Social Media’s influence has steadily grown in The Bahamas over the last few years.
With these kind of numbers it is not surprising that many local businesses have started to look toward social media and Facebook as business tools to help them reach their target audience and increase sales.
However social media is relatively new to The Bahamas and I believe there are some key misconceptions that are limiting effective implementation by local businesses.
Below are five key misconceptions that are hurting local business social media efforts.
1. Social Media Is Free
You can log on to Facebook right now and have a Facebook page for your business up and running within a matter of minutes. So what do I mean its not free?
Well, that’s true, but there is a cost involved if you plan on using Facebook effectively.
Firstly there is the time you have to spend updating and responding to customers on the page, the time you have to invest to learn how to use the platform properly for business, there is the time you spend finding or creating content to post on your page.
Secondly, there is the money you can spend on training, paying someone to manage your page (if you choose to do that) and on Facebook ads to promote your page.
Here’s the bottom line; Facebook is not free. But it is way way more affordable and cost effective for local businesses than traditional channels.
2. You Need Thousands Of Fans
Local businesses massively overvalue the importance of the number of fans on their page . This has lead to some businesses focusing on likes at all cost, only to realize later that the likes don’t mean what they think.
Businesses believe that when someone likes their page, they are then free to market to that person and he/she will see every update that the business posts. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, research has shown that on average only 3% of fans see an update and that has been dropping in recent years.
Instead of number of likes businesses should focus on the quality of the fans they attract. Quality fans are those who are interested in your business or product and will engage with your page. More people engaging with your content equal more people seeing your page with you do post.
3. Its Only Meant For Marketing
Most businesses approach social media strictly as a marketing tool; as a way to push their products and increase sales. But that is not all it can be used for and infact the more ways you utilize social media the more effective it is for your business. Here are several ways;
- customer service
- product development (focus groups)
- human resources
- internal relations
- market validation
- much more
Businesses need to think beyond marketing to realize the full potential of social media.
4. Anyone Can Do It
If you look on LinkedIn you will see the vast majority of people have “Social Media” listed as one of their skills. Most people think because they spend time on social media and update their various social media profiles, this is the same as having the social media skills required to use social media for business.
Personally I drive my car every day, but I’d never list driving as a skill and you should not list social media as a skill for the same reason. Trust me, its harder than it looks, especially if you plan on doing it for a business that you have no relation to. Despite this or because of it I encourage local business to do their own social media rather than hiring it out to a third party.
The intimacy and passion you have for your business is difficult for a random person to duplicate and the time it takes for them to emmerce themselves in your business and truly understand your businesses does not come cheap.
5.You Don’t Have Time For Facebook
So you’re busy working in your business and don’t have time to bother with facebook? This is a common objection from small business owners, after all we basically do everything in our businesses ourselves. The key though is understanding two things;
- This is an integral part of your business strategy. It will lead to more business and increased sales, therefore it is deserving of your time
There’s a way to manage your social media effectively with as little as 30 minutes a day and less than 7 hours per week.
I recognize the challenges local businesses have with social media, which is why I’m putting together an online video training course that addresses the needs of local business owners who are just getting started with Facebook marketing.
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There are many challenges marketing your business online which are made worst when you have misconceptions about how it works. I hope this article helps you avoid some of those misconception.
~ GR Wilson