Joining social media as a business can make you feel like you’ve just had a baby. Once you’re on social media, like a new parent, you receive advice from everyone and anyone that thinks they know about social media. And, like the woman that told you to mix whiskey into your baby bottles, you need to be able to filter out the bad—like these four falsehoods you’re bound to hear once you’ve given birth to a Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest page for your business:
- “Social media is the place to sell, sell, sell!” Unlike traditional marketing, social media is a platform where the traditional advertising strategy yields negative results. Studies have shown that one of the main reasons consumers follow a business Facebook page is for special social media offers, but they don’t want to be sold to all the time. What they do want: information relevant to their life with a bit of entertainment and humor, if the nature of your industry allows it.
- “Social media produces positive results and feedback.” This advice is partially true. Often when businesses join social media, they overlook the fact that they receive good and bad feedback from customers. The truth: when you put yourself “out there” on social media, your followers can put anything on your page. Don’t get offended by one bad review or comment. Listen, and use the negative feedback as an opportunity to show the excellent customer service your company is capable of providing.
- “Once you join social media, you don’t need anything else.” No, no, no! Don’t abandon your traditional marketing and sales tactics. Integrate social media into your marketing strategy, and use a similar tone and graphics on your social media channels so your customers recognize your brand. Studies have shown that email marketing, sending a message to your email list, is as strong as ever. Use that strength, and evaluate your results to find out what tactics produce the best results. Prioritize your time appropriately so you are reaching your customers through the tactics that get results.
- “The more you post on Facebook, the more ‘likes’ you get.” Studies have shown that the number one reason customers ‘unlike’ a page is because business posts are crowding their newsfeed. They want to see their friends’ updates and a few business updates, but they don’t only want to see your company’s Facebook posts. On average, we’ve seen positive results from posting 1-5 times per week.
If you feel overwhelmed by the bad advice, put your social media marketing channels into the hands of someone you trust. Network with other business owners, and find a marketing firm that produces results for other small businesses. There’s no shame with utilizing a good “babysitter” that you trust—giving your business social media marketing results and relief from the overwhelming flow of good and bad advice.