Theodore looks like many feel when first exploring social media platforms.

Getting started on social media?

When you’re working to promote your services, product or cause, spark conversation and build relationships on social media – deciding which platforms to use and HOW to use them can leave a person dazed.

A million (intentional exaggeration) tabs open, notes taken, hastily created profiles and/or pages, gasping for air, chest tight, panicking because you think you need to be everywhere RIGHT NOW – you’ve found yourself on a path to nowhere.

I’m a big fan of diving in, doing, testing and trying things out. You have to start somewhere! But you don’t need to start EVERYWHERE.

When you try to be everywhere at once, try to be everything to all people, try to get your business, service or non-profit on every platform as quickly as possible – you’re inviting frustration and stress.

Each social media platform has a purpose. Each has its own set of written and unwritten best practices. And as soon as you get a handle on them – they change!

So – what’s a small business, freelancer or non-profit to do?

Take a breath. Step away. Reboot. Clear your head (and close those tabs) of the clutter. Go for a walk. Look at the clouds. Climb a tree.

Lessons-from-maurice
This is Maurice, one of my many tree friends on our homestead.

Take a little time to think about your goals. Think about where the people you want to reach likely spend their time. Think about how much time YOU can realistically devote to social media marketing. Choose a few platforms. Create a plan. Act on it.

Once you’ve answered the above questions, how do you choose and where do you start?

A search for “social media platforms 2018”, returns page after page of results on the subject. There are so many excellent (as well as super crappy) articles, infographics and studies available once again leaving you overwhelmed and dazed.

Theodore Leto the puppy looking dazed
Theodore Leto, our furbaby.

To help you narrow it down get started on your journey, a few of my personal favorite websites with blogs on the topic include Social Media Today, Buffer, Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to Social Media and – specifically for my non-profit friends – John Haydon.

Take a breath, set aside some time, start exploring, be selective, create a plan, take a breath then act, create, publish, analyze, adjust, repeat.

What’s my opinion on the topic based on? Expertise of course. Also known as “Been there. Done that.” 😊

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