Social Media Myths That Might Hurt Your Small Business
Over the past several years, marketing on social media has evolved to the point where it has become a very common business practice, and one that is generally very effective. However, there are still some misconceptions associated with social media marketing which can cause some business personnel to either avoid the practice altogether, or to at least approach it with trepidation.
Probably the single greatest misconception is that anyone who uses social media marketing will experience instant and amazing results. As most experienced professionals can tell you, this is far from the truth, because social media marketing is a practice which usually takes a great deal of time. The reason this is so is that a good amount of time is required in order to establish a presence on social media, to become involved with a specific community, and to connect with these individuals so as to build up trust.
Once this kind of connection and trust has been established, a business should have a suitable foundation for conducting ongoing relationships with their desired user community. This is in stark contrast to the notion that you’ll automatically inherit an audience of millions of users by logging onto Facebook, or that some post you make on Instagram will achieve viral status.
These misconceptions are pretty far from the truth, although those results are certainly possible once you have already gone through the process of building connections and establishing trust among your user community. If you are a social media marketer who is somewhat new to the process, you may have heard about some of the common myths listed below. In this article, we’ll discuss the real-life version behind some of these misconceptions, and attempt to set the record straight so you know what to expect.
There is no cost associated with social media
While it may be true that you can certainly provide endless posts and content to users on your social media account, it cannot truthfully be said that there is no cost associated with the effort. This is because it will certainly require a great deal of time for anyone who is responsible for producing high quality posts which are targeting specific user groups.
As all business people know, when any professional is required to dedicate a significant amount of time to any project, that equates to a certain amount of monetary investment, because that individual has to be paid for his/her efforts. In some cases, one or more business individuals must also be active daily on social media platforms, responding to user queries and conducting general interaction among users. This in fact, can be essential toward establishing trust in relationships with your intended user community, and it’s generally a full-time effort for at least one person.
It’s necessary to post several times each day
This is another very common misconception which apparently got started because some business personnel experienced success by flooding social media with such frequent postings. You should be aware that just the opposite can be achieved by posting so often, and you could actually turn off users by overwhelming them with content.
What is true is that you should post consistently, so that your users come to anticipate regular content from you, and so they understand you are an active online presence. Ideally, the content that you post should provide value to users, and should seek to either inform them or provide a solution to some issue facing them in their daily lives.
Social media will find you a lot of new customers
It is entirely possible that your business may acquire a few new customers as a result of your social media presence. However, that is not really the strong suit of social media. It’s much better as a vehicle for maintaining relationships with existing customers than it is for acquiring new ones. Once you already have a number of connections on social media, it becomes very easy to have daily interactions and exchanges with them, especially if you are involved with one or more groups where your target audience hangs out. It will be much more difficult for you to acquire new customers through social media, simply because most users are not looking for products or companies online – they come to social media to socialize and to interact with friends and associates.
Social platforms are broadcast channels
Many people have the mistaken notion that social media platforms are to be used as channels for broadcasting messages and for posting content in an outbound type of format. In actuality, social networks are intentionally set up to be channels for two-way communication, wherein both inbound and outbound communications can take place.
In fact, that is the essential nature of social media platforms, i.e. they allow for two-way communications between individuals so that useful exchanges can take place. Even if you are posting a live video transmission on any given platform, you can expect to receive commentary or some kind of reaction from a number of users who are viewing your video. This should be construed as a very good thing, because relationships with potential customers are exactly what you should be striving for.
You need a presence on all social media platforms
Everyone is aware of the huge audiences which many social media platforms currently enjoy. This can be a very tantalizing prospect, since by having a presence on most social media platforms, you could theoretically reach millions of potential customers. However, that’s not the reality of the situation at all. In fact, you could be wasting a ton of resources by having a presence on all social media, if that’s not where your target audience hangs out.
A much better approach would be to do some research and find out which of the platforms your target audience spends most of their time on. Those are the platforms where you should also have a presence, because you want to interact with that group of users. It makes no sense to have a regular and significant presence on any social media platform where your target audience does not spend time, since they won’t be there to hear your message. Concentrate your time and your resources on those platforms where your target audience is known to frequent, so that you can make best use of your available market spend.