Some say to just dive in and start using social media. Some say to have a “strategy” before you get started. And as with most things, the best answer is: It Depends.
It depends on you and:
- What are your goals?
- How comfortable are you with the Internet (and a computer)?
- Who is your intended audience (and what’s important to them)?
- When will you work on social media matters? How much time will you invest?
- Why are you going to start using social media for your business?
The great thing is, you don’t “have to” answer these questions before getting started. I’m all for diving in for two weeks or so. Shortly after that, you should develop a plan.
I once approached a golf coach for lessons. I wanted to play golf better. I’d been out on a course a few times…but when I was a teen, not as an adult. Growing up in Pebble Beach, we would often sneak on for a few holes near dusk – but rarely a full 18 holes – and many times just a few irons at Peter Hay.
When the golf coach found that I hadn’t played a full course in a dozen years, he told me to go play a few rounds and then come back. Maybe then we could get started.
I didn’t end up getting the coaching, but not because I didn’t need it – I found that golf wasn’t my game (time, expense, a wicked slice – but mostly time). I went back to him to ask why he told me to “dive in” first.
It was a litmus test, wasn’t it? Yes. He said both of us needed to find out:
- my motivation (the why),
- my coachability (would I follow his instruction),
- who I was doing it for (for me or my peers)
But he also said something that has stuck with me …
Developing bad muscle memory and making mistakes motivates learning good muscle memory and successful habits.
So when it comes to “diving in” with social media – I believe you can do it. And I encourage you to give it a go. If you have an idea of the Who, What, and Why – you’ll do fantastic. Build your Social Media muscles (good or bad).
Either way, eventually … you will want to develop a social media strategy or plan. Look, you don’t go on a trip without having a plan of where and when we’re going and how we’re going to get there.
If you get motivated by your experience of “diving in” to seek some tips – there are plenty of blogs and books and Twitter chats — and if its right for you, some great social media coaches out there.