Congratulations, you’ve swallowed the cool aid and you’ve decided to take your business “Social” (PS – by the way a very good move on your part!) but now what???

Being social naturally means you’ll be having all kinds of wonderful digital conversations with a large variety people – all of whom are hugely motivated to buy from you – why didn’t you do this sooner! But not so fast, as you quickly realized about a second after this great revelation, you’ve never been digitally social, you have no idea what to say and most importantly you have no interest in embarrassing yourself thereby diminishing your own business prospects. Social Media Anxiety at its finest!

Now relax. It’s all going to be okay – after all, you’re about to go social….

Much of the mystery surrounding social media really boils down to you offering something relevant that can be added to the conversation. Now as you’re usually also the one starting the conversation (at least in the beginning of your social media experience) you also have to make sure that the conversations you’re starting are relevant and meaningful to the people who you are going to be conversing with. That is not a revelation – much like in real life this simple fact holds true on the digital plane as well.

Now here is a real revelation – one of the richest places for you to find source material for relevant conversations is to start by being “in person” social with customers – ask them what they might be interested in hearing about. By doing so you’re not only investing them in your business but now you’re also investing them in the success of your business and your social media strategy – they’ll be among your first followers and likely if you’re providing relevant information they’ll also be among your loudest advocates in the social media plane. Not only that but in taking advantage of this opportunity you are also providing yourself an added benefit of getting direct customer feedback to help you elevate your own business – likely these people know a thing or two….

Naturally in addition to the benefits and insights gained from conversations with your customers, being the expert on your business you’ll also want to rely heavily on your own expertise – likely if you think it’s interesting others will also agree. Also, now that you’ve gone social you might (strongly suggest you do) want to avail yourself to the numerous blogs out there that are all about how best to conduct your social media campaign. Lastly, for some businesses, bringing in a consulting to help manage this flow can be a great benefit, allowing you to continue to concentrate on the core offering of your business while allowing business’s communication channels the opportunity to grow.

Regardless of the strategy you employ, always measure what is happening. This will allow you to get a sense of what areas seem to generate the most heat, allowing you to continually refine your social media strategy to the benefit of both you and your customers.

This article was also published in my LA Online Marketing Examiner Column.