As Bahamians we are traditionally slow to adapt to change. We like to stick with the traditional with what we know.
At the same time there are some among us who will talk with great authority on things about which they know very little. I’m sure you know someone like that.
Social Media is new, not only in The Bahamas but throughout the world and as with anything new it has spawned its share of misconceptions and myths that keep people from joining.
Tip: read what is social media
My former boss was like that. He had this great fear of people attacking him online or stealing his identity and nothing I tell him could change his mind.
That’s why I’ve created this list of Social Media myths
Myth #1: Social Media is for teenagers
When some people hear about social media they instantly associate it with some teenager’s hi5 page. That’s not what social media is about. The success of sites like LinkedIn which caters to professionals proves this.
And according to facebook stats adult age’s 35 – 64 years old make up 34% of Face Book’s global population and 26% of Bahamians. How about this stat: in 2011 the fastest growing demographic on Facebook is 55+ year old women… thats right
Myth #2: Social Media won’t last
Is there really anyone that still believes this? Shame!
Here’s a list of social media sites on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_social_networking_websites and its still growing.
Myth #3: My Customers aren’t on Social Media
This myth probably keeps more businesspeople from interacting with potential customers through social media than any of the others.
But all you need is a little data to know this is not the case; over 160,000 Bahamians are on Face Book. Do you really think your customers aren’t among them?
Myth #4: If I Engage on Social Media Sites, I’ll get Loads of Negative Comments
A lot of people, not only business people fear that their social media profiles will be overrun by people posting complaints and competitors flaming their brand. But the beauty of social media interaction is that transparency and responsiveness rule the day.
A negative complaint publicly by a customer is a great opportunity for you to demonstrate your customer service ability to a wider audience. If they are unreasonable, people observing the dialogue are more likely to admire your efforts to right the situation, rather than take to heart the angry customer’s complaints.
This assumes that you have good customer service… if you don’t, then that’s something you need to work on and social media can help.
Myth #5: You can make a big splash in a short time
A social media campaign can produce substantial and measurable results quickly if you are already a star or your content goes viral. But usually that’s not the case. More likely, you’re just getting started and learning as you go.
I’ve seen so many people sign up for a face book profile and start posting excitedly. Fast-forward a few weeks when no one is visiting their blog or promoting their content, and they then swear off social media forever.
It usually takes steady, consistent effort and strategy to get the result you need. Be prepared for the long haul.
Myth #6: Social Media is a cure-all
While social media is a great tool for online reputation management, it’s not a cure-all either. Don’t get so drunk on the idea of social media that you ignore the other problems of your marketing strategy.
Social media is not a cure-all, it’s just another in a long list of tools you should be using to optimize the results your business. Before engaging in social media ensure you don’t have other glaring issues that you could be focusing on.
Myth #7: Social Media marketing is free
Social Media Marketing is cheap, it’s not free. Sure, many of the tools that can be employed in social media are free to use.
However,integrating these tools into a marketing program requires skill, time and money.If you want to integrate social media into your business and want to actually see results you should be setting aside a budget for social media. How much depends on your objectives, your target audience and your strategy for reaching them.
Resistance to social media is futile. Millions of people are creating content for the social Web. Your competitors are already there. Your customers have been there for a long time. If your business isn’t putting itself out there, it ought to be.