Guest Post by Michael Reynolds of Spin Web

mr photoI meet a lot of business owners and department heads who are curious about social media. Some embrace online tools and immediately see the value. They enjoy using social media to promote their businesses and make connections. Others approach it from a different perspective: it looks like work to them.

As I educate others and evangelize social media, it occurs to me that there is a missing element in most people’s approach to social media for business: fun!

Yes, social media for business must be fun or it’s not going to work. If you approach it with an attitude of “I don’t have time for this,” or “this sounds like one more thing to take up time in my busy day,” then it’s going to be a chore. However, if you approach it with an intention to integrate social media into your habits and lifestyle and make it an enjoyable experience, you will achieve much greater success.

Remember when you first started your business? Think back to the excitement of getting your first customer, building your first website, setting up your first office, and bursting to tell the world about it. Or maybe it was that shiny new job as marketing director of a great company. Think of the passion you had for promoting your product or service and how you could barely keep from bringing it up in every conversation. That’s the kind of passion you need to succeed in social media. You have to genuinely enjoy what you do. If you are having fun at your job, then social media will only amplify that passion.

It should not feel like work. You should want to look for opportunities to talk about your business on social networks. You should enjoy telling people what you do and how it helps others. Telling stories about the value you bring to your customers should make you happy.

Marketing your business using social media is fun. Does it take time? Yes. Can it lead to increased business? Definitely. When approached correctly, it is a remarkably scalable extension of the passion that you should already have about your business. Let it come naturally. Don’t work so hard at it. Don’t over-analyze it. “Play around” on Facebook. Have random conversations on Twitter and see what happens. Make connections on LinkedIn simply because you want to learn more about someone. Let your social instincts take over and the business benefits will come more naturally over time.

If it feels like work, there is something wrong