Building an active online presence is crucial to have a successful social media strategy in 2023
Hey Small Biz Owner! Let's talk about why social media is important for your business and how to overcome your social anxiety with some tools I've retained over the years to coach clients and overcome my own insecurities!
If you haven't been here before my name is Hannah and I'm your local small business social media enthusiast! Let's get to it - SMM (social media marketing) is a CRITICAL component in the success of your marketing goals and while many small business owners recognize the platform’s potential for business growth, they are afraid to put themselves out there.
Do any of these phrases sound familiar to you when it comes to going live, creating content, taking photos for your business, or posting on your social media accounts?
“I'm not good in front of a camera.” “I don't take good photos.”
“My space isn’t aesthetic enough.”
“I'm worried I'll sound/look silly.” “I suck at social media”
I guarantee you are doing better than you think and no one is judging your harder than you are judging yourself!
This week I'm skipping over the tips and tricks on how to grow your business online or how to hack consumer psychology and jumping straight to my soapbox to preach about how great you are.
Before Moving Forward Take a Moment to Reflect
Why does the thought of being seen on social media intimidate you? Here are some common fears of the socially anxious business owner
Fear of the Unknown: not knowing if you or what you have to say will be well received when you put yourself/your business out there.
Fear of Judgment: as much as we strive to “not care what others think” deep down most of us do in fact care; especially if we are trying to win a customer base.
Fear of Change: we sometimes worry that if we change things up we could go from treading water to looking like a fish out of water with our online presence.
Fear of Failure: the possibility of failure can stop us in our tracks from taking any action at all; leaving our digital assets to collect dust (which is the real failure).
Tool #1: Get a Fresh Perspective On The Situation
Research shows that social anxiety comes from focusing inwardly too much, check out this quote from the National Library of Medicine
"Socially anxious individuals tend to shift their attention away from external socially threatening cues and instead become highly self-focused. Such heightened self-focused attention has been suggested to be involved in the development and maintenance of social anxiety disorder." - Stephanie Boehme
So stop criticizing yourself! Social anxiety causes us to monitor how we’re coming across 24/7 and to assume the worst when an ambiguous comment is made about us, our business, or when our content doesn't get a lot of engagement.
The truth is (unless it's something outrageously controversial in which case you'll know by the immediate trolling) you either posted at the wrong time and it got buried in the abundance of content being produced by your social network or you simply don't have an engaged audience because you don't post.
Post your content and don't give it a second thought - instead, try to focus more on what other businesses are doing and see if you can't learn something from them!
DO NOT go back and check how many people have liked or watched your post/reel/whatever.
Tool #2: Stop Comparing Apples and Oranges!
I'll be the first to say it! It is SO easy to fall into the cycle of comparing myself to others – how they present themselves, how popular they/their brand seems to be, or seeing something they're doing better than me and second-guessing my own instincts and strategy. When we compare ourselves to people who we think are doing better than us, it can have a long-lasting and damaging impact on our self-esteem (meaning it’s worth avoiding if you can).
If you find yourself spending a lot of time comparing yourself to others, stop and try to recognize what you’re doing and ask yourself: is this helping me? Is this a fair comparison? Am I seeing the whole picture? The answer is more than likely no!
Tool #3: What Would You Tell A Friend?
If negative thoughts are holding you back from putting you/your business out there on social media, here is my FAVORITE piece of advice - ask yourself ‘What would I tell a friend who had the same concern?’.
Odds are, you would encourage them to just do it!
It’s easy to scroll endlessly through social media: not posting anything, ignoring messages, and feeling anxious but rather than doing that, try to take part and share a little more of yourself with others.
If you never post anything, try:
Sharing someone else's post to start with.
Haven’t updated customers in a while? write a quick update.
Don't have many page likes? try inviting some of your friends to follow your page.
Posting on social media when you aren’t used to doing it can feel like you are standing in the middle of a busy street yelling through a megaphone but in reality, it’s more like you are whispering something to a loud crowd. So don’t overthink your posts or messages and try not to read too much into the responses you get (or don't get)!
We all have fears and insecurities but how we choose to overcome them is what matters. Recognizing and understanding yourself is the first step toward connecting with your audience!
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