Social Media: Youre not doing it wrong

The Internet is convincing me that I am terrible at everything.

For example, it turns out I don’t know how to eat an apple.

That’s right. Not only am I endangering my life with furniture, and routinely confusing stock with broth, I’m an apple failure.

Wherever I turn, the Internet is offering me more insight into what I’m doing wrong. While a desire to improve can be good, it can also be paralyzing we become convinced that our default setting is to mess things up, so we hesitate to do anything at all.

I think this is one of the reasons businesses and nonprofits get scared about doing social media.??Since social media is constantly changing, it’s easy to get floored by a new piece of information suddenly??you’re doing Twitter wrong! You’re on an outdated platform! You’re supposed to be posting twice as much as you are! Back away! Don’t touch it!

Except, here’s the thing: You’re not an idiot. Don’t let them scare you.

The problem with this You’re Doing It Wrong narrative that is so popular on the web is that it recasts learning into something about shame and failure.??Sure, no one’s suggesting that you’re truly ruining your life with your trivial wrongs, but the gimmick relies on provoking anxiety to get your attention.

All that’s really happened is that I have learned a new way to approach apple-eating, one that I can use if I decide that consuming the extra 30% of the apple is really important to me. If apple eating is a major part of what I do,?? it makes sense for me to be aware of best practices, much like keeping up with the changes to Facebook will give you options for improving your results there, or a new social media platform may offer a new way to tell your story. We only frame it as doing it wrong because calling it, a different way to do things that may get a result you will like even more than the one you’re currently getting isn’t exactly clickbait.

The Internet may be trying to convince us we’re incapable of anything, but it’s also full of resources to learn new things to get started with social media. Constant Contact has a lot of approachable and free information about social media. For non-alarmist information, check out the Prosper Strategies blog. I particularly like their post on predicted changes in social media in 2015, which gives great tips for taking action in the face of new information, and their post on making social media actually social. In Chicago,??Community Media Workshop offers social media boot camps, which can give you the added benefit of a non-scary person to talk to directly.

You may not be able to incorporate every social media best practice, and you may need to make some changes as the media changes. That doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong and can’t be trusted.??That just mean you’re learning. The pace of social media means even the experts are guessing sometimes, and that we’ll all constantly learn and relearn how to best use the media something you’re more than capable doing.

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