Social Media Marketing: 13 Social Media Myths Exposed
Over the last 20 years, the internet has revolutionized just about everything when it comes to business—from communications to data storage to marketing. And over the last 5 years or so, social media is shaking everything up again.
As you know, social media provides a number of valuable channels for branding and marketing. But it’s also intimidating for many business owners. After all, let’s face it—you’re busy. You’ve got enough to do running your business, let alone staying up-to-date with an industry that is changing every day.
Unfortunately, the rapid pace of growth in the world of social media combined with the lack of information that many business owners have regarding social media has created a whole bunch of misinformation.
Today, we’re going to shine a light on some of these common myths regarding social media:
- I don’t have the time for social media. As I mentioned a moment ago, I understand that you’re busy! I run a number of businesses too, so I get it! But the truth is that social media doesn’t demand huge amounts of time in order to be effective. What’s more important is that you make engaging on social media a habit—even if it’s just for 60 seconds a day. After all, you have the time to brush your teeth and straighten your tie each morning, right? That’s all it takes!
- My customers don’t want to connect with me on social media. Recent studies have shown that virtually every demographic in the country is embracing social media—including seniors! And the numbers increase each and every day. Between Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest… I can almost promise you that you can find your customers!
- I have a website, I am all set with my online presence. Building a website is an important first step, so congratulations! But what good is a website if nobody visits it? Social media is an effective way to drive targeted visitors to your site.
- The more followers or friends I have, the better my social media campaign. It’s not quantity, it’s quality. What’s important is not the sheer number of friends or follower you have, but who those people are. An audience of 50 people in your target market is better than 500 people who aren’t!
- I must have a presence on every single social media network. This myth is a major reason that business owners are afraid to begin leveraging social media to grow their business. It’s simply overwhelming. It’s also untrue—plenty of businesses have been successful by focusing on just one social network, such as Facebook or LinkedIn. It just depends where your customers are—and it’s always better to start small than not to start at all!
- LinkedIn is for business contacts and Facebook is for personal contacts. This may have been true originally, but increasingly professionals and business owners are using social networks like Facebook and Twitter. There’s no need to limit yourself to LinkedIn if you’re marketing to businesses!
- You can’t say anything meaningful in 140 characters. "I have a dream." "There is nothing to fear but fear itself." "One small step for man… one giant leap for mankind." Each of these iconic quotes is less than 140 characters. You don’t have to write a novel to capture the attention of your audience!
- If I do this right, I should see results fast. Like most other things in life, doing social media right requires an investment of time on your part. Social media is all about establishing relationships and building trust, and that simply doesn’t happen overnight. If you create a Facebook page and expect to start generating leads the very next day, you’re going to be disappointed. Understand at the get-go that it will take some time to see results… but that the time you are investing today will lead to great results tomorrow.
- There is just too much information. There is certainly a whirlwind of information flying around most social media networks. It can be overwhelming. But by creating a sound strategy and focusing on the core of your brand, you can cut through the "noise" and connect with your target market.
- It’s about creating content. Content (like blogs, articles, and videos) is important. But at the end of the day, social media boils down to relationships. I like to say that "people buy people", and that’s what social media is all about—connecting with people!
- There must be constant contact. Many business owners think that they need to be monitoring Facebook and Twitter all day, every day. That’s simply not the case! Designate a time each day (or every other day) to check your social media presence.
- Social media will magically fix my business. Social media is not a magic solution—it’s a tool in your marketing toolbox. Social media can be very helpful when it comes to growing your business, but just like radio, TV, or print advertising, it’s just a part of the bigger picture. A very important part in today’s world, but still just a part!
- Social media is the new advertising. Social media isn’t replacing other forms of advertising. In fact, at its best, social media isn’t advertising in the same way that a TV commercial is. That’s because, like we’ve mentioned, social media is about relationships. It is about connecting with your audience, getting to know them, and letting them get to know you. It’s about trust and understanding—not advertising!
Social media is a fast-paced field, to be sure. But don’t let the "techno-speak" fool you—at the end of the day, social media is nothing new. It’s been around for hundreds of years, because we humans are social creatures. We’ve always found ways to talk, share gossip, and swap stories. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter present a valuable opportunity for businesses to grow—so don’t let any of these common myths discourage you!