5 Core Social Media Principles

Build your social media foundation with these 5 core social media principles to get the most out of your social media efforts. Nail these down before you get to work on your social media plan and activities.

Don't even think about committing an act of social media on behalf of your business until you have mastered these 5 core social media principles!

Core Social Media Principle No. 1

Be clear on the problem you solve.

Do you know how to provide real value to people—and I mean value that people are willing to pay for? For example, if an idea doesn’t have a clear revenue model, you can’t find any competition and you’re not able to easily articulate the problem the idea is solving, it’s likely not worth moving ahead with.

If you want to cut down on your frustration and greatly increase your chance of success, follow this rule: when starting a business, choose an existing hungry market to serve.

Core Social Media Principle No. 2

Know your audience.

Who are you wanting to talk to? Who appreciates what you have to offer, and are willing to pay for your products or services because it solves a real need, or helps them reach an important goal? If you think everyone needs you, then nobody will want to talk to you. Get specific on your target audience. 

Core Social Media Principle No. 3

Understand your business model.

Learn your industry inside and out. Google to find the top people in your field. Read every article and interview you can about the key players, industry trends and pitfalls to watch out for. Many newbie entrepreneurs take a half-baked business idea and try and run with it before they figure out whether it’s worth pursuing as a full-fledged business or not. They start a FaceBook page, Instagram account, spend thousands on a website that doesn’t really serve them because they have no clear path to make money. And the business either limps along or goes nowhere.

Core Social Media Principle No. 4

Be clear on your business goals. 

f you’re not willing to invest a little bit of time and energy in doing step 4, Let me be very clear and to the point — If you’re not willing to do this level of research into your business and industry — the thing that could potentially be your life’s work and create financial freedom for you and those you love — you shouldn’t be starting a business.

Without concrete business goals, what you have is either an expensive hobby or rewarding volunteer experience. If you have multiple passions/interests, figure out a way to make meaningful progress. Maybe you go at a slower pace with less revenue in exchange for more variety, flexibility and the chance to engage in your passions concurrently. It’s ok to think differently. Maybe you focus on one or two things that generate income and enjoy the others that provide inspiration and a creative outlet when you max out your capacity. 

No matter what avenue you choose, realize that everything in life is a choice. There are always innovative ways to restructure how you spend your time and money. Jim Rohn has one of my favorite quotes on this: “If you don’t like how things are, change it. You’re not a tree.” Take time to imagine what your life would look like if you were to reach your highest potential following your passion. This will help you focus. The big question to ask yourself, “In ten years from now, will I regret not having pursued this passion seriously?”

Core Social Media Principle No. 5

Know your style. 

When you go to a networking event or a monthly professional meet-up, how do you like to connect to people? What makes you feel good?

If you're an introvert like me, a lot of networking events feel fake and contrived. Just thinking of spending countless hours on small talk in a loud and crowded room of strangers or Zoom conference room is enough to make me feel exhausted. That’s me.

But for others, they love mixing it up with lots of noisy exchange of ideas, throw in some good music and food and drink, and they are in their element. Add a stage with a mike, lots of selfies —woo hoo—that’s even better. Proof that they had a great time!

Once you are crystal-clear on these core training exercises, you are ready to tackle social media for business and make it work for you. Get ready to rock with “5 Proven Social Media Tips for Driving Traffic!”

Maja Haloway

As a director at Xylina, Maja helps clients find their ideal audience and connect to them through the right branding, messaging and marketing channels. Maja holds an MBA degree from St. Thomas University. She can be found at marketing, entrepreneur or techie-related meetups in the Portland OR/Vancouver WA area.

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