If you are a small business owner or business professional, you have probably been told that you must be on social media to see growth and longevity in your business. Social media “experts” might imply that if you are not using all the social platforms in one way or another, your business could be losing potential customers to others competitors who have already jumped in head first.

In my profession, I hear about these types of experiences on a daily basis. Maybe this has been you and maybe you have fallen into the trap of signing up for every network and jumping into social chaos. If so, hear this reality – even if you utilize every single network, there is no guarantee of increased engagement, there is no guarantee of increased audience and there is never any guarantee of increased business. Social media has the potential to be extremely beneficial, but when you take your business to the social platforms, you simply cannot be successful without an intentional strategy. Do your research and learn which platform complements the needs and habits of your business. Social media is not meant to change the way you do business; it’s meant to enhance the way you do it.

The best piece of advice I have for someone who is still on the fence deciding how and when to use social media is to do your research and only pursue networks that you have the capability to maintain. It’s more beneficial to have one or two highly consistent and engaging pages than it is to have three or four with sparse content. Do your research, create flexible goals and don’t bite off more than you can chew.