One very real conundrum for entrepreneurs who are starting a business is that they have to be active on social media to keep up their presence on the internet, but don't always feel they have time to keep their accounts updated.
Then there are those of us who didn't grow up with social media and who just aren't that comfortable with tossing out pithy one-liners on Twitter or sharing our thoughts in almost real-time on Facebook.
We are the social media unsavvy.
But, if you disappear from social media, your business might as well not even exist, so you still have to keep those accounts alive and engaging. The most obvious solution is to hire a person specifically to do it for you, but aside from an additional cost to a young startup, putting your social media -- the most direct line of communication you have with your audience -- in the hands of a third party is not a good idea.
Here are seven ways you can keep those accounts active even when you are a social media wallflower.
1. Keep an ongoing business journal.
As you start your business, you will have to take multiple steps on your entrepreneurial journey. From setting up a website to finding a location (if yours is a brick and mortar business) to getting any necessary permits or signing official documents, these are all things that your audience would be interested to hear about in your startup journey. Although you would obviously want to be careful not to share confidential information, each step would give you something exciting to post without putting a ton of thought into it.
2. Create value for others.
Sharing quotes is a time-honored social media tradition (bonus points if the quotes are accurate and properly attributed). As you read books and articles, watch TV and movies or listen to music and podcasts, any lines that catch your attention -- as long as they're appropriate for a business audience -- can be shared on your social media.
If you aren't, you definitely should be reading about a variety of subjects. Share some of the things you recently read that resonate with you. Good points, quotes, deep thoughts or tips that create value for your followers are all good sources of social media content. Just remember to give credit where it's due and cite your sources.
3. Spread the love.
Check what is going on with your favorite businesses and service providers, whether they're just personal favorites or you work with them for your business. Talk about what they are doing, what news they have to share, and spread some love. You may even get some in return.
4. Ask for help.
We all have that one friend who is posting and sharing stuff on social media all the time. They're all over your Facebook feed, they're shooting out quips on Twitter and posting amazing photos on Instagram. You need to corner this friend. Ask them or anyone else you know who is a natural at social media for some tips and suggestions.
Your own followers can be a source of content, too. Ask them simple questions or ask for their opinions on things and they'll often respond to you. Not only do you get content this way, you get to connect with your followers (which is kind of the whole point).
5. Spread some positivity.
To put it mildly, there is a lot of negativity on the internet. You might as well share and post about the positive things you see throughout your day to keep your little corner of the internet a bright little place full of positive energy. It doesn't hurt anyone and it may even help some of your followers.
6. Cheat a little bit.
This type of "cheating" is simply posting some cat or dog pictures. Use some other cute animals if you feel creative. Probably less than 1% of the population doesn't like either cats or dogs, so they're a pretty safe bet when you don't have anything else to post.
Obviously you can't overdo it with the cat and dog pics, but if you are stuck for something to post, take a photo of your pet at your work, using your products or doing something cute and put it up and wait for the "aww" to come flowing in.
7. Be a fortunate cookie monster.
And, last and most definitely least, if you are the rare entrepreneur who doesn't read, watch or listen to anything and who hates journaling, who never goes outside and who has no friends, family, pets or positivity, you can always just buy a bag of fortune cookies and post whatever those little slips of paper say. (The side with the words, not the numbers.)
If social media isn't your forte, I hope these seven tips will help you keep your social media accounts active and connected to your audience. They're quick and easy and if you use a social media service to post to multiple accounts at once, you'll see that social media doesn't have to take up a huge chunk of your time.