As an entrepreneur, it is important that you manage your expectations.
Setting realistic goals and working strategically toward them is what will drive you towards success.
If you don’t manage your expectations, your business will fail.
You will waste time, focus, money, and other resources trying to achieve things that are not possible – or, you will go about trying to achieve them the wrong way.
The same applies when it comes to your social media marketing strategy.
When it comes to social media, you need to manage your expectations, know what to focus on, and know what success looks like.
Otherwise, you will never see a proper return on your investment.
However, this can be difficult because, when it comes to social media, there are a lot of misconceptions out there.
These myths mislead business owners into having misguided expectations.
Then, they get frustrated.
And then, they quit.
And finally, they call social media all sorts of bad names.
Spreading more myths.
Don’t buy into the hype.
Instead, educate yourself on what is realistic to expect from social media marketing and then act accordingly.
Here are 3 big social media myths you don’t want to fall for if you want to keep your business goals intact…
Myth #1: Social media is for closing sales
Closed sales is definitely ONE way to measure your social media strategy’s success, but it’s not the only way.
And, it’s not the most effective way.
Actually, it’s a pretty lousy way.
The thing is, social media isn’t all that great at closing sales.
WAIT. LET ME EXPLAIN.
I know what you’re thinking…
“If social media isn’t effective at closing sales, then why am I – an intelligent business owner – wasting my resources on social media?!”
Just hold your horses for a second.
The reason social media isn’t effective when it comes to closing sales is that people don’t come to social media to buy stuff – they come to be social.
They come for value – entertainment, inspiration, ideas.
They come for great content.
Also, it takes 7 to 21 (or more) impressions to close a sale.
An impression is every time someone “sees” you.
Back in the day of traditional media, this was called the Rule of Seven, and it meant your billboard, your television commercial, your print ad in a newspaper or magazine, or your radio spot needed to be seen or heard at least 7 times before you could expect to close a sale.
That number has increased since digital media took over.
Ads are more prevalent now, and audiences have become more de-sensitized to it, so you need to make even more impressions to get your target audience’s attention.
Some say that number falls between 7 and 21. Some research says that number is higher.
The number doesn’t really matter.
The point is, it takes a LOT of impressions, and that is hard to do with social media.
With social media, you are fighting against algorithms, distractions, information overload, and inconsistent behavior from your target audience.
Just because someone stumbles across your content, clicks on it, engages (likes, comments, and shares), and even starts following you, doesn’t mean they are going to buy from you that instant – and maybe not for a long time.
You have to get that level of engagement again – and again and again.
That’s hard to do.
That’s a lot of work to get those impressions.
What social media IS good at is creating brand awareness, growing your audience, finding brand ambassadors, and growing your email list.
These are all very important parts to growing your business.
Especially the part about growing your email list.
Which brings us to Myth #2…
Myth #2: Social media replaces email marketing
Email marketing used to be very different.
In the early days of email marketing, business owners would get a hold of as many email addresses as they could, and then they’d blast out advertising every so often.
This is not an effective way to market anymore.
It IS an effective way to annoy people and alienate yourself.
So much so, it’s pretty illegal most of them time.
People are inundated with email now, so if you want a place in their email inbox, you have to earn it.
You earn it with great content, and getting people to sign up to be on your list.
And, you get them to know that you have value to add, and great content to give, by showing up with it on social media.
Use social media to find your audience and gain your target audience’s trust.
Then, use social media to invite people to subscribe to your email blast.
You’ve earned your place.
Once you have their email address, it’s easy to make those 7-21+ impressions.
No algorithms. No distractions. You have their undivided attention and they can read your email when the time suits them.
Social media did not replace email. Rather, social media works in conjunction with email.
They work together to grow your business.
One isn’t better than the other.
They are just different parts of your online marketing strategy and you need both of them for the best return on your investment.
Myth #3: Social media replaces in-person networking
Don’t allow social media destroy your in-person interactions.
You are never going to trust someone you meet online the same way you’re going to trust someone you’ve sat down and had coffee with.
That said, social media can accelerate and enhance your in-person networking efforts.
It can improve your reach, save you time, and help you build your network faster than you might have otherwise.
But, to be clear… social media DOES NOT REPLACE face-to-face in-person networking. It accelerates it. It improves it. It empowers it.
But, it does not replace it.
For instance, if you’ve got a networking event coming up, you can use social media to do some research on who you will be meeting, break the ice a bit, and maybe even introduce yourself.
Then, when you finally do meet in person, it will be less awkward and you’ll have something more meaningful to talk about.
And finally, after the meeting, you can stay in touch and continue to give value via social media.
Following up is the most important part of networking, so this part is critical.
Many entrepreneurs get frustrated with social media marketing because they don’t manage their expectations and they fall for some common myths. Make sure you understand that the ROI of social media goes beyond the number of sales you close on social media. Also, don’t believe that social media marketing is meant to replace email campaigning. And finally, don’t assume that having a presence on social media replaces your need as a business owner to interact with people in real life.