|An Apple Is Not An Orange...And They Are Both Fruit|
Okay so I've been putting off writing on this topic but recent posts and comments that have been put to me make now as good a time to dispell some myths that are percolating around which on the face of it sound plausible but are built on very shakey foundations and show more a lack of understanding than they do insight into online marketing and especially what social media is all about.
Let's take this headline for example "Ignore the Social Media Hype. Your Business Will Always Need a Great Website"
Let's break this down.
Social media and the use of it for promoting a business does not and never has meant that your website is not necessary. And there may be people who will want to sell you a Facebook page that will tell you it is all you need but they are not people who deserve your attention.
Your website is as important as ever - and social media is the spark that can help drive more traffic to your site. All the reason you could need for ensuring that your website is up to scratch ( and most are not) and that your links from social media are leading to your website.
Scratch that. Your website is more important than ever.
Your Business Will Always Need A Good Website.
And this is often not what businesses have.
Many companies have websites look good and have cost a lot of money and say virtually nothing of interest to people who will probably never see it anyway because it doesn't have any effective search engine optimisation. Google can't find it and neither can customers. Or worse - if they do there is nothing useful for them to read.
Here are some more mistaken beliefs that have caught my attention lately.
Social media is not for every business.
This may be true if your idea of social media (marketing) is only about directly selling goods.
For perhaps most businesses this is not going to be the result of using social media. But for some businesses social media can deliver sales directly.
This is not necessarily even the most useful means of using social media.
So what can social media be useful for in addition to direct sales?
For many in business, "Having a chat with a stranger" is not high on their list of priorities. Some issues that are though, and if they are not already, should be high on the list of priorities, include:
- Researching your marketplace
- Being on top of trends
- Meeting people of influence in your chosen area of interest
- Meeting future customers
- Meeting future business partners
- Learning ahead of the curve
- Understanding customer sentiment
- Building your profile
- Becoming a credible expert
- Meeting new people in your community
- Gaining new skills
- Being on top of changes that are coming
- Keeping current
- Managing your company's online reputation
- Being accessible to customers
- Showing transparency and approachability
- Developing wider competencies
- Engaging in ways that are not available offline
- Observing different ways of thinking
- Seeing new ways of doing things that can work in your business
- Increase exponentially the number of people who know your business
And no it isn't a spectator sport. Neither is it a broadcast medium.
Oh and no... These benefits don't all come from having a Facebook page.
First you need to start with a better framework for what you imagine social media to be.
And get your website in order.
How many other benefits can you think of?
Develop A Strategy For Social Marketing
Check Your Website For Roadworthiness
Think Social Media Is No Use For Your Business? Think Again.
How To Get Your Local Business Noticed Online
Purpose Then Strategy - Case Study Starting Your Website
Quick And Dirty Business Review
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