BY EXPERT BLOGGER JOHN SOUZA | 04-20-2012 | 6:58 AM
This blog is written by a member of our expert blogging community and expresses that expert's views alone.
It’s not enough to call social media a “trend.” It’s a full-fledged cultural phenomenon, and more business owners are jumping on the bandwagon each and every day.
It’s not surprising, considering the fast-paced and often confusing nature of the industry, that myths and misinformation are prominent. Below are seven of the most common--and the most damaging:
1. “My customers are not active in social media.” Nielsen estimates that social media sites and blogs reach 80% of all active U.S. internet users. Social media isn’t limited to certain demographics. Your customers are out there--it’s up to you to figure out where.
2. “Facebook is the only social media site we need.” Facebook is an ideal platform for reaching consumers. LinkedIn, on the other hand, offers easy access to business owners and professionals. Twitter continues to explode in popularity, currently growing at a rate of 11 accounts per second. LinkedIn, Tumblr, Instagram, and Pinterest all have a valuable role to play as well. Don’t limit yourself to a single social media channel.
3. “I can't have a significant impact if I don't have thousands of followers.” While a large audience is certainly desirable, pursue quality over quantity. A hundred Twitter followers or Facebook fans that belong to your target market are better than 10,000 who don’t. Seek to build relationships and provide value to your market; the numbers will take care of themselves.
5. “Social media is great for B2C sales… but not B2B.” LinkedIn is an incredible platform for selling to businesses. Create a profile, get involved in targeted groups and participate in discussions relevant to your industry.
6. “Our customers talk about us on social media without us--we don’t need to create conversation.” Customers who act as brand ambassadors are incredibly valuable, but if you fail to control the conversation, you are leaving the fate of your business in the hands of others. You need a presence in order to respond to criticism and consistently broadcast your brand.
7. “I don’t need a social media strategy.” Many business owners consider social media platforms to be fun and even engaging, but not worthy of a long-term strategy and a system for executing it. But in order to be effective on social media, you must be consistent. And without a systemized approach to social media, it’s impossible for a busy small busy owner to maintain a consistent presence.
I am often asked the question do I really need a FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc to grow my business? My answer is always YES. You can grow your business in many ways I will be the first one to admit Social Media Sites are not the only way to market your business or service but they are vital to keeping you relevant in the marketplace. I tell my client's the question is not do you need it but how much and how many do you need. Everything is not for everyone, for instance if I have an online radio show I need to be on as many Social Media sites as possible to drive traffic to my show, but if I have a local plumbing company I don't need to be on everything online but more door to door marketing will work for me. There is no one size fits all in this business its really a customized service. Finding the time to navigate and figure out what works can be frustrating to an already busy business person and often leads them to do nothing which can hurt the growth of the business or service's provided. Social Buthafli.net was created to take the frustration and the fear out of Social Media and Online Marketing.
I would love to help you sort out which service is for you. Feel free to look around my site and contact us for more information.
If you are a Woman in business for yourself let me first congratulate you on your success. Being a Woman in business has many challenges and obstacles but with hard work and perseverance and persistence you can make it. Please take a few moments to check out our "Spotlight Business" page as we salute two Women this month Tamyka Washington and Tracey Ambrose Wraps. Both of these Women are Mother's Wives and business owners. Please visit their websites and support them.