You should be active on Facebook and Twitter/LinkedIn/Pinterest and don’t forget Instagram/Slideshare and blogging and video for YouTube/Vine and now native for Twitter and Facebook!
Whew…no wonder you feel overwhelmed!
Feeling they should be “everywhere” and not knowing what to post in the first place are two of the biggest concerns many of my clients have.
Let’s put the biggest social media myths to rest.
Social Media Myth #1—Trying to maintain an active social media presence on a dozen networks. It doesn’t work. Even the bigger companies with a full time social media team average around six. Not 15. So if you’re a one person shop or even if you have some help, you’re better off limiting yourself to doing one or two well than spreading yourself too thin.
Social Media Myth #2 – That it’s quick.
It may not take that long to open an account and get it set up but to actually make it work for you? That’s going to take awhile.
Recently a colleague told me she worked with a client for three weeks and then the client pulled the plug saying she “hadn’t seen results”. That’s like opening your business and then closing it the next day because you didn’t make any sales in the first hours.
Rome was not built in a day.
While results are tied to measurable goals, i.e., get 300 new “likes” within the next 60 days, it’s not unrealistic to say that it can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years of consistent activity to see the difference in your bottom line.
Establish your goals and tactics for achieving them and get to work.
Social Media Myth #3 – That it’s “free”. See above.
Effective social media takes time. A lot of it. The Social Media Marketing Industry Report (May 2014) by Social Media Examiner says 64% of marketers spend 6+ hours a week on social.
As social matures, the marketing tactics get more sophisticated and require paid tools–running killer FB contests anyone? All of which pretty much ensures you’re going to need a specialist at least some of the time to get the most value.
Social Media Myth #4 – That you can just hand it off to someone else and never look at it. This is especially NOT true if you’re a small business.
You can certainly hire help to do the heavy lifting, yet there are certain elements that are going to benefit from your involvement. Interacting in Groups on Facebook for example needs to be done from your personal profile and even if you have someone else manage the bulk of it, if you yourself pop in from time to time that brings your personality to it.
Social Media Myth #5—All you need to do is promote your business.
By its definition social media is social. If it’s going to work for you, then you need to bring a social element to it. Share other people’s content, mention them in comments. Share tips and ideas. If you approach it from the attitude of helping others first, you’ll reap the benefits.
Social Media Myth #6 – You can simply create one post and schedule it across half a dozen networks and call it done.
You won’t get the full value if that’s all you do. Effective social media marketing takes a little more thought and awareness of how each network works. So, rather than scheduling the identical post across your channels, change up your message. Facebook is a little more fun than LinkedIn. Instagram thrives on #hashtags. Know your tools.
Social Media Myth #7 – That it “won’t work for you”. Fact is your future customers check you out online before they choose to do business with you. Your online presence should assure them you’re likeable, trustworthy and great at what you do.
Couple that with the fact that over 70% of online adults are on some social media platform and that Facebook is the new Google and yes, your customers are on social.
However, you may be better off on Linkedin or Pinterest than on Facebook. It’s a matter of your target market.
Social Media Myth #8 –My pictures don’t matter. – Uh, yes they do. Get a decent photo taken and use it everywhere you’re asked to provide an avatar (profile photo). Then, don’t leave the header (picture at top of LinkedIn/Twitter/Facebook/Google+) the default, you want to customize it so it expresses something about you and your business.
Social Media Myth #9 — Social media doesn’t put dollars into your bank account. In case you’re still thinking this, here’s a quick story, the Starwood hotel chain used Facebook to bring in $2 million dollars. Run a smaller business? A Houston coffee shop, Coffee Groundz took to Twitter and increased their sales by 20-30%.
Social Media Myth #10 – Don’t be personal.
There are still a surprising number of businesses who seem to think every message should be all business all the time. Everyone knows there are people behind those businesses. Show your human side on occasion. Is the team celebrating a big win with a delicious meal? Take a picture. Are you a realtor who just sold a house? Snap a selfie with the happy new home buyer in front of their new digs (with permission of course).
Social Media Myth #11 –Your 17 year old can handle your social. To which I ask, would you send them in your stead to a networking meeting? Of course not. Marketing is marketing. It’s not about the tools, it’s about the message and the audience.
Social Media Myth #12 – “I don’t want a place where people can post negative things about me.” Sorry, that’s called Yelp and Google Reviews and a dozen other places. In fact, people can bash your business via their personal social media networks whether you’re around or not. Wouldn’t it be better to know what people are saying about you and be able to defend yourself? Better yet, give them a reason to say wonderful things about you!
Social Media Myth #13 — “I don’t have time for it” — This is part of your business. Social media is now the #1 activity on the internet and as Erik Qualman, the author of Socialnomics puts it, “The ROI of social media is your business will still exist in 5 years.” Don’t be left behind. The sooner you adopt a social mindset, the sooner you’ll see results.
Social Media Myth #14 – There’s no way to track it.
Metrics tools abound these days. There are plenty of ways to track your social and find out what’s working and what’s not. True, if you’re running a multi-step campaign it’s a little more complex to follow the path. However, many businesses haven’t even gotten that far. So, review your Google Analytics and see how many social referrals you have now vs. how they grow as you increase your social media use. Review your Facebook Insights to see how many times something was liked or shared.
It’s not difficult to establish benchmarks and track those.
Why not start with crafting a three month social media plan.