate in social media environments it’s important to be relaxed.  These are spaces to open up conversations about your business, so engage with people.  It’s important to do this in the right way, keep the tone friendly and informal and don’t be afraid to show off the personalities that make your business unique.  You don’t want to have to explain your company over and over, so have a clear profile.  It’s also important to work ahead of time to be able to put across what your business is succinctly so that you are free to engage enthusiastically without bogging yourself down in long-winded speeches.

We will go on to look at customer service in more detail in future posts, but in social media you have a direct, frontline platform to show your customer service skills.  Look at how other people use the platform and mimic the style.  You can and should be conversational in spaces like Facebook, but your company’s Likedin profile would seem strange if full of emojis.  Work with the limitations you’re presented with too, not against them.  Twitter restricts you to 120 characters, which breeds a temptation to link to external sources.  This is fine, but use links sparingly.  Instead find a way to make your message more concise.  They’ve just given you a chance to work on a great elevator pitch and make your message clearer.

Social Media provides a great place for you to build confidence in talking about your business.  It helps you with your customer service, networking and building business communities, which we will talk about at a later date.  Don’t hide from your customer base, let them get to know you. Shed the shell and get out there.

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