“No profile is better than a dead or inactive profile.”

This is something I tell anyone that asks me about online platforms where sharing content is essential. I often talk about digital shaming and how many business owners and professionals are shamed into creating accounts on different online platforms. You know how those conversations go:

“Hey, what’s your Twitter name?”

“I don’t have Twitter.”

“What?! You don’t have Twitter? How are you doing business if you’re not on Twitter?”

Then you go and create a Twitter account because you are serious about doing business and want people to take you seriously. But after posting consistently for a few months, you begin to neglect your Twitter account. Then, one day, you login to Twitter and realize you haven’t posted in a year.

What do you do next?

Here’s where it’s important to stop and take a minute to think. Before you do anything, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Why haven’t I posted in so long?
  2. Is my audience on Twitter (or which ever social media platform you’re dealing with)?
  3. Will being on this platform help me reach my current business goals?

It’s important to be honest with yourself about the benefits of any communication tool you use for your business. Just because there’s a platform out there, doesn’t mean you have to use it for your business.

But, I see so many people really making a lot of money using <insert social media platform>. I don’t want to miss the opportunity.

The thing is, those people who are killing it on various social media platforms. You have businesses doing amazing thing with blogs, Periscope, Facebook, Pinterest and Youtube. But you know why they’re killing it?

Because they are putting time, resources and energy into killing it.

If you aren’t willing to or able to put time into <insert social media platform>, you won’t be killing it. You will have a dead platform out in the digital universe with your company name on it. When someone attempts to do research on your business, they may come across that platform and make a snap judgement about you that could cause you to lose a potential customer. Or they may see a dead platform and think that your business no longer exists.

Well why wouldn’t they just look for my website?

They may look for your website, but they may not. You don’t want to risk losing a client because their first impression of your business is based on a dead or inactive online profile. And you shouldn’t expect people to be so invested in your business initially that they will do more than a minute of research about it.

Many people are skimmers of online information. Don’t make them work to find your business and give you their money.

So when you take some time to take stock of your online platforms and do a social media content audit (which you should be doing at lease twice a year), pay close attention to those platforms that you don’t use regularly. And by regularly, I mean having posted within the last six months.

When you’re paying attention to these platforms, here are some questions you should be asking yourself (including the ones from above):

  1. Why haven’t I posted in so long? (Be really honest here)
  2. Is my audience on Twitter (or which ever social media platform you’re dealing with)?
  3. Will being on this platform help me reach my current business goals?
  4. Am I willing and able to take the time to create a strategy for this platform?
  5. What resources and processes do I need to put in place to really leverage this platform for my business?

Don’t just ask yourself these questions in your head. Take some time and write it down. If you are working someone who’s managing your social media, set up a planning meeting and get these answers on paper. The last question is the most important. Don’t skip this part. It’s invaluable.