Social Media is…
…for lonely people that don’t have a real life
…just a fab that will pass and disappear
…not going to bring in new clients or sales
…going to make me rich
…a waste of my time…
and I could go on. I’ve heard so many opinions on social media that I could compile it in a caricature book and probably make quite a bit of money as it would be quite funny to most.
But while there’s as many opinions out there as there are people, I thought it would be interesting to sort out the facts from the myths.
Myth 1: Social Media is for lonely people without a real life
For those not really familiar with how to effectively use social media or haven’t really used it at all, it may seem like just a bunch of people telling each other what they had for lunch. But for those with a bit of experience and know-how, it can be a very profitable tool for their business.
Contests, sweepstakes and giveaways can be very effective when used in conjunction with social media. Same goes for great content. If you have a great article or video on your website that has educational and/or entertainment value and you share it with others on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, it has the potential of becoming viral and can give you the kind of valuable exposure money just can’t buy.
Myth 2: For Social Media to work, you have to be on all of them
Woah! Stop that train, I wanna get off!! It doesn’t matter if you’re on all the social media platforms available in the entire world, if you are not using them properly you might as well not be on any of them because what you’ll get in return is: NOTHING!
What is important is that you chose the ones you feel will work best for you and use them smartly and effectively.
My advice: Unless you’re an experienced and skilled marketer, focus on one social network at a time. Maximize the potential of each network, before moving onto the next one.
Myth 3: It’s easy for anyone to be successful with Social Media
Some of you are not going to like this one but let’s face it, if we’re to be honest, we have to admit that each of us have our own strengths and weaknesses. Not everyone is good at math, physics, languages etc. I’m sure you have said at least once: “That guy/woman should not be behind a wheel! He/she can’t drive to save his/her life!”
And well, it’s the same for social media. You hear day in and day out how easy it is and how successful you can be if you do this or that but not everyone has a great mental aptitude for social media, it’s just a fact. If you find yourself in that unfortunate category, think about hiring someone to work it for you. After all, you do use an accountant to keep your books, or a lawyer to solidify agreements and contracts.
Myth 4: With Social Media, I don’t need face-to-face networking
That’s just “bull droppings”. There will always be a need for face-to-face communication; its how we humans are designed, period. People will always prefer direct person-to-person communication over internet/phone or other forms of communication.
Even if online networking has many advantages, the most common of them being convenience, it will never surpass the impact of real face-to-face communication and networking.
Myth 5: With Social Media, I don’t need a Website
As I’ve already mentioned in one of my previous articles, Social Media is a marketing tool for your website, not the other way around. A good strong website always comes before social media, or at least it should. Although you can apply some branding to your social media network profiles & pages, there are always application-side limitations. Nothing can replace a good, solid website. Not yet anyways.
For one, search engines are content driven and your website is the one platform where you can put all your rich content without limitations or restrictions. It is also where your Branding can really be enforced to its full potential. I cannot stress it enough, your Image Branding Matters! Think about it.
Myth 6: Blogging doesn’t work
Blogging does work. But like social media, there are ways to make blogging more efficient and ways to make blogging a waste of your time. How you go about it is up to you but here, I want to explain how social media and blogging can go hand in hand.
If you are serious about marketing and decide to use blogging as a platform, here’s how to go about it:
First, you need a plan
- what are you going to blog about?
- What value does your blog have to your current and potential customers?
- What do I want my blog to achieve?
If the answer to the last question was bring in more clients & boost sales then here’s how your social media can work to promote your blog:
- Post excerpts of blog posts on social media to drive traffic to your site.
- Promote videos that are on your site and invite them to visit your site to see more videos
- You can use auto posting systems that will automatically post your blog article on facebook, twitter etc… but be careful which system you chose, not all are good.
- Offer special promotions only to people who are fans of your social network.
There are tons of ways in which social media can help you promote your website or special offers. What social media is supposed to do is bring people to your site and give you the opportunity to interact with your current & potential customers. But once they have gone to your website, many will surf around a little more and may come across something else of interest.
Myth 7: It’s not possible to measure site traffic stemming from social media
A myth? Ya Betcha! For one, google analytics offers many goal customizations to do just that. Sure, you’ll have to study their tutorials to find out how it can be done, but it can. As an example, you can track which social media your visitors came from and what actions they took. You can then see which ones generated the most activity and the best results.
Myth 8: I don’t have time for Social Media
I suppose this one falls under the category of time management and discipline.
If you run a restaurant, you schedule shopping, inventory, cleaning etc into the daily schedule, yes? Same goes for running a successful social media interaction:
- Organize your system according to your needs
- Make use of available tools to make social media effective with the least amount of time invested.
- Get in and get out – once inside your social media network, it is tempting to sit and chat – do what you got to do and get out.
Myth 9: Social Media isn’t for my type of business
Hmmmm…let’s have a closer look at this one and let me ask you:
- Does your business need to generate new leads or traffic?
- Could you benefit from having more ways to build your brand?
- Would you like to strengthen your SEO efforts?
- Would it be helpful to give your customers a platform to give feedback and suggestions in real-time?
If you answered yes to one or more of those questions, social media is right for your business.
Myth 10: I created a profile but got nothing out of it
Do you know what happens if you create a profile page on a social network and don’t promote it? Nothing. Absolutely nothing will happen.
Unfortunately, far too many marketers think all they have to do is create a profile page on the various social networks and somehow people will magically appear at their doorstep – credít cards in hand pushing each other to be first in line to buy something. I’m afraid it doesn’t work that way.
Do you think that if you rent commercial space, staff it, put in merchandise and just sit there with your doors open, people will come running to buy? No, of course you don’t. Just apply that same logic to your website & your social media platforms. They are part of your business – sort of like side & back doors or outlets – and need to be promoted. Creating a profile is only the first step, you also need to participate.
See you on facebook or twitter or linked in… :)