By Laura Donovan

Source: Business 2 Business

Social Media may have started out as a free site “where kids goof off,” but it has now become an important and powerful marketing tool for all businesses.

Social Media helps businesses reach their target market, engage with their audience, promote products and services, and ultimately to drive leads and make sales.

However, there are still a few misconceptions about Social Media Marketing that may cake it seem like Social Media is not a viable tool for your business.

Myth #1: Social Media Marketing is Free

It doesn’t cost anything to sign up for an account on the big Social Media Platforms and you aren’t charged to post content. However, this does not mean that it is truly free. It may not seem like it, but there is more to it than just slapping up a photo, meme, or link to your website.

If you truly want your marketing efforts on Social Media to work it demands time, attention, research, and hard work. What is your time worth? You have your own business to run, time spent learning and implementing strategies, following up on questions, and monitoring the accounts for comments is time-consuming. Additionally, researching content, designing graphics, and examining results takes even more time.

Thus, whether you are spending your own time to run a marketing campaign, or you hire a professional, it costs something to successfully use Social Media to market.

Myth #2: Friends and Followers are Most Important

It may seem like the most important goal to achieve with your Social Media account is to garner as many friends and followers as possible, bigger is better. But, with Social Marketing this is not the case.

It’s more important to look at the engagement metrics for your updates and ads when gauging your success on Social Media.

It’s easy to get hundreds or thousands of followers on your accounts, but the hard part is engaging and interacting with them. Followers liking, commenting, sharing, viewing videos, linking to your website, etc. are more invested in what you have to say, which translates to more interested in what it is that you do and sell.

Users’ taking the time to stop and see what you are saying are typically more interested in you and value your opinion. Which means they trust you, which means they are more likely to buy from you in the future or share your information with someone they know who may be interested in what you are selling.

Quality Not Quantity.

Myth #3: Customers in the “_____” Industry Don’t Use Social Media

Over three-quarters of this country use Social Media, it is very likely that customers in most industries are using Social Media. In fact, even adults over the age of 65 are using Social Media, over one-third of them to be specific.

Social Site use by U.S. adults is as follows:

  • 73% use YouTube.
  • 68% use Facebook.
  • 35% use Instagram.
  • 29% use Pinterest.
  • 27% use Snapchat.
  • 25% use LinkedIn.
  • 24% use Twitter.

Chances are your customers are using a Social Media platform.

Myth #4: My College Intern/Son/Daughter Can Do It, They Grew Up on Facebook

Too many business owners think that the youngest person they know is the most qualified to manage their Social Media strategy. Youngsters have been using Social Media “their whole lives” so they MUST get it best.

Social Media Marketing isn’t like performing brain surgery, but to be done effectively it should be managed by someone who is skilled, educated, and informed in all things Social Marketing.

Most Social Media Marketing professionals have experience and keep up to date with trends and changes in the industry. They may also specialize in specific business industries and know the most effective way to use Social Media to market very specific businesses.

Social Media strategies and trends change frequently, someone who stays on top of the changes is who you want to manage your marketing efforts.

It’s not rocket science, but it is a science.

Myth #5: You Should be on All the Social Networks

There are a lot of Social Media networks and not all of them are built the same. Posting certain things on one site may not translate to another site. Not to mention the demographics on some platforms may not be the demographics of your target market.

There are several factors to look at when figuring out the Social sites to use for marketing purposes. Determining your target audience and figuring out which site they are most active on is the best way to determine the Social sites to focus your efforts is one way.

Once you figure out where your customers and potential customers are and learn the best practices for marketing on those platforms, you can be effective on the sites they use.

Additionally, it is not necessary to be everywhere and may dilute your efforts. Selecting the top sites that work best for your business and focusing on those strategies will be most effective.

Myth# 6: Social Media Doesn’t Work

Some business owners think that because they aren’t receiving direct results that their efforts are wasted.

Sure, it may seem like that daily update does nothing, no one liked it or shared it, but the fact that your updates are seen, and your ads are showing to thousands means you are in front of people. There is no other advertising source that will put your business in front of so many people every day for a low cost.

Every update is improving search rank and SEO, enhancing online visibility and brand reputation, putting your business in front of people who may have never heard of you, driving traffic to your website, and generating leads, and increasing the probability of sales.

The Bottom-Line

Social Media is a crucial tool for marketing any business. It is a cost-effective way to have your business out in front of people daily, making positive connections with an audience, building awareness, and creating interest and loyalty all to drive sales, generate revenue, and grow your business.

However, for it to work you need to do it right and avoid the myths.

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