There are a lot of myths floating around about using social media to promote your business, some of which might even stop people taking even the first steps into the realms of Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and the such. Time to dispel some of them:
1: SOCIAL MEDIA IS TOO INFORMAL FOR BUSINESSES
Social networking platforms, for the most part, were conceived as spaces for individuals to interact in a personal way, before the platforms introduced business aspects to grow and monetise. Just as we see billboards on the street in real life, we now see ads in our News Feeds and Timelines.
The perception that social networks are for individuals only is still perpetuated by some people, and so they believe the use case for businesses isn’t necessarily there. Definitely not true! A big reason people use social media as individuals is to follow and interact with their favourite brands. Your audience is most definitely out there.
2: SOCIAL MEDIA IS COMPLETELY FREE
“Social media is free” is something that gets thrown around a lot, and it’s totally true: you can get your business a presence on all the big platforms. But sometimes it pays off to pay.
Facebook is an especially strong contender for paid/boosted ads for small businesses, with an intricate detailed system for drilling down to just the demographic you want to reach.
Social media also costs time, which many startups don’t have. That’s why we offer social media as a service: taking care of an essential part of modern business promo for them.
3: YOU CAN'T COMPETE WITH CELEBRITIES
The big Instagram stars like Kim Kardashian and Justin Bieber have millions upon millions of followers on Instagram. Even a fraction of that figure may seem out of reach, but it’s not.
It’s a popular story in startup circles: the founders of Innocent brewed up some smoothies — something they loved doing — and sold them on a stall at a festival. There was a ‘Yes’ bin and a ‘No’ bin, one on either side of their stall, and hung from the top of the stall was a banner posing the question: should they quit their day jobs to make smoothies full-time?
People were to vote by drinking the smoothies and throwing the empty bottles in the bin mirroring their choice. By the festival’s close, the ‘Yes’ bin was way past the overflow point.
Innocent extrapolated this quirky offbeat approach to business into their social media, and it’s paid off massively. Linking back to the first point of this piece, turning your brand into a personal individual of its own is often an effective means of social media marketing.
Everyone loves a story. So tell one, through your tweets, your Facebook posts, your Instagram photos. Keep the story fresh, engaging, and continuous, and thousands will follow along.
4: SOCIAL MEDIA IS A SEPARATE STRATEGY
When you’ve got your social media set up, don’t start thinking of it as an isolated part of your promotional power — as we said above, it’s about telling a story. And everything you do is part of that story, so start finding intriguing ways to bake social media into every moment.
If you’re a shop selling artwork and posters, share pictures of new batches and designs arriving at your store. If you’re a restaurant, make short videos of your chefs preparing new dishes. If you’re an estate agency, showcase your properties and post little anecdotes about your staff — awards they’ve won, birthdays, and that sort of thing.
Turning social media into part of everything you do actually makes it more fun, we’ve found. And when it’s more fun for you, the content you create will typically end up being more fun for your audience, too.
5: CUSTOMERS ONLY CARE ABOUT YOUR PRODUCT
One of the biggest things I’ve learned over my years of using social media is that customers want to know the story behind your brand as well as the story of the brand itself — that means your story.
Showing the people behind the work builds more personal relationships with your audience, nurturing customer loyalty among people who develop an interest in what you’re doing as the face of the business.
Need help with your social media? All of us at Team Locals Media love eking maximum marketing benefits out of business budgets, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with us about the campaigns you’d like to get started on.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or click the Facebook messenger tab on the right hand side of any page to start a chat.