I recently had the pleasure of co-hosting a live seminar with Olina. We are both volunteer team members for Cambridge Social Media.
You can find the recorded session within their Facebook Group here.
Here I debunk some of the myths I hear a lot – and give you some tips on how to bust through them!
My customers aren’t online
This is one of my favourites. In all honesty, it tends to highlight that some people don’t know who their customers are.
It is an easy thing to say, and easy to fob off or ignore those customers or potential customers who are online.
Look at statistics we can see there are over 3.5 billion people are active daily users of social media.
Nearly half the world’s population are online. They are looking for entertainment, education, community and solutions to their problems.
Take a look at this breakdown. I don’t want to overburden with data, but I find this fascinating when debunking this certain myth.
Who has the spending power in this country?
Who makes the financial decisions?
Anyone from the ages 22-72?
How can you tell me your customers don’t fit into this bracket?
So age is one demographic to look at, but feel free to do your research.
But you need to make sure you know who your ideal customers – and not just anyone who will give you money!
Once you understand your ideal customer inside and out, you can know more about whether they are online or not. You can figure out what platform they spend the most amount of time on.
Here is a link to questions that might help you build that ideal client profile: https://bevisible.co/finding-your-ideal-customer/
I don’t like social media
I’m going to be harsh here, it’s not about you. It’s about your customer.
Social Media is where your customers are hanging out, and you can get their attention.
We all have parts of our business we don’t like. We are either reluctant to learn or drag our feet getting some tasks complete, or outsource them completely!
Generally, with this myth, I feel there are several factors at play here, and most of it stems from fear.
Whether it’s the general fear of technology or putting yourself out there online. It can also be that you have utilised overpriced services in the past and felt ripped off by lack of results.
I get it!
I have a couple of solutions for you.
Take the time to learn
There are so many free resources covering everything from strategy to the technicalities of one platform.
I highly recommend Google Digital Garage.
You can find videos, blogs and free online courses that can help you. Build a foundation of understanding and help build your confidence.
You need to understand how social media fits into your business goals. It reduces that overwhelming feeling that it is everything. It is a marketing tool. It is as simple as that, just like any other tool you use in your business, you need to understand the benefits it brings.
Outsource to a pro
You may have had a bad experience with an overpriced professional that didn’t deliver results. But please don’t let this put you off. There are so many incredible people that not only offer services but really want to work with people and help them understand.
You need to make sure you work with the right person, the person you feel comfortable with enough to ask stupid questions, and learn from. Work with people that help you achieve your goals, not just sell you the dream.
Anyone seeming like they over-promise, go with your gut, read reviews, and work with the right people! Don’t just hope that by throwing money at something it will get results without a clear understanding of the results.
Are there actual business benefits?
There are so many benefits, some direct like lead generation and some indirect like brand awareness.
People knowing who you are, what you do and why you do it are so important.
Creating your brand story differentiates you from everyone else. That is what stays with people. Think of the John Lewis Christmas Advert, how often do we want to buy that cuddly toy because the advert it makes us feel something special! But the advert doesn’t ‘sell’ or talk about the shop at all.
Build authority – be the expert!
How do people know your knowledge and expertise unless you talk about them? The depth of your knowledge can be demonstrated through your content.
Educate people, show them that you know their problems inside and out like they were your own problems, and you have the solution.
Be the go-to person in your industry or locality that knows their stuff! That people can trust.
Access to customers
Rather than just being on broadcast, you now can listen to your customers. You can engage directly with your customer base and find out what they really think of your products and services. Create that community around your business, get yourself some fans!
This can sometimes be a sensitive area, and I’ve spoken to business owners about getting bad reviews. If you get a bad review guess what? This is your time to shine. You get to flex your customer service muscle and show how you handle problems and complaints.
Think about it, if a company page has all 5-star reviews, wouldn’t you be a little suspicious? Does that really happen in the real world?
Things happen, and sometimes they are out of your control. By demonstrating you know how to rectify problems professionally can really work in your favour.
Remember to be polite and professional, everyone is watching! The worst thing you can do is take things personally or get angry. Try to address complaints or reviews as quickly as possible.
Try to take difficult people into direct messages or ask them to call you to get the issue sorted.
The number one reason you need to be using social media is to ultimately get sales.
Followers are vanity, sales is sanity.
You have to create a strategy and know the purpose of social media within your business, and how this will convert to sales. It’s that simple, social media is where the attention is. You can move people through the process of know, like and trust.
Why should you be social online?
This links to the benefits slightly but being visible and social online means you are more human!
People buy from people.
I’m all about growing a community of fans around your business. Find your tribe. Being part of something special and with people who think and feel the same as them. We buy from people like ourselves because we trust them.
Think about the connection of Virgin with Richard Branson. He is the face of the brand, and people make that association all the time. His twitter comes alive whenever there is a problem with their broadband, and yet he isn’t the engineer, he isn’t there. But we all associate him with his brand, what he represents, we purchased from him, right?
Having a personal connection with a brand or your business is so powerful!
I hope this helps dispel some myths about social media for you. It is so important to consider it as a way of diversifying your marketing efforts, building relationships and being more visible.