Social Media Myths Busting: How to Use Social Media for Small Business
9 min read | Posted Oct 24, 2018
Small Business Social Media Marketing – Busting Social Media Myths
Social media – to some people’s dismay and other’s delight – is regularly mentioned as a MUST for marketing your business. Regardless of your dismay or delight for social media, I want to demystify some assumptions, fallacies, and expectations about what to expect from doing social media for small business.
By the end, you will have the tools you need to determine if small business social media marketing via organic posts really is the right tactic for your business. Let’s begin.
#1: True or false? All my social media posts should be about what I offer.
False.You DON’T visit social media to be engulfed in promotional content.
You DO visit social media to find interesting content (and cute animal videos).
You DO visit social media to research products you want to know more about.
According to a report by Global Web Index on 2018 social media use, 37% of users go to find funny or entertaining content and 30% go to research products to buy.
Action Item: Focus your content creation on 80% non-promotional and 20% promotional (with Calls-To-Action! Aka CTAs)
#2: True or false? Having a Facebook page is enough to drive in new business.
False. This is the fallacy of “Build it and they will come.” In other words, thinking that having a Facebook page is enough is like assuming everyone who lives in Colorado Springs will visit your store off of Austin Bluffs. Unfortunately – they won’t because they are busy living their lives.
So the question of how to increase online sales through social media remains.
While this may sound like Hansel and Gretel, you must give people a reason to come to you and draw them in. Your [engaging] content must be actionable (with CTAs) and amplified to have traction. Just because you post something on social media doesn’t mean it will be seen and doesn’t mean that people will take the action you want them to. (more on this later)
Action Item: “Before you ever create content, I urge you to ask the critical question: Who will help amplify this and why? If you don’t have a great answer, a specific list of people, don’t create it.” – Rand Fishkin
#3: True or false? My business doesn’t need to be on all social medias.
True. Your business only needs to engage with your target audience where they are at. This may be on only one social media. This may be on 3 or 4. It depends on your audience and your omni-channel marketing strategy. The best social media for business is the one that your target audience is on.
Action Item: Define your target customer. Once you develop their brand persona, evaluate which 1 or 2 social medias you should focus on based on the demographics above.
#4: True or false? I can use the same kind of content on each social media platform.
False. Different platforms are built for different kinds of content, and reward publishers with more exposure for different kinds of content too.
Think about what kind of content your target audience will engage with. Blogs, videos, recipes, beautiful pictures, funny content, etc. Also consider if your content will be best to be re-visited or if an ephemeral content would be the proper social media approach for your business.
You don’t have to do double the work unnecessarily, though. You can repurpose a blog post shared on Facebook into a 2 minute video to post on Youtube. Further, highlight a key point via an eye-catching graphic to post on Instagram. Share the story of how this blog post came to be on Snapchat.
Action item: How can you repurpose content and materials that you already have? Can you take the blog post you just wrote and develop a corresponding video? Can the set of statistics you just shared be used as the basis for an infographic?
#5: True or false? Social media is not about my business.
True. Your social media has your logo on it, but is really about your customers and visitors, not about what you offer. An experience that is not tailored to your customers will not be used by your customers.
Think about what you like to find out from a business if you are researching them on social media. Can you do something similar for your small business social media?
Action item: Here are some 2019 Social Media Tactics you can implement to tailor your small business social media marketing content to your audience.
#6: True or false? I grew from 300 to 1,000 Insta Followers, therefore my social media strategy is effective.
This is a big time social media myth, and the answer is false. Engagement data trumps vanity statistics.
What is the point of your marketing efforts? For most, it is to increase sales by gaining customers. Tracking this kind of data requires looking at conversion rates, not vanity statistics like views or followers*. If you have an effective conversion rate, then your social media strategy can be deemed effective.
Action item: Do your metrics answer your main goal for marketing? Measure your social media ROI with data such as Click Through Rates for promotional posts and by Comments and Shares for non-promotional content.
*While you cannot have conversions without reach, the point here is to keep you from being comfortable with seeing vanity statistics. Focus on what matters – conversions that lead to sales.
#7: True or false? My small business can use social media as an alternative to a website.
One night I tried to open a box of Mac and Cheese with a claw hammer, because I didn’t have any scissors. The claw hammer didn’t work for the purpose I was trying to make it work for. A claw hammer is not designed to open a box of mac and cheese.
In the same way, there are different marketing tools and platforms for a reasons – they serve a different purpose in your marketing and sales conversion funnels. Thus, the above question is false.
Social media works most effectively as a springboard to your home base and landing pages. These pages then have the task to engage and convert those leads to perform the action you want them to (like contacting you).
Action item: Use scissors, not a claw hammer, to open your mac-and-cheese. Use social media as a springboard to your website – even a simple website – that will be the home-base for all of your omni-channel marketing efforts.
Truly Affordable Websites to Grow Your BusinessLearn More
#8: True or false? Only a portion of people who “follow” my Facebook page will see my posts.
This is true. And shocking to many, this social media myth extends further into understanding just how few people are being reaching with your organic social media posts.
The Facebook gods have orchestrated a reality where organic post reach is plummeting. Whereas in 2012, you could expect to reach about 16% of your audience on average, by 2018, that has dropped to less than 3%. And, Facebook says you should assume organic reach will eventually arrive at zero.
Let that sink in. If you have 200 followers, this means you are only reaching 6 people per post right now. Yikes.
Action item: Determine if social media is cost-effective for your business. Track ROI from each of your omni-channel marketing tactics. If your social media engagement and product sales are benefitted from your social media activity, continue. If your customer retention (and therefore CLV) benefits from social media, continue. But if nothing is happening, you should invest your time elsewhere.
ROI = [ (Gain from SM Efforts – Cost of SM Efforts) / Cost of SM Activities ] x100
#9: True or false? Social media marketing is all my business needs.
False. Social media alone will not drive traffic and leads. For effective marketing and business growth, social media can be used as a piece to support everything else, like SEO, email marketing, print collateral, and paid advertising.
Calculate your ROI to determine if social media is working for you. Evaluate other options and test the waters to see what works.
Action item: Evaluate how social media helps you reach your financial, customer relations, and business development goals. What can social media do to support more effective strategies? How can those other strategies better support your social media efforts?
#10: True or false? Social media is free.
While, creating an account is free and organic posting is free, keep in mind that creating the content and managing the account costs time – which is money (plus any ad spend). So, social media is NOT free.
How much does social media marketing cost?
Well, how much time do you spend crafting messages for your social media messages? And what is the return from that invested time?
Action item: Track how much time you spend crafting content for your business’s social media for set time period (day, week, month). Now divide that time into the number of engaged users you had in that same time period. How much time are you passively investing into one lead? Is it adding value to your business?
#11: True or false? I am going to get 10 customers from my small business social media marketing efforts.
Maybe, but as a small business, the odds are not in your favor. This is a common social media myth that leaves many wounded from a lack of results despite much effort.
Consider that since 80% of your content should be non-promotional, it is up to the other 20% to not only reach a large enough portion of your followers to matter, but to also engage enough of those who see the post entirely through your marketing funnel to becoming a customer.
How to measure social media engagement:
So that you can set realistic goals for your social media engagement rates, a study done by Rival IQ shows that the average engagement per post on Facebook is 0.17%, on Instagram is 1.66%, and on Twitter is 0.05%.
|Avg. Engagement per post||0.17%||1.66%||0.05%|
Action item: Pick your top performing, a mid-performing, and your worst performing posts on social media and calculate the engagement rates and conversion rates for each.
- Engagement = # people who clicked on your post / total post reach
- Conversion = # of people who performed desired action / engagement
Keep in mind, that the goal of this information is to give YOU the tools you need to determine if using organic social media approaches is working for YOUR small business.
There is not a cut and dry answer to, “Is using social media good for business?” because it depends on how you use it and how well your organic posts perform.
If it works (meaning you have high conversion rates and a positive ROI) then by all means, keep using social media to organically reach your audience. But if your results are the opposite despite investing hours each week in social media, I advise you to evaluate options that will give an ROI worth talking about.