There is a lot written about social media on social media. There are tips which will help you drive traffic to your website, post great content, engage with your audience and everything else. However, there is also a lot of nonsense written about social media.
I have picked 10 of my favourite social media myths and I’m looking forward to proving them wrong!
Its one-way communication: It is called social media for a reason – if you met up with a friend and they just spoke to you but didn’t listen, you’d get hacked off pretty quickly. Social media which isn’t a two-way communication is not social.
My product is Business 2 Business, so it won’t work: If the audience that you would like to talk to hang out on social media, you should have a presence on that network. For many B2B businesses, LinkedIn is a great network where people spend their ‘professional’ social time. And the targeted advertising on LinkedIn is very impressive even for the most niche product or service.
It’s not a big commitment: To do social media well will take time. You should be planning your content, monitoring your engagement levels, testing your schedule times, and measuring against your objectives. To do all of these things takes time and commitment – but if you don’t do it, don’t expect social to be a success for you.
It’s free: Technically speaking, social media doesn’t cost anything. But in order to successful at social, you will need to invest time (which has a cost associated to it) and quite possible invest in social media promotion – competitions on your networks, or actually promoting your page to new audiences to drive up the size of your audience or the reach of your message. The best things in life aren’t necessarily for free.
My product is too boring: If your product is not the most exciting then that doesn’t mean that social isn’t for you. The best social media accounts are not just talking about their products, they are addressing the issues that their audience think about. For example, if you provide financial services, then instead of talking about your product, talk about the issues facing your customers.
I can do business posts from my personal page: You see a lot of small businesses doing this, and it makes for very confusing messages. I know of a page like this and one minute there are posts about going out on a Saturday night followed by message trying to promote the business. You should separate any personal and business pages, otherwise you are in danger of alienating your audience that you have worked hard to recruit.
It won’t generate sales so it’s a waste of time: In such competitive times, it is easy to measure the success of any marketing activity purely by sales. But marketing, and social media in particular, is a little more complex. Depending on your business, social media can be used for awareness building, thought leadership, promoting your business, finding new suppliers and partners and all sorts of other tasks – if you set clear objectives for social media, measure them against that, not just sales.
If someone wants a fight, they have got one: Dealing with social media criticism can be tough. On social, some people do not mix their words and will tell you brutally what they think about your product or service. And when you are putting your heart and soul into the business, this can hurt. Taking deep breaths and being mature and reasonable in this situation is the best course of action, but every day you will see a business strike back at a customer complaint – this sends a message to the whole audience.
It only works if your audience is kids: Different social networks have different demographic profiles, which is how so many can co-exist. One of the fastest growing age groups on Facebook is people over the age of 65, so social media is not just the reserve of the young – your audience is probably active on social media somewhere.
I can make it up as I go along: You really can’t – social media accounts that have been abandoned are all over the internet and this is a result of people not thinking through their commitment to social media. If you chose to make it up as you go along with any other business task, it would not be successful – the same applies for social media.
If I have missed your favourite social media myths, please leave a comment and let me know.
Image via socialmediasmarketing.com