Posts Tagged ‘Misconceptions’
If you spent all of your time with your head in a bucket, you’d never see the sunshine. Fortunately, there are some fairly obvious ways to correct that issue. Among them, the first – and most obvious – is taking the bucket off of your head. When it comes to social media, there are those that understand, participate, and benefit from the available online tools and there are others that seem to have placed their head in the aforementioned bucket. But, in much the same way, there are some easy solutions for anyone who remains on the social-media sidelines.
Here are three basic social-media mistakes and misconceptions to avoid …
The Only Thing You Have To Fear: Fear is responsible for a lot of missed opportunities. So remember that when you’re telling yourself that your business doesn’t need social media to succeed. Maybe you’re right but maybe you’d be twice as successful if you made an effort to market your wares online. In other words, the number one mistake people make is not trying. Social media can be intimidating for the uninitiated but, trust us, it’s pretty user friendly and the risks are low. Try starting with one account and go from there. You don’t have to master the Internet in the first week. You can, however, get a profile up and start getting the word out. Take small steps. If you get stuck, you’re only a Google search away from an answer to your problem.
Use It or Lose it: Once you’re online and have your info up on the social-media site of your choice, keep logging in. This isn’t a one-stop fix. Abandoning your social-media pages sends the wrong signal to prospective clients and also defeats the purpose of having a page in the first place. Log in often and familiarize yourself with the functions and possibilities. There are limitless ways you can use social media to your advantage but none of them will work if you never log in. It sounds obvious but many people throw in the towel soon after adding their address. Then they proclaim that Facebook and LinkedIn are useless. Those people are wrong. If you spend some time tinkering around, you’ll undoubtedly find ways to boost your presence and build new relationships with potential clients and customers.
Be Resourceful: There are hundreds of available applications, tools, and plugins available for any social-media platform you choose to use. Take some time to research them and figure out what they do. They are there to make your job easier. Technology, though scary to some, is ultimately there to make you more efficient and your work easier. If, however, you never explore its potential, you will never reap the benefits. No matter what you’re attempting to do, there’s likely an application designed to help you out. And most are totally free to use. That means, there’s absolutely nothing to lose other than time. And, after a couple of searches, you will, no doubt, locate a number of resources that will not only make your social-media experience more enjoyable but more profitable as well.
The lesson behind the story of the Three Little Pigs isn’t that the pig is a particularly industrious animal. It’s that the pig who used bricks rather than sticks to build his house survived by being the most intelligent pig. He outsmarted the wolf and saved his fat friends by having the smarts to choose a sturdy building material rather than one more easily blown down. In other words, sometimes outsmarting the competition and surviving means choosing the right tools and materials to build upon. And that’s how the story of the three little pigs relates to social-media marketing. You may not feel the need or understand the benefits yet of marketing your business online. But having an online presence means you’re building a sturdy foundation for your business and using all the tools available to you. In other words, you’re not a pig in a straw house hoping for the best.
Here are answers to three common excuses and misconceptions about social-media marketing …
The Internet Isn’t Going Anywhere: It may seem tempting to dismiss social-media marketing as hogwash. It’s a convenient excuse to seem smarter than everyone else by not buying into the newest thing. Unfortunately, the Internet is no longer a new thing nor does it appear to be on the way out. The choice here isn’t whether or not you’re going to use social media to market your business. The choice is between doing it now and doing it later. Small businesses using social-media sites and blogs have found them to be an effective way to boost brand loyalty, communication with customers and clients, and new business. Just because it doesn’t work overnight and without any effort from you doesn’t mean it doesn’t work.
Don’t Think Of It As Facebook: It may seem silly to have a Facebook page or Twitter account for your business. So don’t think of it as social media. Think of it as a mini-website, a branch office, or satellite location. In other words, just because it’s a Facebook page doesn’t mean you have to use it to update your friends on where you’re hanging out on Friday night. Think of it as an extension of your website being hosted on the web’s most popular site. If your Twitter page is just an easily-updated extension of your online brand, then it’s a much easier concept to grasp. After all, making changes to your business website is difficult and not something you want to do a couple of times a day. But if you want to get a quick message out to your clients and customers, having a presence on any of the major social-networking sites means you can. You can never have too many avenues for communicating, keeping in touch, and generating word-of-mouth.
It Does Work, Just Not On Its Own: It’s also easy to say it doesn’t work. Or that you tried and nothing happened once you set up your page. It will take some time and effort but it will work. If you bought a phone and never used it, it wouldn’t be a broken phone. And you couldn’t return it due to a lack of calls. In other words, social media and online marketing is just another form of communication. Having an account on Facebook or Twitter won’t bring in business by itself but if you use your account to get in touch with past and potential clients, it will result in more familiarity with your business, new leads, and new business.
The biggest mistake most businesses make when beginning a social-media campaign is believing they know how to begin a social-media campaign. Knowing nothing more than it’s easy and takes no more than 10 minutes to get started may get your page up and your phone number in the right spot, but then what?
Unfortunately, like anything else, to be successful requires a little advance planning, research, and know how. No, you don’t need a degree in computer science. But it helps to familiarize yourself with the terminology, the concept, and what has worked for others.
Here’s a quick three-step guide to what it is, what works, and what it takes to succeed …
Know What: You’ve heard that Facebook is hugely popular, so that’s a good place to start, right? Well do you want to set up a page or a profile? There’s a difference and knowing it is the difference between building your business and building a collection of your most embarrassing photos. Know the terms, the capabilities, and the purpose of each. Take a look at the definition of a blog and how that’s different from micro-blogging or what an RSS feed is and how it can help fill out your social-media profiles. You don’t need to become an expert but familiarizing yourself a bit more with what things are and how they’re used can help you build a plan that fits with your plan and works for your business.
Know Why: Which brings us to the next step … Building success online means keeping up communications and giving people a reason to visit your pages. Having a lot of empty space on the Internet won’t build your business. One of the biggest misconceptions people have about social media is that having your links spread across the web is the ultimate goal and you’re done once you’ve got your pages set up. A Twitter page isn’t an advertisement and, if it were, it wouldn’t be a good one without the tweets. Don’t bother setting up the pages if you aren’t going to use them. Or start with something you can handle, or that fits your business, and build from there. Start smart and small.
Know How: The key to social-media marketing success is understanding that it isn’t advertising. Think of it as a magazine that you’re publishing. You wouldn’t attract any readers if your magazine had no articles and, instead, was only advertisements for the same business, page after page. In other words, you have to produce content that people will want enough to return to your page for updates. The content is bait. You have to have something to offer before you can expect your social-media campaign to show measurable benefits. Empty profiles and links to your other web pages won’t bring you business. Having an interactive, informative, and entertaining presence online will.
The Ibis Network / www.theibisnetwork.com
There are always those that are slow to adopt new technologies. There were likely a stubborn few who insisted that the horse-and-carriage was, in fact, a much more effective means of transportation than the early automobile. Then there are those that fundamentally misunderstand the medium, like those that thought television would be a passing fad. In other words, innovation can lead to myths, mistakes, and misconceptions.
Below, we tackle some common social-media myths in an effort to better understand the benefits and best practices of any online effort.
It’s Not For Business: Social-media marketing is good for any business, despite those that say it only works for some. After all, in any business endeavor, getting word out about your services is the name of the game. Social media is yet another platform to do just that. Keeping in touch with clients, announcing new products or services, educating, communicating, and engaging your customer base are made easier with a smart strategy and some effort.
It’s For Kids: Last year, social networking was named the top emerging channel for lead generation. In addition to being an effective way of branding your business and syndicating your message, social media has been found to help build and maintain businesses by improving their relationships with their clients, customers, partners, and prospects.
It’s Automatic: For as many people that will tell you social media won’t work for your business, there are those that will tell you that it’s easy, automatic, and requires little more than setting up the pages and reaping the rewards. But having a successful networking strategy, whether online or off, means work. In order to build and keep traffic coming to your profiles and pages, you’ve got to maintain your presence and offer something of value. That means, responding to comments, offering interesting content, keeping your pages fresh, and, most of all, participating.
It’s About The Numbers: Having the most Facebook fans in your region certainly can give the impression of success. But having 20,000 fans outside of your target audience only means your business isn’t doing as well as your Facebook page. Don’t get discouraged. Having five fans that bring you consistent business is better than having a million that don’t.
More tips from The Ibis Network here, here, here, here, and here, and here.
The Ibis Network / www.theibisnetwork.com