BIZ CHALLENGE: As a new business or start-up enterprise, it can be a challenge to navigate the array of things you need to set in place for effective marketing.
This is particularly true when you don’t have vast amounts of capital behind you with which to pay for marketing, and revenue is still building – which is the case in the beginning stages of any business.
You are also likely to be in the process of defining and building your brand, and it has yet to cement itself as a strong presence in the market.
You are likely to be handling your own marketing at this stage.
This is where social media for business can be an absolute boon – allowing you to attract clients as you build your online reputation in a relatively simple and affordable way.
Social media marketing can be a very powerful tool for new business owners to use, but this is only true when it is used well. There are many widely believed myths and misconceptions relating to social media marketing and how it works, and getting on top of these is crucial if you are going to succeed.
Myths and misconceptions about social media for business
- All social platforms are of value to you
Many new business owners believe that having a presence across a wide array of social platforms is the answer to successful social media marketing.
While it can be beneficial to claim the name of your business on many social channels (so that others can’t do so in future, as well as for listing accuracy in), having an active presence on all channels is not a good idea.
Not all platforms will be complementary to your brand or your target audience.
There is no point having a strong presence on a social platform if your target customer is never going to use said platform.
EXAMPLE: Having a Snapchat presence for your business if your target consumer is middle aged or older.
Choose two (at most three) social media apps to focus on for highest value and return, based on functionality, your unique brand, and their demographics. The way they tie in with other strategies (for example, your blog can be shared on Facebook) should be a deciding factor which platforms you use.
- Social media marketing is free
Yes, you can set up a business profile on a social media platform like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter at no cost.
It costs nothing to post content on your profile. However, to optimise your results, you may need to pay for advertising on the platform or to boost posts (in the case of Facebook).
And what social media marketing for business does not cost in raw dollars, it has significant costs in time and effort. Investment in research, content creation, posting, and refinement based on results is significant. Social media marketing is a marathon, not a sprint.
- Higher follower numbers mean greater success
Likes and fan or follower numbers are very valuable and can be a great boost to your business (and personal) ego.
A successful social media business campaign will generate likes, positive comments, shares and reposts. These will in turn ideally lead to higher follower numbers and expanded reach of your brand.
However, be warned: chasing likes and followers as a priority will not deliver you results. Many people like and follow social media profiles without ever being likely to patronise the business.
Look to create and foster meaningful engagement with your social media profile and your brand. This means creating captivating posts that trigger click-throughs to you website or visits to your store.
Look also at just how your followers interact with you on social media: do they keep coming back? Do they comment and share as well as just hitting “like”?
A follower who interacts with you in an actively engaged way will be incredibly valuable for you business and much more likely to both spend money at your enterprise as well as generate new leads for your brand.
- Audiences will just come to you
Sadly, this is simply not the case. You need to work hard for your audience, and it may take a lot of time to see results.
Your audience will discover you, come back to visit you page on an ongoing basis, become a follower, interact and engage with you, and convert to a paying customer only after you have created content that is both consistently posted and consistently of interest to them.
You need to let them know what to expect from you and then deliver on that promise. Even the very best content needs to be effectively promoted in such a way that audiences are compelled to share it with others. This takes time and ongoing effort on your part.
- Social media marketing benefits are automatic
It’s true that the reach of social media is almost unlimited and that your pool of potential leads can grow exponentially with social media marketing that is executed well, however increasing your brand’s visibility and enhancing its reputation are just a piece of the overall pie.
As a business owner and marketer, you need to track and analyse your results to understand what works, what doesn’t, and evaluate what you can do better. Only through this measurement and analysis can you tweak your approach to elicit better rates of conversion.
- Social media is an independent marketing strategy
No matter how brilliant you are at social media marketing, it is not a strategy that can be stand alone for the long-term growth and success of your business.
It’s true that it can be executed independently of other marketing practices, yet it will perform much better if it is combined with other strategies.
These should include search engine optimisation, content marketing, personal branding, and even other strategies that include email marketing, direct mail marketing, and SMS marketing, depending on your brand and business model.
This array of marketing strategies works together to support and empower each of its component parts. An overall marketing strategy that incorporates these will deliver the very best return on your investment.
Social media offers a unique and valuable strategy for business owners to expand their reach, build their brand, and convert consumers.
While it’s not as simple as many business marketers may initially believe, with some know-how and understanding of the common misconceptions surrounding the use of social media channels for marketing, it can be a very effective and affordable way to enhance your brand building activities.
It just takes a well-formulated plan, commitment, and patience – as well as a willingness to learn and develop as you go forward.
Have you read our latest posts?
BLOG 1: Why you should blog – and share it on social media
One of the more important things that should be shared on your social media business page is your blog. Don’t have a blog? You should! Social media sharing includes news flashes, inspirational or funny memes, product showcases, images, and much more.
BLOG 2: Use your competitors to your benefit on social media
Clever use of social media for your business requires some research and, more specifically, social media competitive analysis – or analysis of what your competitors are doing on social media. Social media is rather unique in that it provides a level playing field for business marketing; no matter the size or nature of your business, you have access to this effective platform for communication with and service of consumers.
BLOG 3: 7 tips to converts from your social media platforms
The ultimate aim of any marketing strategy is to create consumer leads and convert these consumer leads into paying customers, right? One of the most effective ways to achieve both of these aims is to use social media for your brand and business marketing. Social media lead generation is the first and easiest step. By building up a social following on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or other social platforms, you are effectively creating leads among your followers and online fans.
Meanwhile, have you done our free LinkedIn eCourse?
4 Week LinkedIn Optimisation Course: Not only do we share a bunch of valuable, relative and useful info on our blogs, but we’ve got a free LinkedIn eCourse to help you get the most out of this platform especially for B2B enterprises. If LinkedIn is your preferred social media channel, take a look at this course to raise your profile, generate leads and boost your business – so LinkedIn can start working for you.