There’s no question that social media marketing is, and will continue to be, important for local businesses. That said, there are a lot of social media myths that are annoyingly persistent, and believing them can hurt your business.
So, let’s bust some myths! Here are 8 of the most widely believed myths that you need to stop believing if you want to grow 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 myths for business owners. 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, then 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 a lot of 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 useful. 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. You should 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! What it means is 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 in a timely manner doesn’t mean you must drop everything to respond immediately – with one exception.
If you have incorporated your customer support with social media, then you should be sure that you can 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 for a response. 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 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. Make sure 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.
The 8 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.