Social Business - Knowing Where To Start

This is a guest post by Jeff Roach (@JeffRoach)

When you walk into a room full of people, what’s the first thing you do? For myself, my goal is to find people I might know and just say hello.  Yet, when it comes to social media, most businesses still don’t see social networks as a place to socialize but as mediums to broadcast, which is a very big and costly mistake. Some businesses even forget that social is about connecting with people. Many, determined to continue operating as they always have, shove their ad messages through social mediums that eventually end up detesting them.

So how can businesses avoid making the costly mistakes mentioned above? Here are two key principles to starting off right:

In the Beginning: Focus

If you’re new to social media, focus on one network and only pay attention to it for a little while. For example, Twitter is my favorite and where I’ve learned and continue to socialize with the most enjoyment. Try Google+, Linkedin, Twitter or even Facebook and get to know that one platform really well before you branch out.

Then, discover ways to reach those people and access the information you need on that one network before expanding to the others. If you try to learn all the social media platforms at once it can lead to frustration at some stage.

Those of us who've found a way to enjoy being online, while having success in growing our careers, have discovered friends and mentors to learn with. At Sociallogical (Disclaimer: I am the co-founder of Sociallogical), we've designed online courses which are based on this very concept of mentorship and learning from a small group that you can trust and grow with.

Learn to Listen First

Don’t worry about what to say. Instead, pay attention to what others say and connect with those people you want to get to know better. That’s the most important thing to do in the beginning and always.

Observe the lingo, the method of sharing and the type of content shared by those who YOU are drawn to and you’ll learn what others are likely drawn to.

A lot of this advice may sound familiar. And it should - it’s the advice your siblings, parents, and friends gave you when you were growing up. Nobody gets social media in the beginning and we need to relax and enjoy the learning process or it will always feel like work.

Note from Dave:

We are being overloaded with social tools, networks, content, tweets and updates. It's becoming the "white noise" in the background of what really matters, which are the conversations being had about our brand, our competitors, and our customers. We need to always remember these two basic principles that Jeff has shared with us and remember that the essence of being social is to listen, learn, and engage with others.

Where do you feel the focus should be placed when starting off in social business?

Guest post: Jeff Roach (@JeffRoach) is a strategic connector for businesses and is the founder of Sociallogical,, a consulting company that educates social-media-inclined business owners on strategic online connectivity tools and practices.