Small business owners hear all sorts of advice about how they should run their businesses. Unfortunately, not everything is good advice, though it’s difficult to distinguish fact from fiction. This is especially important to recognize when dealing with social media. Things are always changing in this particular field, which means that things that once held true are likely much different now.
“There’s a lot of misinformation that gets spread around about what social media is and isn’t, and more importantly, what it can and can’t do,” says a blog post from Method, a CRM software company. This misinformation has led many businesses down a long, confusing road of failed social interactions and a lack of confidence in the process as a whole.
As a small business, it’s important that you hear all of the facts before jumping into a social marketing campaign. Here are some of the most common myths that you may have heard regarding social media marketing.
Myth 1: You should join every social network for optimum results.
Reality: That’s not necessary, but you should join more than one.
Social media networks tend to have specific audiences, and not all of those audiences will include your target customers. A social profile takes a lot of time and effort to maintain, and trying to monitor too many networks will likely wear you out with very little ROI.
Instead of putting a company profile on every network, choose just a few that go with your business. If one isn’t proving fruitful, there’s no shame in shutting it down.
Myth 2: Google Plus is a waste of time.
Reality: Not if you’re interested in search engine rankings.
It’s true that Google Plus is one of the smaller social networks, and the majority of customers don’t spend a lot of time on it, but that doesn’t mean that it’s useless. In fact, Google Plus is tremendously useful for promoting SEO.
When you post to Google Plus, Google indexes them in the SERPs, which boosts your rankings. Even if you haven’t seen any conversions from your Google Plus efforts, you’ll likely see progress in your organic rankings, which makes it more than worth it.
Myth 3: Pinterest isn’t good for any business but B2C.
Reality: Many B2B businesses have found success with Pinterest.
Of course, B2C businesses see amazing results from their Pinterest traffic, but that doesn’t mean that it’s entirely useless for B2B companies. They simply have to take a different approach.
“In the B2B world, using Pinterest as a tool solely to ‘enhance your brand’ isn’t going to cut it,” says a blog post from HubSpot. “When leads and customers are your bottom line, it’s really important that you’re driving quality traffic to your website with the goal of conversion.”
Myth 4: Social media will take care of itself.
Reality: You have to engage if you want results.
Simply creating profiles on Facebook, Instagram, and Google Plus isn’t enough to generate the benefits. It’s engagement with your followers and other content that brings conversions. Online communities are built with hard work, consistent attention, and personalized touches.
Myth 5: My customer base isn’t on social media.
Reality: Everyone is on social media.
Facebook currently has 1 billion active users, Twitter has 170 million, Google Plus has 100 million, and Instagram 400 million. These numbers are growing every day, and you can bet that at least a small percentage of your customer base is on one of these social hubs.
Myth 6: Posts should be kept reserved and professional.
Reality: It’s the posts with personality that get the most attention.
At one point, companies operated under a regime of strict professionalism. Every statement was calculated and professional, and every public interaction was kept strictly by the books. But that’s not what people want anymore. They want to see personality and the people behind your company. This doesn’t mean that you should take up swearing and constant jokes, but it does mean that it’s okay to lighten up the conversations a little.
There’s no doubt that you’ve heard more myths than just this, but hopefully this has been an eye-opening start. You can’t believe everything you hear or read, and it’s important to do your research before taking action on any one piece of advice.