Social media is public. Let me repeat: Social media is P-U-B-L-I-C.

Am I the only one a bit frightened by this fact? Anything and everything we share on social media is available for the world to see. I know it’s a painfully obvious statement, but hear me out…

As a millennial and budding B2B social marketer, one of the first things I discovered is how hard it is to break through the social media noise while also representing my company’s brand appropriately. And misrepresenting that brand on social can do a disservice to my coworkers, who work tirelessly to achieve company goals… and make me look bad, too!

No pressure, right?

But these days, you have little choice but to use social media to speak on behalf of your company. And it’s a scary thought that can leave you standing front and center with a paralyzing case of social media stage fright.

Three ways to get over your social media stage fright

But take heart.

Whether you’re brand-new to social media or someone that needs the occasional confidence boost, here’s how I learned to get over my social media stage fright… and you can, too!

“Holmes” your brand

Just like with public speaking, the more informed you are about your topic the more comfortable you’ll be when sharing, posting, and commenting on social media. So be like the great Sherlock Holmes and first investigate your company’s brand.

Start with your target audience. What are their job challenges, which publications do they like to read and share, and who influences them on social media? Next is your company’s content. Which blog posts, white papers, and webinars are the most popular and why? And don’t forget to review your brand messaging as this is what visitors will first read on your website.

Each of these will offer valuable clues and insights into how best to represent your brand on social media. And, more importantly, will help you understand how to reach and engage your target buyers in a truly helpful and compelling way.

Don’t impersonate the brand

When writing social posts it’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to sound as if the company brand itself is speaking. But don’t go down this path.

Why? First of all, you’re not a company brand so don’t try to impersonate one. It’ll just make you uncomfortable and seem fake on social media. Secondly, no one wants to do business with a company brand… we all want to interact with real people (like you!)

Just be yourself and use the words and phrases you normally would when casually chatting with customers and prospects. You’ll feel way more comfortable and confident as you participate on social media.

Frankie says: Relax. I say: Don’t over think it

Over thinking what you’re going to post, tweet, or update will leave you sitting in front of the screen with social stage fright. Instead, think back to that old song where Frankie tells us: “relax, don’t do it!” Plus, the more you relax when you engage on social media the more comfortable you’ll get over time.

But what happens if you do post something that you’d rather have back?

Just delete it. If you catch your mistake quickly then the reality is that few (if any) people will have seen your post. What if someone on social media points out your errant tweet or update? Sincerely apologize and learn from your mistake.

The truth is there will be social media bumps along the way, but that’s okay. We’ve all been there… and that’s how you learn, right? So just relax.

What’s the bottom line?

Investigate. Trust your voice. Relax. Before you know it, social media stage fright will melt away and you’ll realize you’re having some fun, too!