Separating Myths from Facts: #SocialMedia for Small Business

Social-Media-MythsAccording to LinkedIn, 8 out of 10 small businesses use social media to drive growth, which means you already know social media is a crucial tool for your business. Using social media incorrectly can harm your business, so we’ve cleared up a few social media myths for small businesses.

Myth: Social media is just for young people, not my customers.

Fact: The truth is, social media is for everyone; but you have to know where to look and how to talk to your audience. For example, adults over the age of 50 are the fastest-growing demographic online, with one in three seniors using social media on a regular basis. Don’t discount the influence the younger generation has on purchasing decisions, either. According to the Cassandra Report, 74% of parents who have children between the ages of 7 and 17 say their child’s opinion is influential when it comes to their family’s spending and household purchases.

Myth: The more followers I have, the more I know my social media is working.

Fact: You could have thousands of followers on a social network, but the numbers are meaningless if they don’t care about your brand. Five hundred engaged followers who found you by word-of-mouth recommendations are more valuable than 5,000 followers who won’t care about updates from your business. Don’t get bogged down with the numbers; instead focus on the value you provide to your audience. 

Myth: I should join the latest, hottest social network.

Fact: Ariel from The Little Mermaid said it best: You want to be where the people are, so listen first to find out which social network your customers are using. There will always be a new, shiny social network that is the “next best thing,” but it may not be the best thing for your business if it’s not relevant for your customers. For example, a jewelry company could reach its customers on Pinterest by sharing photographs of its creations. On the other hand, being on Pinterest for the sake of being on every social media network might not make sense for a law firm.

Myth: Social media is instant, so I should see instant results.

Fact: Think of the first day you opened your business’ doors. Did you immediately have a flood of customers? Or did you have to build your business slowly from the ground up? The same rules apply to building relationships with your customers using social media. It’s about building trust, one update, one conversation, one piece of feedback at a time.

Myth: My social media strategy revolves around what I say or post for my business.

Fact: Social media, unlike other marketing channels, is a two-way conversation. What others say about you is just as important, if not more, than what you post on behalf of your business. Think about the last time you wanted to try a new product: What was the first thing you did? More than likely, you were among the 88% of consumers who read online reviews to determine the quality of a business. And wouldn’t you know it: 59% of those recommendations happen across social media platforms. Social media is one more way for your customers to be heard, so make sure you’re listening and responding.

September is #SocialMedia Month in the Google Small Business Community, and we’ve got small business experts from LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube ready to answer your questions live on the air.