Ok, so I’m not saying that being great at Social Media is easy. It isn’t. It’s a TON of work.

But if you run a business, and it seems completely overwhelming to know WHAT to do, step into your follower’s shoes.

In fact, before you even do that, step into your own shoes as a user.

Think about the way you use social. That’s how you get good at it.

You don’t? Ok, we have a problem. Start.

Seriously, there’s no way you can expect to do anything decent on social media if you don’t personally understand it. And there’s so much business risk to your future if you don’t that you need to stop making excuses and start doing it right now.

Spend time on it, get good at just being a normal human being connecting on it – especially on networks where you think your business should be.

Oh, but it’s too hard and too confusing or you don’t have the time for it? 90 year old grandmas are using Facebook. I’m sure you can figure it out. Yes, it takes time, but you absolutely have to if you want to survive.

Or throw out everything I’ve said and find someone who is really, really good (not just decent because you’re going to have to trust your business to them) and let them do it. But you have to give them complete control and teach them about YOUR business.

Back on topic.

1. Clarify the Moment

Being great at social media is all about understanding the exact moment of when someone will do what you want them to and working back from there.

What I mean by that is you absolutely have to have a desired action that you want someone to do when they see your post (assuming you have a decent message/content to post to begin with).

And it can’t be get in the car and drive down to your store.

Or it can be, but the chances are that you’ll need to have an offer so good that it’ll cost you more money than it’s worth (which is actually a viable strategy – just part of a larger one).

But you need to think, “What exactly do I want them to do the second after reading my post?”.

Is it comment back, click a link to learn more about what I’ve said, or share it with other people?

Whatever it is, clarify that in your mind, then visualize that person scrolling through their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (after today this should actually go second in my list), LinkedIn, or whatever social network, and decide on exactly what you want them to do in that moment.

2. Think About What it Will Take

Here’s where you put your own understanding of social media to good use.

If you want someone to re-tweet your tweet, you better have a tweet that’s worth re-tweeting.

It seems so obvious but it’s amazing how many boring, awfully-written, or salesy tweets that get put out there with the hopes that they’ll go viral.

It doesn’t work that way.

I don’t share stuff that isn’t entertaining or useful and makes me look better for sharing it.

Sounds narcissistic but that’s what social media is about and that’s what you can take advantage of.

What’s in it for me?

You have to think about what you’ll need to say that is going to be so good that people want to share it, click it, comment on it, or do whatever it is that you visualized them doing so that it adds something to their life.

What’s the thing that’s going to be the tipping point?

Put yourself in your own shoes as a user in a completely different business and think about what’s pushed you to do the same. Then think about people that aren’t just like you and think about what’s going to push them.

Get a clear, clear picture of what it’s going to take to get them to do it. Then realize that it’s a guess at best, but a good one, and a great place to start.

3. Make an Awesome Post

You know exactly what you want them to do and have a great idea of what you need to do in order to get them to do it.

Now comes the execution.

As mentioned earlier, you’re already an active user on whatever network it is that you’re going to push out the content on so you know how people talk and have seen businesses be lame when they push stuff out or share stuff.

You’re not going to be like them.

You’re going to be like you.

You’re going to write the post with the content it needs in a way that is simple, entertaining, but straight to the point, and in your own style that would get you to click on something.

It’s not out-of-character, all full of caps, or misleading. It’s authentic, but creative. Not creative? Just use real-people language and you’ll be light years ahead of so many.

4. Analyze, Rinse, Repeat

If you’ve done those three things mentioned above, you’re going to start putting out not just good content, but it’s going to get more effective every time you do it.

See how it does, try new things, keep visualizing, get feedback from people you know, refine it, and just keep doing it.

You’ll be awesome in no time and won’t have to think about it nearly as much.

photo credit: Bert Kaufmann via photopin cc