Social media can be a great help for business, but it can also be a headache.

I have found the trick is to pace yourself. Experiment, watch your stats and figure out which gives the maximum benefit for the time spent.

Personally, I don’t enjoy social media. I don’t like to keep in contact with people that way, but I recognize that we need to get our work out in the world, to share it, to connect, and to find new opportunities for our businesses.

I’ve had quite a few opportunities come my way via social media, so it can definitely be an important channel. Interviews, book deals, magazine commissions and wholesale buyers. I even had someone offer me a place in an art exhibition about science and art. Unfortunately I couldn’t make it. All of this came about because I posted my work and products on social media. So definitely take advantage of it.

The problem I have had with social media is that they are constantly changing their algorithms, and the usual result is that your reach is diminished.

There is the problem that certain sites don’t allow the search engines to catalog the content, so that is a whole bunch of potential views that you miss if you only focus on social media.

The final drawback is that your followers only exist on that page. That is why getting them onto your email list is so important. When they are there, use won’t lose them if a site should shut down or become unusable.

So, use it, which ever platform you prefer and find out which gives you the results you want.

Don’t be afraid to use it creatively. Do something that is out of the ordinary. Use it to show some behind the scenes, or give your brand some personality and help your followers get to know the people. Experiment and have some fun

Must you use social media?

Nope, plenty of successful entrepreneurs make limited use of it, or they accept that it’s mostly for fun and don’t use it as a marketing tool.