It seems almost everyone is talking about social media and the role it could/should have in the online marketing of businesses.

I highlighted a recent article by Marilyn Bontempo which took a particularly negative slant on these marketing platforms – although she did make a number of very valuable points. Gihan Perera however takes a different view, and one I feel much more comfortable with. He takes a very pragmatic view of how to utilise social media without letting it completely overwhelm you and your business.

He identifies five major myths, and dispels them.

It’s All About the Numbers

When you first start out, this is certainly the factor that can dominate your thoughts – the more followers/likes/re-tweets you have the better. Unfortunately, this leads so many people to be simply focused on these numbers rather than the quality of the followers/likes/re-tweets. I’m constantly amazed by the number of Twitter accounts that can have 33,000 followers (that’s good) and 32,000 followings. How on earth can you reasonably be following 32,000 different Twitter accounts? It’s impossible! And how many of your followers are actually following you and reading your tweets?
Every week I get dozens of new followers who un-follow me a few days later because I do not follow them back. These are the accounts that are probably of no value as they are simply chasing the numbers!

It’s All About Engaging Customers

There is no doubt that you can engage with your customers through these social media channels and that it can be very useful. But that is not the only strategy! If you are attempting to become a lead communicator in your marketing niche then do not waste your time engaging with customers if it is much better spent spreading your message.

It’s All About Facebook and Twitter

Make sure you look at all social media platforms including YouTube, Pinterest, etc. There are now hundreds of different platforms operating in an array of business sectors/niches. Do not overlook any of them if they are appropriate to you and your business.

You Have to Do It All Yourself

Just be sensible about this. Maybe you do need to “front up” the business on your Twitter account, but that does not necessarily mean you have to handle everything yourself.

The way in which the WordPress blog can integrate with the major social media platforms means it is quite easy to delegate certain tasks in the process to different parties (inside or outside the organisation). Don’t be afraid to do this. This way you will not become overwhelmed.

It Needs a Lot of Time and Effort

Gihan’s recommendation is simply to create one key message per week – a blog article or a short video. That is all! But he stresses to be consistent – because the audience you have built up will have an expectation.

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Ian Smith
Dr Ian Smith

32 years of marketing experience to help small businesses understand the world of website marketing.