Social media is an effective way for B2Bs to connect with clients both before, during and after the sale.
A study found that LinkedIn is the best platform for sales activity. 64% of those polled said that LinkedIn was an effective sales method for dealing with leads pre-sale. Twitter came in at 47% as second on the list.
And those two channels were tops when it came to marketers using social media for marketing efforts. Twitter was used by 93% polled with 91% using LinkedIn.
From that study you have nearly all marketers using social networking in some fashion and even for sales purposes.
The usage numbers are great, but there is also, as you probably have seen, a lot of information about how to use social media out there. It’s hard to know what is what.
In this post we’re going to look at some of the big social media myths out there that are still prevalent and leading marketers to make poor decisions.
Let’s debunk some of these and get you and your business on the right track with social media.
1. Setup & Manage All Social Channels
This myth has been covered before. The pressure is that you need to be on all the social channels when starting out with your social media strategy.
There isn’t anything wrong with setting up all the channels and doing some automation.
But if you’re a small business trying to do social on your own you’ll struggle to keep up with one channel let alone multiple. Even large companies have skipped focus on more than two or three channels.
You choose the one channel that fits your target audience the best and stick with it. You can build up from there if you have the resources, but we’ll get into that later.
It’s better to put all your effort into the best fitting channel and win that channel than to do subpar on 3 or more channels.
2. One Part-Time Social Media Employee Is Enough
This is usually just out of necessity. And I don’t think it’s done always on purpose where you send an employee that has other full-time tasks to perform social media.
It might be that you have to do that and if you do then you’re definitely looking at using only one social channel. And even then it will be a challenge.
The expectations, however, need to be aligned. If you have an employee doing this you can’t expect them to make real headway with social media. They might make some inroads, but you really have to invest time to build a channel that people want to follow all the time.
If you have someone on your team set the right expectations or look outside the company for help from an expert with experience that can focus on one channel for your company.
3. You Can Post Too Often
You’ll often read that it’s all about quality over quantity.
Yes. That is certainly true, but I think it’s led to too many people not posting often enough on social media.
You don’t want to be posting everything and anything on your channel, but I think in general most could post more often and usually much more often than they are.
I think this is especially true on Twitter. Instead of posting one time per day you could post 20 times per day. It’s a little different on Facebook and LinkedIn, but even there you could move from once every couple days to at least 1-2 times per day and perhaps even a couple times more.
4. Business Is Business & Personal Is Personal
This is more of something that business owners and managers just tend to do with social media. And I’ve been guilty of it in the past, but now I’ve seen more success using personal accounts for business purposes.
I think it’s fine to have a business account and usually that’s a good thing. That actually gives you the opportunity to switch off responsibility from yourself or from one employee to another. So that’s good.
But if you’re the owner or manager and you want to build a social profile as a way to market your business you can use your personal account.
The other key is that you stick strictly with business, but i’ve found that people don’t want that.
Think about how you deal with your clients. You don’t only talk about business. You have small talk and ask about personal interests. You might talk about hobbies, sports or whatever.
Do the same thing on social media. People want to get to know you and you don’t have to get super personal to do it, but make some small talk, share some feelings and things like that to make your account more approachable.
5. Connect, Engage, Post
Don’t forget about social media listening.
Connecting, engaging and posting on social media are certainly important.
But don’t overlook social media listening, which is using social media simply to see what people, especially your target audience, are doing, thinking about, etc.
Don’t forget about social listening as a method for getting great insight for your business.
6. Only Share Content One Time
When you create a blog post and share it one time on social media it’s great.
But you can share that post an infinite number of times. Share it multiple times on the day you post it and keep sharing it that week and that month.
And keep sharing it on occasion for months and even years into the future.
You can do this if you create content that answers common audience questions related to your industry. If you do that you’ll tend to publish content that can be valuable today and in the future.
Now, you obviously can’t just publish the post with the title and link. You can do that, but you need to tweak the title or the lead-in to the content.
Ask a question, use a quote from the post and use other strategies to promote your content.
It could be a post, video, podcast or whatever. You can reshare content like that over and over.
7. Automation Looks Bad
Some of the most popular accounts on social media are 100% automated.
I’m a fan of mixing automation with manual social media use.
Automation is great for getting you to publish more often, which we mentioned earlier as being a good thing. So use a tool like Buffer to help you automate your social efforts.
You could start by automating 5-10 updates each day and then mix in 5-10 manual updates each day. I’m thinking of Twitter with those numbers and it could probably work too with Instagram and Pinterest.
You might have to tone it back with Facebook and LinkedIn, but mix up your automation and manual posting so you can use the channels and publish more often.
8. Followers Follow Organically
They do, but you don’t have to rely only on letting followers come to you.
Followers will come to you if you’re providing valuable updates like answers to their questions.
But you can supplement the organic followers in a few ways to juice up your followers.
9. Facebook Is #1
And for many businesses Facebook does offer the most social media opportunity.
However, there are other better options for some businesses especially with B2Bs. Now, I think Facebook can be the best for some B2Bs, but usually LinkedIn is a great place to put your efforts as we saw from the insight in the intro to this post.
For me, it’s Twitter and LinkedIn for B2B and Facebook really isn’t on the list.
10. Gotta Go Solo
Facebook is not all about just doing what you can do on your own.
Partnerships are great in many ways for businesses including for social media strategies.
You want to connect with your target followers, but you can do that by partnering with complementary businesses and organizations on social media.
It might be hosting a hashtag discussion on Twitter with one or more businesses. You all invite your followers to ask questions during a specific time and together you can bring in a larger audience.
You could co-host and event and co-promote it with all involved.
Don’t go at it alone. You can use social media with others to boost your engagement as a partnership.
There are some of the big myths out there about social media that could lead you down the wrong path for your company’s social media efforts.
I tried to find some of the ones I see most often. Some you’ve probably read elsewhere, but I tried to add some new ones and put a new spin on what you can do going forward to give yourself some good odds of success with social.