Every business recognizes the power of social media to earn more business, but many entrepreneurs don’t understand how social media can turn away business. The five myths below will help you understand how social media can deter potential clients if not properly managed.
1. Social media leads to more business.
Biggest myth of all. You can have 100 profiles and not generate one new client. Showing up to class isn’t going to get you a passing grade. You have to do the work. You have to compare notes with friends, ask questions when you don’t understand—in other words, you must engage. If you are only posting content, hoping for a few likes or reposts to generate new business, you aren’t engaging. Join a few groups, engage like minds, comment on other feeds and get other people interested in what you are doing. When you engage others, they will likely return the favor in the form of increasing your website traffic, or referring a new candidate for business.
2. They’re all the same.
Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest are hardly all the same. In fact, they are very different. They each exist in different environments. The audiences using each social media tool perceive it differently. As an entrepreneur, you must consider the context of each social environment and the behavior of the prospects that live there and tailor your messages accordingly.
3. The more, the merrier!
Just because you have a profile on five different social sites doesn’t guarantee your website readership will increase 500%. It does mean you will now have to maintain five tailored messages for each profile. Each profile requires a clear and tailored messaging strategy, so be prepared for 5 times the work and 5 times the energy.
4. One size fits all.
Now that you have 5 profiles to maintain, you think that when you post content to one profile, you can easily post that same content to all of the other profiles. Not so. This will look lazy on your part and reflect your lack of understanding of each audience you’re trying to reach. Again, 5 different social media profiles, 5 different environments, 5 different audiences, 5 different messaging strategies. I’m not saying you couldn’t announce a new press release or new service on all of your different sites, but I am saying that all of your content shouldn’t be the same for each profile all of the time.
5. Keeping up the with latest social media platform means you’re hip to the new.
Just because your business has a Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest profile, and now an Instagram profile doesn’t mean you’re hip, it just means you’re all over the place—and that isn’t always good for business. Without an understanding of your ideal client, being on all of these sites is aimless. If your ideal client isn’t broadcasting their social media presence, they are less likely to subscribe, follow or like you in any of those environments. A stylist should have an instagram account because it is an instant, real-time portfolio builder. On the contrary, a financial planner only adds marginal value to their business by having an Instagram account, if adding any value at all. Do what makes sense to your audience in your industry.
Have you made any additional observations on how small businesses misuse social media? Please comment.