Making A Website Work -- Advice For Social-Media Phobes

You’ve created a new website.  Congratulations!  Having a web presence can be a fulfilling and potentially lucrative experience.  

Perhaps you’ve heard that social media is a great way to promote your site, but the idea of it causes you anxiety.  Fearless web warriors – this article isn’t for you.  But if LinkedIn puts a lump in your throat and Twitter makes you twitchy, read on.   I’m about to address each of your concerns.

Concern Number 1:  I’ll Be Out There!  It’s Like Public Speaking!

If you’re concerned that your words will suddenly be available to thousands of greedy eyes – a virtual crowd scrutinizing your every move – don’t be.  If you’re new to social media, you’ll actually have the opposite problem.  You’ll have to work to find an audience. 

For example, until you have a whole lot of Twitter followers, many of your tweets may go unseen entirely.  So don’t worry.  You don’t need to rewrite that seven-word sentence seventeen times.  Go ahead and send it out.  By the time you have a large audience, you’ll have already proven yourself as a worthwhile web commentator.

Concern Number 2:  People Will Respond To Me With Mean and Nasty Comments!

That almost never happens.  It has never happened to me.  Certain writers write to stir up controversy.  They enjoy crafting the kind of incendiary phrase that invites bitter retorts.  If you’re relating to this bog entry, I’m guessing you’re not that kind of person.  While there are a few rotten, ill-tempered types out in the world (and on the web), social media is populated by many kind and generous souls who will help you on your way.  I’ve been lucky enough to virtually meet a bunch of them.

Concern Number 3:  I’ll Be Mocked Mercilessly For My Lack of Friends!

First, see my answer to Concern Number 2.   There simply aren’t a lot of merciless mockers out there.   Second, it takes time to build up social media connections, and anyone who’s done it knows that.  The people you see with 500+ LinkedIn connections or 10,000 Twitter followers have been at it for a while.  You’ll get there eventually, but you’ll have to start with just a few.  It’s no big deal.  It’s actually a good way to begin, because there’s less pressure when there are less people viewing your content (see my answer to concern number 1).   You’re building something, and if you’re helpful and courteous to others, you’ll be amazed how much assistance and generosity you encounter.