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Last year (2021), I remember a series of striking conversations with several awesome folks on LinkedIn.

What started off as a simple response to one comment on LinkedIn led to a series of conversations with several folks on LinkedIn (almost all of them were strangers). 

I got pumped. I was motivated. I was moved. I was so overwhelmed with no-holds-barred support I got.

I’ve been on social media for several years but I’ve never seen that kind of support pouring in for an absolute stranger who nobody absolutely knew about.

That changed my perspective completely. I am now convinced that most of us get it all wrong with social media. Sure, there are ways to get traffic from social media.

Any of the social platforms can work out to be great for social proof, branding, generating leads, and making sales. 

Talk to freelancers, agencies, in-house social  media specialists, and you will hear that social media is a great way to promote your business. 

That’s where the problem lies.

The word promotion implies that you keep pushing people to take notice of your products, services on your brand. 

Today we are going to take a few steps back and try to think about how social media is truly meant to be the way it should have been.

Social media is not “media” in the typical sense. 

By that, I mean that is not something that you passively consume —  the way you do it with magazines, books and newspapers.

Opinions are worth nothing. Just connect, use, and distribute

What you personally think about a particular social media platform has absolutely got nothing to do with your business. You might prefer LinkedIn and not Facebook.

You might like Twitter and not LinkedIn. You might have decided to go big on video and hence use YouTube, but you may not really be into TikTok.

Guess what? It doesn’t matter what you think about any social media platform in particular. 

Your business requires content distribution. Some social media platforms do better with exposure and distribution than others do, depending on the topics you create. 

Further, there’s almost always a significant overlap of users of one platform spilling over into another. 

For instance, a single user might be on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Facebook at the same time. 

Use Analytics to Determine social platforms for your business

As you engage with people, share and distribute your content, and connect with people across the board all over social media platforms, eventually you will get to know what social media platforms are getting you results. 

Reminder: When I say results, I mean “business results” – like leads and sales. Not how viral your posts are, the number of your followers, and anything else of that sort. 

When you identify what social media networks are working great for your business, that’s when you start doubling down your efforts on that particular social media network maybe with an addition of one or two other social media networks. 

Schedule & Manage Social Content

As a business owner, you can’t possibly be using social media all day long. There has to be a better way to help you manage and distribute your content across social media networks throughout the day. 

On top of this, I would also have to have a way to login and check for comments and likes and respond to other people trying to connect with you and share your content for you. The best way to do that is to actually use social media scheduling tools and there are plenty in the market.

You could use HooSuite or Buffer. Or maybe use SEMrush social media scheduling tool for free

You pick your tools, and there are many. Even when you distribute content using scheduling tools, be sure to format posts native to social platforms. Instagram requires you to add captions and hashtags, for instance. 

Allocate time to quickly login and respond to any comments, follows, and likes. 

Social Media Is for People, Connections, Leads 

Some of the best lessons in life come from other people. Others can teach, inspire, drop ideas into your head, validate existing ideas, give you that nudge you need occasionally, and help you steer the often turbulent waters of entrepreneurship. 

Use social media for connections, building connections, learning from others, connecting with others, and to expand your share of sphere of influence. 

Collectively, social media is Incredible power sharing and distributing your content, letting others find you, allowing others to comment and connect with your brand, and a way to open window communication with the rest of the world.

Stay away from Social Media Vanity

Almost everyone falls into the firm (and alluring) grip of vanity. There’s something very gripping about doing social media for the sheer lure of chasing things like followers, likes, shares, retweets, subscribers, or comments. 

Some people even use full-fledged analytics to help backup their need for knowing all of the analytics and metrics about these. 

Don’t get me wrong, these are great and people should be keeping track of their analytics and that’s not what I’m against. I am against people treating social media metrics (all of the above) as their “business” instead of focusing on their actual “business”.

Business, by itself, is boring — it’s certainly not as exciting as the adrenaline kick you get when your content performs well on social media channels. 

It’s understandable as to why social media (any platform) can feed your ego for life. 

Just a reminder again: social media is not your business itself; it’s a way to grow your following, expand the sphere of your influence, get you traffic and generate leads. 

How are you going to use social media network for the benefit of your business?

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