6 Social Media Skills You Never Knew You HadFor some strange reason, many businesses are still afraid of social media.

If that’s you, don’t be.

In fact, the most important lesson any small business owner should learn about social media is that you already have all the skills you need to be successful.

Here are 6 social media skills you didn’t know you already had and how you can use them to market your small business:

1. Turn texting into tweeting

If you’re under the age of 60 you’ve probably sent a text message. My mum has just started recently, it’s adorable (she signs off every text with “luv mad”…presumably Mum and Dad).

So, If you can text message, it means you know how to be concise. It also means that you’ll have no trouble using a ‘micro-blogging’ application, like Twitter, for example.

Like any communication, Twitter messages, or tweets, need oomph. Since tweets are limited to a maximum of 140 characters, every character counts. But remember, if you can send a decent text, you can probably send a decent tweet too. But unlike text messaging, a tweet can reach a much wider audience (which is a good thing for your business).

2. If you can Skype, you can YouTube

Most small business owners have used a webcam at some point. Yes, it may have only been using Skype to connect with your college bound kids. Or perhaps you arranged a video conference from hone one day because you just didn’t want to drive all the way into work…

Either way, the ability to video conference is a legitimate business skill and you’d be well advised to put it to use.

Making a weekly video update on YouTube doesn’t take much more skill than setting up that webcam for a video conference call. But unlike the conference call, YouTube has a MUCH wider audience (another good thing for your business).

Video is one of the fastest growing applications in social media right now – allowing your customers to see a more human, personal side to your business.

So, tell your kids, if they want to see more of you, they’ll just have to look you up on YouTube from now on!

3. Engage the lost art of Listening

Perhaps the most important of the social media skills you already have is your ability to listen.

One of the huge advantages people making their content public via social media is that it allows you to connect with people simply by listening to them chat amongst themselves!

Entering social media conversations in this way takes the burden of creating the discussion of your shoulders for a while – at least until you’re comfortable generating your own discussions and interactions.

Listen first – then engage!

4. Take a picture

I don’t care if you’re a property developer or a hairdresser, if you don’t already have one, you need to go and get yourself a digital camera. Like, now.

Why?

Media creation. If a picture tells 1000 words than an album of photos taken of your location is like writing a novel about the history and landscape of your business.

Everyone can snap a photo, not everyone can write 1,000 words. Play to your strengths. Posting photos of your business, your business activities and (with permission) your customers can add a huge amount of value for your followers and increase opportunities for them to find your content on even more social media outposts.

5. Metadata? Yup!

Hands up if you’ve tagged yourself in a Facebook album. Cool, you officially have ALL the skills necessary to make your content findable on the web by adding metadata to it.

Metadata is the stuff that search engines use to figure out what is pictured in images, videos or even articles. When you tag yourself in a Facebook album, you are adding metadata to the image. This then allows Facebook to create an album of “Photos of you” by collating this metadata in a dataset on images.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re running a WordPress blog, flickr account or Vimeo channel – small businesses must take the time to make content searchable by attributing metadata to it. Location, time, description, tags, and even file names are all important for search engines and social connections when looking for content.

6. Do you like stuff?

Of course you do. Everybody likes stuff. And in social media circles, the more stuff you like, the better. We all enjoy it when our friends give us thumbs up on Facebook for our status updates.

But don’t forget to do the same for other people. When you find good content, if it’s in your niche, if it will add value to your network, if your followers will have a genuine interest in it, share it!! You’ll get huge ups from the person who created it (tell them you shared it too) and if it’s good, you will show yourself as an authority in your niche. Too easy.

What do you say

Have you been surprised to learn that social media is not as hard as you once thought? Know any other common activities or skills that cross translate into the social media world? Let us know by leaving a comment below ad you could be featured on the next Fan Friday.