Myth 1. Fans, followers, and likes are valuable.
Reality. What you need to attract to your site is people who for one reason or another are willing to part with their money in exchange for what you have, or at least move towards that decision point. There are only two reasons for a website, the first is as a hobby, the second is commercial. Assuming yours is for the latter, act accordingly.
Myth 2. I have too do it all myself to be “authentic”.
Reality. Only partly true. If you are selling personalised services, there is some expectation that the voice of the person and the “voice” of the written words and other forms of content are the same, then you need to be involved in the editing, not necessarily the writing. However, my experience is that in the small business space, authenticity is very valuable, not so much in the corporate space.
Myth 3. You need to be on every platform.
Reality. Bunkum. Every platform is different, with a different user profile, user objective and type of response. Even for big corporations, diminishing returns kick in, and for small businesses, the task is simply overwhelming. I usually recommend to my small business clients 2, at most three, but do them properly.
Myth 4. Social media is not all that important, it is just where he kids go.
Reality. Aren’t kids your current and future customers? Social Media is the greatest competitive tool ever offered to small businesses, but like any tool, it can be used well and deliver huge value, or it can bite you in the arse.
Myth 5. I can wing it.
Reality. Some can, but they are very organised, have a strategy, and business objectives against which they measure themselves, but this is rare in my experience. Usually “winging it” means putting a post on Facebook at some point convenient, or tweeting a picture of yourself when at the pub. Both rarely work.
Myth 6. Social media is dangerous and unmanageable.
Reality. Social media can be dangerous when left to itself, it has the capacity to trash your biggest asset, your brand, almost overnight. On the other hand, like most dangerous things, it can be tamed and used to your advantage with knowledge, commitment, and skill.
Myth 7. Social media is all smoke and mirrors
Reality. Social media is now highly quantitative, able to give accurate and repeatable quantitative outcomes very quickly and cheaply. It can be reliable and accurate market research on the run, but it is also the first marketing tool to offer an ROI calculation on the investments made.
Myth 8. Social media is just too hard, I have too much else to do.
Reality. You cannot afford not to be engaged with Social media, it opens up the possibility of talking directly to your customers, and their friends, marketing nirvana. It is however, a consumer of considerable resources, and is not free. Many small business owners do not have the skills so they shy away, but the skills are readily available to either teach you, or as outsourced resources. Digital technology has opened up huge opportunities to free up our time, why not spend some of it talking to customers?
The simple fact is that Social Media is part of our marketing environment, it currently attracts almost half the advertising dollar, is now pretty much the only way to effectively reach large sections of consumers and customers, and for small businesses, is marketing manna from a digital heaven.