social media fearsBy Yvette Pistorio

I recently came across an infographic about getting past your social media fears, which brought back memories.

I remember when I signed up for Twitter. I had heard of it, but didn’t really understand what the point was.

So, I became a lurker – I wanted to figure this thing out because everyone was raving about it. Slowly I began to tweet, but diving right in was the key to really get the hang of it.

A couple of years later, I became a social media manager. While I used social media personally, I was scared to use it as a brand.

It’s one thing to post a joke, a funny blog post, or share an image from a trip I took with family and friends online – they know me, my personality, my quirks – but it’s another thing to use social for a business.

When managing a business account, I was terrified to hit “tweet” or “post.”

Would my company’s fans and followers like what I shared? Would they get my jokes? Would they think I was funny? Or would they say, “Oh, poor thing is clueless.”  What if I said the wrong thing? What if someone left a negative comment about my company? Or even worse, about me?

Common Social Media Fears

The infographic from American Express OPEN shares some common fears and tips on how to get over them. These are exactly the fears I had when started – and to be honest, I still get a little scared.

Then someone from my team says, “Get a hold of yourself, Yvette!” And I snap out of it.

“I don’t know what my ‘voice’ should be.”

Of course you should be professional – no cuss words or inappropriate images – but don’t be a corporate robot. Just be human.

The way I approach doing social for a company is to put myself in the community’s shoes. How would I like to be approached?

Just make sure your voice and opinions align with your company’s values.

“I don’t know what to share.”

If you really don’t know what to say, just ask! It’s amazing what a simple, “What do you want to see here?” will garner from your community.

They will let you know – and if they don’t like something you post, they’ll let you know that too.

Aside from asking your community what to share, there are a few things that you can do:

  • Use the 80/20 rule in social media (80 percent about someone else and 20 percent about you);
  • Ask questions and reply to comments;
  • Share your own content – it could be blog posts, ebooks, case studies, tutorials, market reports, and so on; and
  • Share informative articles, videos, and images relevant to your industry.

If you’re wondering which pieces of content to share, consider this: If you think it’s interesting, it’s likely your community will find it interesting as well.

Then, track and measure your efforts until you have a good feel of what types of content your community enjoys.

“What if someone says something negative about my company?”

To be a community manager, you need thick skin. You can’t please everyone, and people will say negative things about you. Accept that and have a plan in place when the time does come where someone says something negative about your brand.

Show off your fantastic customer service and use the negative comment in a positive way – “customer feedback, even if it’s negative, is invaluable for your company’s growth,” according to the infographic. I agree.

At some point, you have to rip off the Band-Aid. And guess what? It’s not that scary. You will make mistakes – we all do, we’re human. But don’t let mistakes deter you from taking risks with your community.

What are/were some of your social media fears and how are you working to overcome them?

Yvette Pistorio

Yvette Pistorio is the shared media manager for Arment Dietrich. She is a lover of pop culture, cupcakes, and HGTV, and enjoys a good laugh. There are a gazillion ways you can find her online.

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