I was recently at a conference for very high level corporate women executives and entrepreneurs where I attended a social media breakout session. While I didn’t learn anything new personally, it was really interesting to see just how much other people didn’t know. So based on the questions of many of those executives and entrepreneurs, here were five assumptions that many of them made about social media which could be killing your business (and made me cringe!).
Myth #1 – Social Media Takes Entirely Too Much Time
This is what people use to think about blogging years ago (laugh! laugh!). So here’s the thing…anything new seems to take time away from whatever else you were doing to market your business and build your brand. Just like blogging though, social media is a part of the web that is here to stay. The players may change (MySpace to Facebook, etc.), but the game remains the same. Social influence matters. So you have to decide first to do social media, make the time for it in your marketing plan, and make sure to leverage the hell out of it! There is no reason that you should be sitting online or on your phone all day engaging in social media when there are so many automation tools out there to help spread your content effortlessly. Can it all be automated? No. The key is to finding a balance on what should be automated and what shouldn’t.
Myth #2 – I’m Too Far Behind My Competitors
Ugh! I bought into this myth pretty early on with Twitter. By the time I decided to take Twitter seriously, several of my major competitors were way ahead of me in terms of followers and engagement. It’s also a problem if you are in a niche with major brands as your competitors, but guess what? You have to start somewhere. One step at a time. If you have a list, make sure to continuously encourage them to reach out to you on social media. If you are a solopreneur, more than likely, your list members and followers would love to reach out to you personally. So eliminate that via contact forms, etc. and ask them to engage you via your Facebook Page. There’s also a lot of tools out there that you can use to give people access to content if they pay with a “tweet”. You could try Pay With A Tweet for that. It’s free.
Myth #3 – Social Media Doesn’t Result In Sales Or Help My Business
I’m really baffled by this one, but many of the women believed this which I found utterly amazing. As far as brand awareness, social media works much like advertising but better because there is real social engagement about the product in real-time. An ad runs on television in hopes that it will keep the product or service in the minds of people going to make a purchase. Same holds true for social media. The constant engagement keeps the product or services’s brand in the minds of people who may make a future investment in it AND there is the added benefit of social proof. If 10 people online say that they love the taste of the new Pepsi Next on Facebook, then that has more value to me than simply just a commercial for the product.
And how about customer service? There are big brands like Virgin America who use Twitter and Facebook as their main customer service hubs. *Experts estimate that this saves Virgin about 13 million dollars in customer service expenses.
Myth #4 – There’s Too Much Chatter & Not Enough Substance On Social Media
Okay, it’s true. There are people who are out there talking about their fingernail polish and what they ate for breakfast! Plus all the social media experts are out there telling us that we have to build relationships on social media. Connect with people. Have conversations. Be real. Be transparent. But let’s be honest here, we are all in business, but we are all human beings as well. Here is another area in social media where you have to find a balance. People must feel that they know, like and trust you to make an investment in you. So if one of your members is having a 25th wedding anniversary and posts it in social media, then like it. Comment on it. People will notice that you are paying attention. People will connect with you on a personal level. As you do this, you also must balance this with posts and comments on what you’re doing in your business. A blog post you published. A video you just posted to YouTube. An aha moment. A good news announcement.
After Google, Facebook is my number #2 referral of traffic to my website. That’s nothing to sneeze at! So people are able to cut through the mindless chatter and connect with relevant messages. My traffic is proof of that and I bet you’ll see it too when you start using social media regularly.
Myth #5 – My Clients Don’t Use Social Media
I was in a room with many women who have corporate backgrounds and haven’t quite yet embraced the idea that this “new” marketing strategy is effective or even used by their customers but here’s a little enlightenment if you believe in the same: *the average internet user spends about 5 hours online each week on social networks, LinkedIn is the world’s largest business network and is used by over 161 million users, 11 new Twitter accounts are created every second, and 1 out of 8 minutes online is spent on Facebook. If none of these people are your customers or clients then I’d be very surprised.
I’m sure I’ve missed something. What social media myths have you run into when working with clients? I’d love to hear about them.