Social media marketing is being hyped heavily these days by nearly everyone. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social networks are red hot with popularity and businesses are doing their best to capture business by marketing to their members. With the rise of social media marketing, a number of myths have also bubbled to the surface. Let's take a look at some of the most common social media marketing myths.
Myth #1) It's an easy way to attract new clients to your business.
This statement couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, social media marketing could end up becoming one of the most difficult paths any company embarks on. Social media is a very crowded space. In fact, one recent study suggested that many people on social media are receiving as many as 5,000 commercial messages a day. You better believe the way they're dealing with that level of bombardment is by becoming more discerning. In other words, people ignore most of the messages they see on social networks. If your message doesn't stand out, you don't have a chance of being seen. Making your posts and web page stand out is hard work. Be prepared to earn any traffic or business you get from social media marketing.
Myth #2) Social media marketing is free.
Everybody parrots this myth, much the same way they always make the same claim about search engine traffic.
The idea that social media marketing is free is preposterous. Sure, it doesn't actually cost you any money to Tweet your article or to post to Facebook, but there are definite costs of time and money associated with producing all the 'high-quality content' that is so in-demand these days. Good articles now require photos, videos, and well-researched text. All of this takes time and costs money to produce. You willingly turn this content over to the social networks in exchange for exposure. It still cost you!
Myth #3) The number of your 'followers' is important.
This is part of the old 'does size matter' debate. People might try and judge you by the number of followers you amass at social networks. If you've managed to gain 100,000 followers, that means you've earned some sort of 'social value.'
Getting people to follow you is very easy. Getting them to pay attention to what you're saying is another thing altogether. Please take a look at the video I made, where I communicate with an 'audience' of over 3,000 followers. Pundits will continue to argue about quantity versus quality on social networks and their debate deserves consideration. If you're running a social media marketing campaign for your business, you'll need to focus on highly qualified traffic. If your niche is small, you'll have a small audience of followers.
Perhaps more importantly, social media marketing takes real engagement to be successful. If you keep your followers focused, you'll have a better chance at communicating with people who are actually interested in what you're saying and selling. Social networks have grown incredibly huge. Narrowing down your audience is a better choice than trying to appeal to too broad of an audience.
Myth #4) You need the help of experts to do social media marketing.
There are a lot of pundits selling social media marketing advice. You can buy dozens of eBooks on this subject to read on your Kindle. Do you need the words of these experts to learn the 'proper' way to do social media marketing?
Truth is, there are 12-year-old kids who have mastered the art of social media marketing, and they didn't spend a dime to do it. This is not rocket science, so you don't need to pay the equivalent of a 4-year degree in rocketry in order to get the hang of it. Be respectful to people. Stay on-topic. Stay focused on excellent client care and your audience will find you. Using social media as a communications medium for current and future clients is no different than anything else you do in business. Try not to complicate things or get lost in jargon.
You're the only expert that matters when it comes to servicing your client base.
Myth #5) Setting up profiles will be enough.
If you plan on 'setting and forgetting' it with social media marketing, you can forget it. You have to have a great profile, but that's only the start of the journey. Even more important than creating 'hubs' for visitors to land on, you have to have a plan to engage them when they get there. There are more tools than ever to help you do just that, but staying on top of your engagement will remain constant hard work. Don't even embark on social media marketing unless you're in it for the long-haul. Once you get started, there's no turning back.
Your business is competing with many similar enterprises. Most of them have social media marketing initiatives going on, too. It's not enough to show up and expect to win the game. You have to fight hard to gain your share of social media users and then you have to to keep them around once they are there! Social media marketing is an ongoing process that you can't afford to drop once you start.
If you haven't already embarked on the journey of social media marketing for your business, the time is long overdue. Start today. Start small if you have to, but get started. There are hundreds of millions of active accounts on social media websites, so you have to consider the advantages of marketing to them. If you can do it in a consistent and profitable manner, this channel represents a very good way to grow your business.
Creating and maintaining social media profiles can be done relatively quickly. You should expect to allot at least 1/2 hour daily to your social media marketing efforts initially. As time goes on, the demands on you will rise substantially. If you're prepared to do the work, there's no question that social media marketing will become an important part of your overall marketing strategy.
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