Social media marketing holds great advantages, whether for improving internal collaboration, communication and social learning, or for building and enhancing trust through more responsive communications with key stakeholders and clients. Unfortunately, some organizations still hold onto a number of fears that hold them back from utilizing these tools. There are some recurring fallacies and misconceptions out there. Many companies are finding that these tools don’t live up to the hype, especially small businesses. There are a lot of challenges that aren’t immediately apparent.
A belief that if allowed to interact freely online, people will post spam and abuse online forums. This is not always the case. Developing a clear social media strategy and plan is the best way to achieve success. Rather than automatically implementing a program on the four major social media avenues — blogs, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn — it’s important to first step back and see what makes sense to reach your stakeholders and customers. Ultimately, because social media is about relationships, it is important to thoroughly understand what matters to them, rather than what is easiest for you.
Social media is considered as a replacement to email marketing. This is not true as email is a push method that informs customers and prospects when you need them to be contacted. In fact, Social Media requires much more email communication to keep social site users coming back. Think about all the email you get from LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter!
You cannot build quality relationships online. The thinking on this goes that it is a waste of time to connect with people online that you don’t know in real life because this practice doesn’t lead to lasting relationships with your brand. However this is not the case in actual. Social media enables you to be face to face with your target audience. Even if they don’t go onto become paying customers, you still get valuable insight into what they think and what they react to.
Social media marketing is for kids. Most people think that social media is used by a lot of kids, therefore it is only a toy and not to be taken seriously for assessment as a business tool. According to analysis by iStrategyLabs, Facebook experienced 276% growth in users aged 35-54 in 2009 and is its fastest growing segment. Therefore social media is for everyone.
Personal advantage should not always b thought of. The perception that social media gives away content and ideas you should be charging for is wrong. The more you give, the more you receive in social media. You need to let go of the idea that all the content you produce is proprietary, engage with your audience and share with them what you have created.
The benefits of social media marketing are tremendous only if these myths are not taken into consideration. With good strategies, you can explode out the gate and grow your business well beyond expectations.
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