Most people will either love social media or hate it – with the odd few thrown in who simply don’t ‘get it’.

But the problem is for those who hate or don’t ‘get it’, social media is here to stay and it will continue to grow. We’ve already seen Google join the party with Google+ so your days of keeping it at arms length are numbered.

It’s time to join in.

Personally I love it. Working as a freelance copywriter it has helped me not only gain new clients but its also enabled me to meet great people, boost my online exposure and find people to help me in my hour of need.

If you think to be effective you have to sit on Twitter or Facebook all day, you don’t. Having said that, an occasional look in when you feel like it won’t help either. You must have a regular presence but that doesn’t mean it has to rule your life.

What social media is all about

Have you ever been guilty of saying:

“I can’t see the point of Twitter”

“Why do I want to know what a complete stranger’s had for lunch?”

“It’s not as if anyone reads that stuff anyway.”

“None of my customers use it so why should I?”

The strange thing is, people view social media as some sort of ‘new age’ passing fad and yet it’s just traditional networking that is carried out online. It makes people more accessible so you can actually get to speak with those people who normally hide behind a wall of stern secretaries.

It’s a social activity so it’s just about chatting, building relationships and being interested in other people – just like face to face networking. The only difference is you don’t have to get into your car and drive to an event (which in itself is a God send considering the price of petrol these days).

What’s there not to get?

If you’re an avid face to face networker all you have to do is transfer those skills to the online community. You already know that a sales pitch never goes down well at networking events so you’ll know that’s not how to conduct yourself on social media either.

Build a strategy

Just as with traditional networking, you won’t get results overnight. You have to devise a long term strategy that’s right for your business.

If you decide to blog you’ll need a plan, lots of ideas and a blogging schedule. When you start to tweet you must build time into your day and make it part of your routine if you want it to be effective.

Becoming part of the growing online community is a great way of getting your business known. Be generous with your information, have conversations, ask and answer questions – by participating and engaging you will draw people to you and start to see results.

Over to you

Have you started using social media? If so leave a comment and tell us how you’re getting on.

Perhaps you’re still resisting – what’s stopping you from joining in?

Leave a comment below and let’s start a conversation.