Here are some of the most common misconceptions about social networks and how they may be used by businesses.
1. My business is not the right type to benefit from social media marketing.
Many entrepreneurs have said the same thing – today, however, businesses ranging from auto mechanics to soft drink brands derive significant amounts of revenue from social networking, and the trend is on the rise.
2. Social Networks are only used by younger people.
While it’s true that the premier social networking site, Facebook, was originally exclusively for college students, for some years Facebook has been open for anyone to join. In fact, recent research shows that most users are now 35 and up, reflecting the demographics of the developed world.
3. Setting up social network marketing will be expensive.
This is a common misunderstanding. On a social network, you aren’t building a complete, functioning ecommerce site – you’re simply creating a presence – a “personality” which reflects who you are as a business. The tricky part, naturally, is in getting this right – which is where expert help can make the critical difference.
4. Maintenance of social networking pages will be time consuming and complex.
You won’t need to issue a 10 page exhaustive update of all your activities on a daily basis, but you will need to provide some updates to maintain interest. Guide the conversation and create excitement and buzz by choosing topics wisely.
5. A social networking presence is only useful for selling products.
Social networks have now become one of the most powerful and valuable sources of feedback from customers – unfortunately, nothing spreads faster than bad news in today’s networked world. Customers may not tell you about dissatisfaction on your own website or email, but they may well talk about it on Facebook. Keeping your ear to the ground is essential in today’s competitive market.
6. Blogs have no impact on business – there are simply too many bloggers online.
While it’s true that there is a large and ever-increasing number of bloggers out there, it’s still possible for a blog to have a positive impact on your business. Experts can help you choose the correct choice of subject matter and frequency of updates to ensure your blog features high in the search results for a given topic.
7. Monitoring social networks for “buzz” or “hot topics” will not make any significant difference to business.
In today’s wired world, employing a professional business partner to carry out “buzz monitoring” can be business critical. A large computer company recently found out through buzz monitoring on Facebook that there was a significant fault with one of their newest products – this early alert enabled them to replace the faulty goods and alter their manufacturing process before any further damage was done.
8. It doesn’t matter which social network I choose – they are all the same.
Choosing the correct social network to join could be the difference between success and failure. While Facebook works for many, other businesses might find the business-orientated “LinkedIn” more appropriate. A purely technology company might consider a presence in the avatar-based Second Life. There is little purpose in promoting your business in the wrong arena, which is where experts can help.
9. It’s all just a fad – social networking will soon be replaced by a new trend – why bother to get involved?
Social networking’s popularity has grown exponentially in the last 10 years. Not only this, it has changed the paradigm of how consumers and producers interact into a multi-dimensioned communal experience. Social networking is not going to go away – it’s more likely to replace the internet as we know it.
10. My business will not benefit from social networking.
To many internet users today, a business without a social networking presence simply doesn’t exist in some important senses. This trend is only likely to increase as time goes on. A business which ignores this phenomenon is liable to be seen as a dinosaur.
In conclusion, it should be clear that social networking can benefit almost any business type – but correct execution is critical, which is where expert internet marketing consultants can help.