Social Media is a dominant force in the marketplace. So why are some businesses and business owners are still wary of it? They feel as if social media is too large of an undertaking, or that it may not be lucrative enough. Some of these fears can be valid but there are also a lot of myths out there regarding social media. We’ve gathered some of these myths and broken them down so that you can run your business’s social media platforms with confidence.
My Customers Don’t Use It Much
A fear amongst many businesses is that their customers aren’t active on social media. Sure, they may have a profile or two, but how much time are they spending on social media? These fears might have been genuine back in 2008 when most people didn’t have access to social media in their pockets. But in 2020, this fear is much more mythical than factual. Social Media is addicting. In fact, many surveys suggest that people spend upwards of two hours a day on social media alone.
It’s Not Measurable
How can you measure the success of a social media campaign? Does your follower count indicate how successful you are? Your number of likes per post? Many people unfamiliar with social media believe that it is difficult to measure, if not immeasurable. This is another outdated belief, as social media is constantly being improved to become easier and easier to measure. Whether you’re running a paid ad campaign or just browsing through your stats for the month, Social Media platforms like Facebook and Twitter offer a plethora of analytical tools. These let you know exactly how many people see, interact with, and share your content on a daily and even hourly basis.
There’s No Retention in Social Media
Social Media trends and patterns tend to fluctuate and outright change on a near-daily basis, but that isn’t a bad thing. However, it leads many people to believe that there is little to no customer retention to be found in social media. That’s far from the truth. As long as you continue to engage with your customers, you can continue to retain them as interested parties. Social Media only lacks retention when there is little effort put into it. The more engagement you can create with your social media content, the easier it will be for you to retain customers and followers.
Feedback Is All Negative
A lot of people unfamiliar with social media are under the impression that it is mostly a negative space. After all, a lot of the viral videos and comments they see are derogatory in nature. While it is true that social media allows for easier access to negativity, it is by no means a cesspool. Social Media is also loaded with positive feedback and constructive criticism. Social Media provides an easily accessible voice to all of your potential, current, and past customers.
Social Media Makes Email Irrelevant
The Internet is a tool that many small businesses don’t understand. They see it as a series of rungs on the ladder, in which you have to step off of one in order to reach the next. However, the internet provides a much more collaborative platform for business. An email is still a powerful tool, regardless of your social media success. The platforms do not work the same way, meaning that one cannot fully replace the other. Both have their merits. The most successful campaigns diversify their marketing interest and take full advantage of a range of tools at their disposal, including email and various social media platforms.
Email Makes Social Media Irrelevant
In conjunction with the previous myth, many people believe that if they have a strong email list, they do not need to worry themselves with learning about social media. Again, it is important to understand that these platforms offer different tools that help a business reach different goals. One platform does not invalidate the other, and there is a market of potential customers reachable by social media but not by email and vice versa.
Social Media is Impersonal
Another common myth is that social media is an impersonal way to reach people. Many businesses see it as just another form of mass communication, to the effect of sending out form letters or chain emails. However, social media is a very personal method of communication, even between business and real people. Social Media allows real people to voice their support or concern and for your business to respond directly, creating a very personal relationship in the process. And the more your business engages on social media, the more personal that connection becomes.
Social Media is an Independent Branch of Marketing
Social Media is not a one-stop solution for your business. A killer Twitter profile won’t launch you onto the cover of Forbes magazine. It’s important to remember that social media is most effective when used in tandem with an independent website, email campaigns, physical marketing, and your personal network. Marketing is a collaborative effort that requires you as a business owner to make the most of your resources.
Content Marketing is About What You Sell
There is also a common misconception that your content should only and always be about what your business has for sale. If it’s not about a product or service, it shouldn’t be on your social media. This belief is heinously invalid. Content Marketing is about creating content that appeals to a wide audience. Yes, this content should often be geared towards your industry, but every post does not need to end with a dollar sign and a purchase form. Social media is about engagement, not about the sales pitch.
Social Media Overwhelms the Customer
Social Media can be overwhelming, especially when starting out or switching to a new platform. However, you must realize that customers are on social media because they want to see content. It is difficult to overwhelm your customer base unless you are posting with the intent to overwhelm. The odds are that you aren’t producing enough content to overwhelm your following. However, if you feel that you are posting too frequently (more than a few times per day or week), then feel free to cut back if necessary.
Social Media Produces Instant Leads
One like on social media does not constitute a lead. If you direct message the first person to like your post, you will quickly lose all interest in your social media content. Rather, social media provides your business with a platform that allows you to cultivate leads over a period of time. Sure, if someone asks directly about your products and services, feel free to pitch or start working them through the funnel. Make sure that your focus is on the relationship, not the sale.
Social Media is a Time Waster
While many people waste their own personal time on social media day in and day out, social media is not inherently a time-waster for your business. Social Media works well because you have a say in how much time and effort you pour into it. You can spend thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours working on the largest, most competitive ad campaign, or you can spend an hour week scheduling posts and replying to comments. You determine what you want your social media presence to be and put in a commensurate level of effort.
Only Viral Posts Matter
There is a dangerously common misconception that viral posts are the only posts that matter. If thousands, or even millions, of people, aren’t seeing and reacting to your post then there is no point. However, a successful social media following isn’t built on viral content. It’s built on the relationships you cultivate with each smaller, personal interaction. Don’t be distracted by high like counts, because those often yield little in the way of retention.
Social Media Only Works for Specific Age Groups
There is a common myth that social media isn’t applicable to an older clientele. In other words, “social media is a young man’s game”. While it is true that there are a lot of younger people using social media, it isn’t exclusive to Millennials and Gen Z. There are millions of Gen X and Baby Boomers using social media on a daily, even an hourly basis. Don’t be afraid to target these demographics because they are there, and they are just as targetable as younger generations.
Nobody Cares About My Business’ Social Media
A common misconception about social media is that it only succeeds when it’s between two people. After all, people are only there to connect with friends and family, right? While there is some validity to that train of thought, it isn’t a universal fact. There are many businesses that thrive on social media and your business can be one of them. People like the personal aspect of connectivity that a business’ social media provides because they can voice comments and ask questions without feeling like they have to buy or be sold something.
Profile Pics Don’t Matter
Make sure that your business has a profile picture. Whether it’s your company logo, an image associated with your brand, or even a picture of your staff, make sure that there is visual iconography in place for users to immediately associate with your business. A generic profile picture is a near-instantaneous deterrent for anyone looking into your business.
More Posts > More Leads
The quantity of posts your business makes does not correlate with the number of leads it will generate. Remember that your leads should be generated through meaningful interaction with new customers and even with existing customers. You need to make sure that your business comes of personably and with the intention of building a relationship, not with the intention of selling as quickly and easily as you can.
Video is Too Expensive
Video is a very powerful tool on social media, but many businesses are wary and even afraid of it. However, you don’t need to produce high-concept video content every day. Video can be simple, such as a short iPhone clip of your product being used, or a service being performed. The important thing here is to get creative with the resources you have and to find a way to display them through your existing social media channels.
Images Are Too Difficult to Manage
Images don’t have to be professionally shot and edited all of the time either. Social Media is a great place to post memes or simple photographs with the intention of striking up conversations or comments. Your business’s social media impact is what you make it. So, do your best with the resources you have and the ideas you wish to implement.
Branding is Difficult for My Company
Branding isn’t difficult. However, rebranding can be quite a headache. Every piece of content you produce or post you make contributes to the building of your brand. You have immense power to control what people on social media see of your company. Make sure that you are creating content and making posts that fit in line with what you want customers to see and know about your business.
Social Media Advertising is Costly
Social Media advertising can be costly, but costly advertising isn’t always necessary. It may be a good idea to utilize the paid tools at your disposal from time to time, but you don’t need to be constantly pumping money into them. The best thing you can do to get your business out there and in the public consciousness is to create content that sticks. Create content that fits your brand, the customers you hope to attract, and your social media platform.
You Need a Presence on All Platforms
You don’t need to be present on every platform to succeed. A common mistake is spending a little bit of effort on a dozen platforms rather than spending ample effort on a few, or even just one, platform(s). It is more important for you to have a strong presence on the platforms you choose to use than to have a presence on platforms that don’t fit your business or your customers.
I can Use one Post on all Platforms
Make sure that you don’t copy/paste your content across every platform. Cater your content to the unique strengths and weaknesses that each platform has to offer.
There are many internet marketing and social media myths out there. Before you buy into them, make sure you do your research. Find the facts and build a successful website around your interests and strengths rather than your fears and weaknesses.