There’s a lot of misinformation out there about social media for small businesses. These are seven of the worst myths about social networking for business that may be leading you down the garden path with your business social media.
1. Social media isn’t essential
No matter how big a brand or company is, in today’s tech-obsessed world it’s essential to be on social media. Coca Cola, Nike, American Airlines, and even Google have their own social media presence – so why shouldn’t you? It doesn’t matter how successful your business is, everyone can benefit from social media.
2. You need to be on every platform
This couldn’t be further from the truth. Social networking for businesses is about quality rather than quantity. Choose the platforms which best suit your business, your target audience, and your goals, and go from there.
Choose three or four platforms which you want to focus on and create a solid, impactful presence on there. That is far more effective than having an account on every platform that you hardly set up and barely maintain.
3. The number of followers is the only thing that matters
Imagine this: there are two business Facebook pages. The first business has ten thousand followers but averages about three likes per post. The second business has one thousand followers but each post attracts about 30 likes, comments, and shares. Which business is more successful on Facebook?
The second one. The more engaged your audience is, the better. Don’t get caught up in focusing on accumulating more followers. Instead, focus on getting your current followers engaged.
4. Buying followers is a good way to make your page look popular
Incorrect again. This is a dodgy, frowned-upon way of increasing followers. It reflects poorly on your business, but also, it doesn’t even help your social media marketing. See the point above – followers aren’t everything. It’s engaged followers who you want, and the follows you buy certainly aren’t that. Steer clear.
5. You can delete or ignore negative comments
It’s bad customer service to delete or ignore negative comments. If it’s a genuine customer with a genuine complaint you need to address it. Use it as an opportunity to show exemplary customer service skills. Show that you’re caring and concerned and are willing to do all you can to resolve the problem.
Deleting comments is like cutting the head off the mythical Hydra – double will grow back in its place. Deal with it immediately. Similarly, ignoring comments just looks bad – either that you don’t know how to operate your social media, or, worse, that you don’t care.
6. If you have a Facebook Page you don’t need a website
Social media and a website are not a one-or-the-other situation. You should be viewing you online presence in its entirety. Social media and a website are two sides of the same coin which work in symbiosis. Both are important for SEO and are greater than the sum of their parts. A website can do things that a Facebook page can’t and vice versa. Keeping a business website is still important, even with a robust Facebook page.
Share things from your website to your Facebook page and link to all of your social media on your website. Keeping all of your online entities connected and interlinked isn’t just good for SEO, it is better for cohesive branding, too.
7. Every post needs to promote your business or product
Quite the opposite! Social media is about connecting with other users, rather than just broadcasting information about you and your product. The time you put into social media should be as much about engaging with other people in your online community as it is about creating posts about your product. Go and comment, follow, like, retweet, and share other people’s content.
Then, when you do post, don’t only post about your products or services. The content you post on social media should be relevant and contribute positively to the lives of your audience – either by being funny, enlightening, interesting, or informative. Work on a ratio of 50 percent or less of your posts being directly promotional.
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