Social Media is no longer a passing ‘fad’ and purely a personal luxury to share selfies, the food you are currently eating and pics of your beloved pets.
Social Media has quickly become the #1 Marketing tool for businesses worldwide simply because it is where your clients are hanging out, all of the time – and it is mostly FREE!
Since this marketing platform is still relatively new to the game, how to utilize it effectively for your business is still something that many business owners need to learn about. It is not like traditional marketing, and it comes with a whole different set of rules to ensure you are leveraging it properly and using your time spent on it wisely.
Your goals for social media may not be properly informed, and it’s important to be aware of the common ‘myths’ that surround this marketing tool that only serve to harm your efforts. Whatever your expectations are for social media, it is something that is all about the ‘bigger picture’ and you need to know right off the bat that you will need to commit to it for the long haul to see the results you are aiming for.
We are often contacted by individuals and companies who are freaking out because they need to bring in x amount of new clients in this next month, or they have an event coming up that they have to fill seats for and they are hoping that social media will fill in the gaps and fix everything for them. This CAN happen, but only if your social media platforms have been operating for a while and you have a solid community built around your brand by practicing effective strategies DAILY. If you have no social media platforms, or are just starting out, this expectation for social media to be the ‘magic bullet’ is unrealistic and will only serve to frustrate you and bring you further away from a positive relationship with this incredible marketing tool.
We find that much of our work is in educating businesses about social media and debunking many MYTHS that circulate due to bad advice, inexperienced advice or just a lack of knowledge on how it works. Since social media is so accessible, everyone thinks they are an expert. Social Media is growing so quickly and has so many changes happening regularly that it takes more than a novice, or selfie poster to know how to leverage marketing strategies and marry them to powerful online strategies for business. It took us many years of trial and error, research and marketing ‘know how’ to develop our own strategy for businesses called the ‘C Strategy’ – this award winning approach has proven to be extremely effective at bringing our clients from out behind the curtains and putting them front and centre on social media. We support them in building a viable, engaged and trusting community of fans and followers around their brand that ALWAYS results in sales based on the Return on Relationship values that we adhere to strongly.
So, what are these MYTHS that you may be buying into that are murdering any possibility of success for your business online? These are our TOP 6 that need debunking and they need it fast:
1. MYTH – I am successful if I have a large number of followers/fans on my FB fan page.
This myth started way back when FB pages were first introduced and the race to collect fans and ‘likes’ began. Farming for ‘likes’ has been a practice that many take seriously, and even go so far as buying them.
REALITY – The reality is, it doesn’t matter how many likes you have if they are not VALUABLE likes. Valuable likes are likes that matter; fans that are truly interested in what you have to say and will engage with your content. Having 2000 likes on your FB page doesn’t matter at all if those fans are not engaging in your content, liking and sharing it. We have had clients come to us who have purchased 1000+ likes, yet have zero engagement – what is the point to that? Nothing at all. That number fails to impress if it is just a number – it needs to translate to true relationships in order to serve up results overall. Also, FB started cracking down on ‘fake likes’ a while back and this practice is truly in the dinosaur age for social media – it will do nothing but make you ‘look’ successful on the surface. It won’t take a genius to figure out they are not REAL likes when your FB page is scanned through and nobody is engaging. Just don’t do it. Obtain likes and followers organically for the best results.
2. MYTH – I can totally sell my products or service on social media within a month of starting up new platforms.
This myth comes from a very outdated marketing perspective that is all about promotion, promotion, promotion. Many businesses still believe that only serving up their content and pushing courses and products on people all day long is the best course of action.
REALITY – Over promotion is one of the surest ways to completely murder any success from your social media platforms. Not only is it self indulgent, it is boring to your fans and followers. Nobody is as jazzed up about you as you think they are. Especially on social media – it is a social platform, so as in real life, the more you talk about just yourself, the less friends you will have over time. In fact, you’ll likely end up with no friends – a big fat ZERO. And how does that translate when it comes to success for your business on social media? It doesn’t. Social Media is meant to be social, which involves focusing on relationships over sales. If you make this one VERY important shift in your strategy, you will start to see more results immediately. REMEMBER: We operate with the ROR ( Return on Relationship Rule) for social media, not the more traditional ROI ( Return on Investment). Keep this rule forefront in your strategy and you will be more likely to gain followers who share your content and engage with your content.
3. MYTH – Social Media will totally help me bring in new clients and new sales in 30 days or less from when I start using it.
This myth is highly inaccurate and we’re not sure how it started other than from inexperienced business owners who are looking for a magic bullet to fix all of their marketing issues. Business owners expect that starting up social media platforms will suddenly bring them a flood of sales almost immediately.
REALITY – Social Media is all about the BIG PICTURE. You need to be in it for the long haul to see results to your bottom line. Focusing on building relationships is not a direct line to your bottom line and it is business suicide to think that one tool can fix all the issues you have in your sales and marketing strategies. We often have businesses coming to us without a clear marketing strategy to begin with and we are unable to partner with them until they get that part clear because social media is only as strong as your overall marketing strategy is. Social Media is an aspect of your entire marketing plan, and it is a long term strategy at that. We tell our clients that it takes 6-12 months to build up a viable online profile around your business and expecting immediate results is not only misguided, but impossible when you are working with a platform that focuses on building relationships and building community. Having an expectation like this is murder to your success on social media because you’ll not see the results you expect and then brand social media as useless right away – which is so VERY far from the truth. Give it time to work, and work it effectively – it will deliver.
4. MYTH – I need to be on ALL the platforms out there.
This myth started as more and more social media platforms started to become available and businesses thought they had to be on every one of them to ‘cash in’ on the people who were on those platforms.
REALITY – not only is this a HUGE waste of time, it also dilutes your business and tries to be everything to everyone. The more effective strategy is to choose the top three platforms that are where your demographic like to hang out. Facebook is one we always suggest is a must for every business. The next two platforms are chosen based on who the clients are for the business and where they are most likely to be hanging out. For instance, if your business has a demographic that includes millennials ( 20 somethings) then being on Snapchat is paramount. Or, if your business is highly visual and caters to women, then Pintrest is your more optimal choice. Every platform is geared towards a different audience and it is imperative you know who that audience is and also that you know who YOUR audience is so that you know which platforms to choose. Being on all of them is unnecessary and will just tax your resources.
5. MYTH – I can just take one day and schedule in all of my posts for all of my social platforms and then leave them.
This myth started when businesses realized that they needed to have a presence online, and tried to come up with a system, or a way to have that presence, but not have to spend much time on maintaining it.
REALITY – This is another one of the most dangerous myths to buy into. You are better off not having ANY social media profiles than taking the shortcut of just scheduling posts and leaving them. Engagement and interaction are the main actions of social media, and without them you don’t have a strategy at all, you are simply filling space and your fans and followers will know it. This is one of laziest ways of maintaining a social media presence and it is one that irks us the most. We have found many so called ‘professional social media managers’ advising this and doing it themselves for clients. This is not only murder to your success online, it is disrespectful to your fans and followers. It shows them you cannot be bothered to show up and to engage with them. It shows them that you have no time for them and have other better things to do. Social Media is the front line to your customer service – your fans and followers will be testing your service out on social media and you had better be available to them. If you aren’t available and don’t bother to respond to notifications, shared articles from your page, comments or likes you will quickly lose any fans that you may have managed to obtain. This is another ‘DON’T DO – EVER!’ Always be present and always be engaged. Setting a social calendar is a good thing to do, but it does not replace the day to day interaction you must have with your fans.
6. MYTH – I will only post content from my own blog or my own website, it’s not smart to post any other type of content. My business will struggle if I post content from other people and I REFUSE to post content from anyone that I consider to be a competitor.
This myth arose from a ‘lack mentality’ , aggressively competitive tendencies and outdated marketing tactics. It is a very self absorbed approach that doesn’t focus on relationship building at all.
REALITY – This is the fastest way to not only commit murder to your strategy, but suicide to your existence online. Only posting your content will read exactly as it is: I am self absorbed and only care about myself. We always need to bring it back to the basics: Social Media is social, so you need to behave socially in a way that will attract and draw in fans and followers. If you push your own stuff endlessly you will bore your fans and they will stop engaging. One of the best strategies in our ‘C Strategy’ is the strategy of reciprocity. Sharing the content of others not only makes you a supportive person, it shows a willingness to create community and serve others. Those ‘others’ whose content you are sharing will be THRILLED and will likely become your fans and support you in your work – reciprocity – it works. There are some social media influencers out there that have such a big ego that they still refuse to support others, but that won’t last long for them, and for us it’s not exactly a way to approach business. Social Media is a powerful tool not only for business, but for instilling positive relationship values with EVERY interaction.
7. MYTH – I don’t need social media for my business. We saved the best for last because yes, we still hear businesses saying this and it is the worst offending myth out there. There are some hard fast and stubborn folks out there that insist that they don’t need social media platforms for their business to survive and thrive in this day and age. They hang on to that belief and want so badly to prove the masses wrong.
REALITY – Your business needs to be where your potential clients are – no matter WHAT decade we are in and what marketing tools are currently available to us. If you choose NOT to be visible where your clients are, then they won’t find you, if they don’t find you they can’t hire you. It’s simple and it’s not about stubbornly refusing to embrace technology and be the one who resists assimilation. It’s fine if you want to be that way, that is your choice, but if you want to run a business at the same time you had better have a backup plan when it fails – because it will. Without relationships and a positive profile online, most people will not even consider a business these days. Transparency is the name of the game right now and people only want to buy from people they can see, interact with and trust. These people are all online searching out what they need – they will be buying from the people they can find and develop a relationship with. If your business doesn’t have an online profile, you won’t have a business in 5 years, or less. So, stop being so self absorbed in your own resistance and make yourself available to your clients.
These are a FEW of the very damaging myths that are still out there concerning social media for your business – there are many more, but the ones we have highlighted are the worst offenders and guaranteed to stall and stop any success potential that is available to your business online.
Social Media is a powerful tool when it is utilized with awareness, strategy, insight and respect. It is one of the easiest ways to increase sales, referrals and other leads without having to spend a cent. It is paramount to have a presence these days, and it is so important to have an effective marketing strategy so that you can SHINE brightly online, be seen, be engaged with, be trusted and be chosen as the person your potential clients not only want to work with, but NEED to work with.
If you need assistance in learning the effective strategies for social media so that your business can shine online, get in touch with us! We offer coaching and consulting services with our Award Winning ‘C Strategy’ that promises results.
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Volunteering regularly in the Vancouver community, Kaare sponsors and supports many local artists and community driven businesses and social causes and has been nominated for the ‘Power of Peace Award’ with YMCA the Wendy McDonald award – Vancouver Board of Trade for Community Catalyst and the ‘Community Impact Award‘ from Small Business Awards B.C.
Kaare’s driving force is her strong sense of community support to each and every project she undertakes and she is the founder of the #sayhitoastanger social project in Vancouver.
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