To start small business owners must first realize that anything you do within the social media space requires 100% dedication from YOU and careful planning. Learn from the mistakes of others. Despite it’s rapid growth social media is still in its infancy. If you are considering venturing into the social media space there are a few experiences I will share with you with the hope that you will learn from them.

If you have already created a Facebook Fan Page because everyone else is doing it, fine, but remember it doesn’t matter how many ‘likes’ or fans you have – it’s the quality and engagement of all the people who ‘like’ your page. OK now lets take a step back. Regardless if you have a social media presence ask yourself, why am I dedicating the time? What is my purpose for having a ______ (Facebook Fan Page, Twitter handle, blog etc.).  You really need to examine and then re-examine your current business model because social media whether you like it or not will be a responsibility for all your employees at one time or another and it’s your job to make sure they’re prepared to answer the question or respond to a comment.

In summary, before YOU create and start posting to your social account (Facebook Page, Twitter handle, Blog) take a step back and understand your reasoning for jumping in. Set micro goals for you (and your employees) to achieve on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis. Remember social media take time, so be patient, don’t rush to have a social presence if you don’t know why you want one.

Finally, as a small business owner, don’t think that you won’t have to dedicate any of your time to writing and updating content. It’s all about YOUR experience and people have formed a relationship with you over time. They will listen to you if you write and share your experience. Your minimum requirement is to update your company blog weekly (minimum!). Don’t try and hire a virtual assistant because it is NOT effective. You can’t just hand off social media to someone and expect them to do a good job. What if they don’t know anything about your industry, products, or services? Now what? This is why YOU the person with the experience needs to be writing the blog posts and educating consumers. This will convey your committed and openly passionate about your business.

As always please share you experiences in the comment section below!

Follow me on twitter: @aftranch