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Hesitant to Use Social Media for Your Business? Here's What You're Missing Out On. Isn't social media just meant for entertainment? The answer is yes … but that's perfect for your business. Here's why.

By Jessica Dennehy Edited by Chelsea Brown

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Building an authentic brand through attractive marketing is essential to the success of any business. Social media plays an important role in your marketing strategy. It is one of my favorite topics to talk to business owners about because it is a simple way to step into the life you've been dreaming of.

As an entrepreneur bootstrapping your way to success, your resources are limited. You can funnel time and money into old-school marketing, with its one-dimensional message and limited reach, or you can showcase your dynamic personality in front of your target audience by building an online presence. A world of opportunities suddenly becomes closer than you imagined possible.

You might be hesitant to use social media for your business. The thought of making videos or dancing to the latest trending song makes you roll your eyes a little. There's already a lot on your plate, and you can't imagine how adding this to your growing to-do list will benefit you. Besides, isn't social media just meant for entertainment?

The answer is yes … but that's perfect for your business.

Related: The Business of Harnessing the Power of Social Media

Connect with your audience

Most people run to social media to escape life for a hot second and dive into a world that's a little more fun. The great news is that you can leverage the users' intent for your own brand benefit by creating content that is fun and exciting to watch. The content should be on-brand for your company but also infuse an energy that captivates the audience in a fun way so they can get educated on what it is you do without getting bored and scrolling away forever.

Just as with any other aspect of your business, to be successful on social media you must be genuine. It's not about making up a phony persona based on what you think people what to see. Trending dances make quick entertainment, but if that doesn't speak of your brand message and showcase your true self, then don't waste your time. People want to connect with people they know, like and trust. Build that first, and the business opportunities will follow. That's where the gold lies for entrepreneurs.

Related: 3 Tips for Building Your Personal Brand on Social Media

What kind of content should you post?

Be intentional with your message on social platforms. Take the time to really build out content that is thoughtful and aligns with your brand values. Even thread some personal content in about your goals, mistakes and life behind the scenes to help your audience see who you really are and what you (and therefore your brand) stand for.

If the thought of making a plan seems overwhelming, just know this: I didn't have a plan when I first started posting on social media, I just got started. Imperfect action is better than no action at all. I did what felt right, wrote from the heart each morning and started out just posting more about my personal life until my brand message became more dialed in. I shared my yoga journey and wasn't afraid to get a little silly sometimes. Then I threaded in some messaging about my new business ventures. I was surprised at the positive response. People were interested in what I was doing and began asking questions about how they could work with me.

My followers connected with me because they recognized similarities to their own lives or watched me achieve goals they also wanted for themselves. They began cheering me on, thanking me for sharing my knowledge and wanting to know how they could achieve their own goals. My confidence grew as I got more dialed in on my path. It lit me up to have such a positive impact on people by showing up as myself.

Related: Social Media Engagement Is Where the Magic Happens for Your Business

Be yourself

Energy is contagious! When people see you doing what you love, they want to be a part of it. Let them lean into you by seeing who you are and understanding what you do. Be you. Talk about what you do and who you are. Keep in mind that it's not all about making a sale or getting a client. Connect with others without pitching to them. Don't be afraid to share your genius, it could spark something amazing in yourself and others. The more you lean into people, the more they will lean into you. So, share who you are and what you know without the expectation of a sale, and I guarantee that is exactly how you'll get more of what you are looking for: Customers who are really excited about and aligned with your brand!

One last thing: When you start your posting journey on social media, don't get caught up in the popularity contest. You aren't there to be popular; you are there to build brand awareness. There are always eyes on you even if your posts aren't racking up likes or comments, so lead by example. Inspire people by showing them the possibilities. But don't be afraid to post about the "messy middle," too. Showing your low moments gives others hope because they see that winners face challenges too. You'll make connections and open yourself to new opportunities with your willingness to show your vulnerability.

It's a big world out there. Seizing opportunities created by the aligned connections I've developed through social media has allowed me to expand beyond what I thought was possible. Not just in my business, but in my life!

You're not going to go from zero posts to a viral or verified (blue tik) account in a month. Building a personal brand takes time, but it won't happen until you get started. If you're hesitant to use social platforms to build your business, go slowly at first to establish a habit. Think about what excites you. Commit to posting once a day about something that really lights your fire. Once you've gained traction, keep expanding.

Show up as your genuine self to cut through the marketing noise. Your unique energy is the foundation to create a brand with the most meaningful impact. Give yourself the chance to shine, and watch the magic happen!

Jessica Dennehy

CEO of Pivot & Slay

Jessica is a 2x best-selling author, speaker, entrepreneur & former Wall Street attorney. Through her coaching company, Pivot & Slay, she empowers entrepreneurs to embrace their CEO Power, exit their comfort zones and start taking the risks necessary for success.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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