Most small businesses use social media every day, whether that’s to interact with customers, promote products or services, or let your audience know about your latest news and offers. Social media marketing is becoming ever increasingly popular with businesses utilising new platforms as and when they become available. Longstanding social media platforms include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram but apps such as TikTok and Snapchat can also be used if you keep up with the latest trends. But with all the advice available it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the number of social media channels, which ones to use for your business, and how best to use them.
There are a lot of tools available for social media engagement, and even more information out there you may have heard, that often isn’t quite all it’s cracked up to be. We’ve chosen some of the more common small business social media myths so you can avoid their pitfalls and instead use social media effectively to grow your brand.
Myth No.1: Your business needs to be on every social media platform
When you’re first starting out on social media, especially when you want to promote your business, it’s very tempting to join every social media network available thinking it will bring you instant followers and likes. Even if you’ve been using social media channels for some time it’s also easy to see the newest app or website and join up thinking it will help you gain popularity and increase sales. Often though this isn’t the case. It’s possible that your existing customers will also join on the new platform, but then you’re not targeting anyone new. And it’s possible that users of a different platform might be a completely different demographic from your intended audience.
It can be tiring to manage many social media channels, particularly if you’re not seeing the results you would like. And instead of growing your existing following, you end up spreading yourself thin and diluting your efforts, neither of which are effective ways to get more followers. It’s often best to find out where your target audience is and go from there. Which channels do they like to hang out on and are there any hashtags, groups, or events that they regularly attend? Get yourself seen in these places and avoid joining the latest trendy platform just because it’s been celebrity-endorsed or promises you instant results.
Myth No.2: You need to post every single day
Instead, post consistently and keep to a schedule so your audience knows the best times to contact you and that you are dependable. The best results come from posting consistently, on a schedule that works for your business long term, regardless of whether you post every day. And you need to choose something sustainable for your needs long term otherwise it’s unlikely you’ll stick to it, particularly if you make the mistake of trying to post too often and feel overwhelmed. Using scheduling tools such as Hootsuite can really help keep you to a consistent time frame, especially if you have limited time to create and upload posts.
Myth No.3: You need to create content that ‘goes viral’
You may want to gain lots of followers and likes overnight so you get more customers but mostly posts that go viral on social media aren’t intended to be that popular in the first place. Sometimes it’s the quirky, unique posts that gain thousands of likes, other times it can be something pretty ordinary that the audience simply relates to. There’s no surefire way that a post will go viral so you may spend a lot of time, effort, and money putting together a “viral” post that may only be seen by a handful of people. So how do you make sure you don’t miss the mark? Focus on creating valuable and consistent content to build relationships and connections instead.
Myth No.4: You should use social media as a sales platform
This one is a little more tricky as yes, you can use social media channels to sell your goods and services. Plus if you have a limited marketing budget it’s understandable that you want every post to count. But selling hard can be spotted a mile off and is likely to have the opposite effect. Giving it the hard sell every time you post and only talking about yourself is a certain way to turn people off and even unfollow.Tempted to spend all your time on social media to grow your business? Check out these common social media myths and mistakes. Click To Tweet
You should aim to use your social media channels to sell long term and introduce your audience to new items, letting them explore the possibilities. A more subtle approach should be undertaken in order to establish customer relationships built on trust and loyalty. So don’t feel you have to be on every social media channel all the time, pick and choose what works best for your brand, your customers, and you.