7 myths about social media that are hurting your business

15th, Mar 2018

Are you uncomfortable with or skeptical about social media marketing? Many professionals misunderstand what social media is about and how it can help their business. For instance, do the myths below sound familiar? Beliefs like these are keeping you from taking advantage of an inexpensive and effective way to market your practice.

Myth:    My business comes from referrals so social media won’t help me.

Fact:      Most professionals get the bulk of their business through word of mouth and referrals, but that doesn’t mean social media can’t help. The best way to increase your referrals is by staying top of mind with your referral sources. Realistically, you can’t personally meet with or call all of them every month. You need a mix of ways to keep in touch and that includes social media. Every time you share something on social media you are putting yourself in front of your audience.

In addition, when people get your name from one of your referral sources, they will check you out online. Social media provides a great way to build your credibility and professional image so that when someone researches you, they see lots of positive things about you. Remember they may have gotten several references. Although a strong digital presence may not get you the job, a weak one can move you down on the list, so they call someone else before you.

Myth:    My clients/prospects aren’t on social media.

Fact:      There are over 500 million people on LinkedIn and 1 billion on Facebook so it’s a pretty good bet that your clients and prospects are on social media. They may not be specifically looking on social media for someone to hire, but you still can reach and influence them based on what you are saying and who your connections are online. In addition, many people are now wary of a business owner who isn’t on social media. It’s expected if you are a legitimate business.

Myth:    There is too much junk online and no one will pay attention to what I’m doing.

Fact:      We are all suffering from information overload and it is hard to stand out, however, it isn’t impossible. You need to understand your audience and focus on providing them with good information and staying visible in a positive way. They may not notice everything you are doing, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t working. When you go to a networking event, you may see a lot of people in the room that you know, but you may not get to speak to all of them. It still helped you to be there.

Myth:    Social media takes too much time.

Fact:      Yes, it is easy to get drawn into social media and spend lots of time on it, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Start by setting aside time once a week to read what other people are posting that you could like or share with your connections. In addition, anytime you create original content (your blog posts, articles/presentations, activities, pictures from events, etc.), you should share it on social media. As you get more comfortable, gradually increase your time, but always designate a specific block of time and keep to it.

Myth:    I’ll never get business from social media.

Fact:      First, there are plenty of professionals who have gotten clients from social media. However, as with all types of marketing, you have to use it effectively. Remember also that rarely is there a direct line from any specific marketing to new business. Even networking by itself doesn’t often bring in business. Typically, it takes multiple touchpoints before you close the deal. Social media gives you a way to stay in touch and reinforce your credibility, so you are more likely to get the business. However, it should be used along with other marketing techniques. Never rely on only one type of marketing. The more ways you promote yourself, the better your chances of reaching your target audience.

Myth:    It’s easy to do or say the wrong thing.

Fact:      You should be careful about sharing anything publicly online. Even when you share privately, be mindful of the people seeing your information. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to delete something that is posted. The best rule I’ve read was don’t share anything you would be ashamed to see on the front page of the NY Times (or another version of this is don’t share anything you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see). With that said, you can still show your personality, talk about your interests and have opinions with common sense limits. It’s important to be yourself because people hire people they like. That’s another reason social media is so useful – because it can humanize you in a way that your website, articles, speeches or other activities can’t. People get a better sense of who you are and that can help you get hired.

Read more tips on how to use social media to grow your business.

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