So, let’s bust some myths! Here are 11 of the most widely believed myths that you need to stop thinking about growing your business with social media.
#1: You Need a Presence on Every Social Media Site
The notion that you need a presence on every social media site is one of the most harmful business owners’ myths. It takes time, effort, and money to maintain an active presence on ANY social media site and nobody has time for all of them.
What you need is an active and meaningful presence on the sites that offer you the best opportunity to connect with your target audience and engage your customers. Nothing else matters. Most local businesses should be on Facebook. B2B companies should have a presence on LinkedIn. If you’re selling an aspirational product or service, it makes sense to be on Instagram or Pinterest.
Does this mean you should never try something new? Of course not! Set up a profile and give it a try. But if the site you choose isn’t giving you the results you want, cut it loose.
#2: Fans and Followers are Worthless if They Don’t Become Paying Customers
You should use social media to attract new customers. That’s obvious, and it makes sense. But I hear many business owners who think that followers who aren’t paying customers aren’t worth having – and that’s not true.
Your fans and followers don’t need to buy from you to be helpful. Having a large following can raise your profile and help new customers find you. If you’ve got fans or followers who have a lot of clout, you’ll get some of it by association.
Most importantly, a follower who doesn’t buy your products could still refer their friends and followers to your business. It would help if you run ads designed to attract paying customers but don’t ignore the benefits of followers who aren’t your customers. They’re still helpful.
#3: It’s Useful to Have Your Friends and Family “Like” Your Posts
It’s a common misconception among business owners that asking friends and family to “Like” your posts will help you get more engagement. The bad news? Social media algorithms are more sophisticated than that, and you need a wide range of people to engage with your posts.
Does this mean you should tell the people who care about you not to like your posts? Of course not! It means that you should always be asking your fans and followers to engage with your posts – and giving them a reason to do so. Ask a question, encourage them to share your posts, and most of all, share content that’s useful and entertaining, so they’ll want to engage with you.
#4: You Shouldn’t Schedule Posts on the Weekend
It’s a common practice for businesses not to share new social media content on the weekend. While it’s true that some of your followers might not spend as much time on social media on the weekends as they do during the week, you shouldn’t assume that weekend content is unnecessary.
Instead, try scheduling a few weekend posts to see how they do. You can use Facebook Insights or whatever analytics tool you prefer to determine which days and times are the best for posting.
#5: You Must Respond to Social Media Comments Immediately
There’s no doubt that it’s important to respond when a social media follower asks a question or leaves a comment. But responding on time doesn’t mean you must drop everything to respond immediately – with one exception.
If you have incorporated your customer support with social media, you should be sure to respond as quickly as possible. A lot of local businesses have added chatbots to Facebook Messenger to minimize wait times for their customers.
However, a comment that doesn’t require customer support involvement can wait a little while to respond. As a rule, try to respond within 24 hours.
#6: Social Media Posts Must Always Be Businesslike
Social media is social first and media second, but a lot of business owners forget that. Their social media posts are as dry as a dust and don’t get any engagement. And they wonder why.
Don’t be afraid to inject some personality into your social media posts. Even if you offer a professional service, you can still use appropriate humor or compassion in your posts. This is the place to showcase your brand personality. Ensure that anybody who is empowered to post on your social media accounts understands the persona you want to project.
#7: You Need Endless New Content to Post
You need to have some new content to post on your social media sites. However, there’s nothing wrong with repurposing or resharing old content if you don’t have time to write something new.
Keep in mind, too, that you can “curate” content by finding articles in industry publications and posts from influencers to share with your followers. Provided that you keep the content, you post relevant, your followers will be happy to see it.
#8: Social Media Marketing is Free
This final myth is one that I hear often. While it is free to set up a social media account for your business, you’re unlikely to get the results you want without spending some money.
Social media algorithms have grown increasingly sophisticated. The only way you can be sure that your followers will see your most important content is to boost it. Social media marketing can help you get your content in front of potential customers. The good news is that you don’t need to spend much to get the results you want.
#9 You’ll have astonishing social media engagement if you tell your friends and family “Like” every post.
To make sure your Facebook posts are seen by more people, encourage followers instead of just friends and family. Although it might seem like you see a lot of content that gets liked or hearted by other users on social media sites when scrolling through the news feed, there’s actually a bit more to the algorithm than meets the eye – in order for certain posts to be favored over others, an account needs engagement from different types of accounts.
#10 Only people under 25 years old use social media.
Consider this: 40% of internet users age 46 to 55 are on LinkedIn by the end of 2020; roughly 55% of Facebook users are over the age of 35 as of 2021; and in 2019, over 80% of 45-64 year old U.S. internet users watched videos on YouTube.
This is, of course, a very important detail. How will you talk to them? Facebook and Twitter are popular social media platforms that most people use on a regular basis – it’s up to your audience which one they prefer the best!
#11Social media is completely free marketing.
As a small business owner, you know that social media is the most affordable way to boost audiences and brand awareness. With this in mind, it’s easy to see why many companies are choosing not only to invest time but also money into their channels as well.
If you’re posting for free on your account (and who isn’t these days?), then there will be an investment of at least one employee managing all of its posts and strategies across various platforms – which could get expensive if they start taking off!
The 11 myths I have listed here are all past their prime. Let go of them and you’ll see your social media marketing results improve – and your business grow.
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