Dipping Toes in the Social Media Pool: 4 Simple Steps

Ah yes. Social Media.

If you’re reading this I assume you’ve moved past: “Twitter? Too much noise. I don’t care about Kim Kardashian” and “Facebook? That’s for people who want to relive high school.”

You may be skeptical but you’re starting to realize this relatively new form of sharing information and knowledge might actually be useful to your business and/or your career.

There’s a part of you that wants to join the conversation, find people with similar interests, network in your field and/or get smarter around some of the social media tools.

There’s also a part of you that thinks, I don’t have time for this $#%&.

You’ve heard of automobiles, television, email, smartphones? Many a’people stood with arms crossed over their face when those bad boys were introduced. Similarly, social media isn’t going anywhere. You might as well join us.

Here are some suggestions for getting started:

  1. What’s your goal? Professional connections? Brand exposure? A view into your competitors? Before you do anything else, determine what you want out of social media.
  2. Choose 1-3 platforms to start. Don’t go bananas and try to master Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, Storify, WordPress and Instagram in 2 days. Pick one or two platforms that will help you achieve your goal.
  3. Sign up. Get yourself a username and password. Upload a picture (of you. Not of your cat or your 1st grader). Complete your profile. If you have a smartphone, download the app(s) onto your mobile device. Spend the time creating a brand that looks and sounds appealing.
  4. Watch and listen. Conversation is at the heart of social media. To converse, you must listen. Start by following or subscribing to users in your interest area. Watch what they do. How do they engage? What do they include in their profile/bio? What type of content do they post? Don’t worry about your number of followers, likes, pins, etc. Your job right now is to observe.

And that’s it. For now.

I’ll lay out the next set of tips in my next post.

Until then, play around. Feel the water.


Marta Steele is a Partner at PeopleResults. You can reach her on Twitter @MartaSteele.