Indeed Social Media has changed the way business is being done and in the last few years and more dominating, big and small businesses alike have used the core of social media marketing to change and advance their business brands. However, so many SMEs have depended a lot on some stories about Social media Marketing (SMM) which at best can be described as myths and these belief systems have limited their brand presence and business growth in the social media space. Considering the business landscape in Nigeria and the over 100 of small business owners, I have therefore in this summarized article, put together 5 myths of SMM, which if debunked can be the tipping point for you as a small business owner and for your business brand.
1. FOLLOWERS EQUALS SALES
By every means it’s ok to have followers, for one it creates some form of perception when people come across your page for the first time but a lot of times that perception doesn’t become a lead that translates to sales. The craze to acquire followers have risen as a result of this dangerous myth. If you are a public figure, followers might be very good to push your brand but if you run a business that provides goods and services, many followers do not mean sales. Instead, seek to gain engagement. Engagement is what most likely leads to sales. The point is you can have less than 1,000 followers and have a more profitable online business than one with 10,000 followers.
2. A PARTICULAR PLATFORM IS BEST FOR ONLINE BUSINESS.
This perhaps is one of the funniest myths I have heard people say and they have gone ahead to structure their business on a platform based on popular demand. This is a very strong myth that may be hard to debunk but it is not impossible. The reality is every social media platform (SMP) has its pros and cons, they have the way they work which one has to understand and they all can spin your business around if one takes full advantage of the knowledge of it. What needs to be done is to understand your business properly, know your target audience, seek a social media platform that works for you and your brand, and stick to it religiously. Some don’t have a presence on Instagram and their business is a success on Twitter and vice versa. Some have exploited facebook to their profitable advantage. What does that tell you? You don’t have to be on all social media platforms, find one or two that works well for you, and take advantage of the numerous opportunities.
3. SOCIAL MEDIA IS ENOUGH
Social Media has no doubt been the reason for so many success stories when it comes to brand awareness, brand growth, and profitability but living with the fusion that social media alone is enough for a sustainable thriving online business is not only a myth, it’s very dangerous. Before the present popular social media platforms in the Nigerian space which are Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter, there have been other great SMPs like BBM, HI5, 2go, etc but have all disappeared. In recent times there have been attempts to hack Facebook, Instagram has stopped working for a couple of hours, WhatsApp has had issues with uploading status and messages couldn’t be sent. Imagine the huge loss that would have happened in those short time-space. My point is these SMPs may not be here a few years from now, it can stop working abruptly and if you have depended solely on these platforms, your business is really at risk. I have always recommended having a website to support your SMPs. Aside from painting you as more professionally deliberate, the internet will always be there.
4. SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING IS PR.
I have seen quite a lot of acclaimed PR practitioners who have paraded themselves as experts in the field of public relations but all they have to offer is Social Media strategies. They have used the term PR to whitewash business owners especially startups and rip them off hard-earned money in the guise that they are offering PR service for the brand. Social Media Marketing isn’t PR in itself, it is an aspect of PR. Public Relations is a whole concept of business branding, marketing, advertising, and creating a positive public perception of the business brand which runs online and offline.
5. SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING IS FREE
It is public knowledge that engaging and posting on any SMP is free but that doesn’t make it free in its entirety. Posting content may be free but posting the right content isn’t free, getting the right audience to engage the content isn’t free, managing the page and gaining growth isn’t free. This is so because, brand growth on any SMP requires research, effort and most importantly time that you most likely have invested in other activities and as the saying goes “time is money” and if you need to hire a social media marketer to do the job, you’d have to pay for the service rendered and measure the success. It is also to be noted that SMM is neither cheap nor expensive. With SMM, what you put in is what you get out. You want a great result, you put in great money, you want an average result, you put in average money, you don’t want any result, you can continue living with the myth that Social Media Marketing is FREE.
These myths have been put together in no particular order and they have been gathered from my experiences in dealing with clients and facilitating different sessions on Digital Marketing. I hope this changes someone’s perception of the concept and becomes the tipping point for the business brand.
Babatunde Ojobaro #MisterRain
.Event MC .PR Strategist .Content Developer
0706 625 1515