Going back to the basics
This week I taught the last of the 2015 social media workshops that I teach at the National Entrepreneur Center in Orlando. The Marketing Director who handles my workshop schedule reviewed how this last session went and had a few suggestions for some changes in the content I’ll be teaching in 2016.
Several back and forth emails with the Marketing Director turned into a phone call to talk it all out. I had a bunch of ideas to change things up for the new classes and the Director had some of his own.
We went a couple of rounds with our ideas on the phone and finally, the Director said to me, “I know you like to take your social media classes to the next level but sometimes, these small business owners just need to be reminded about the basics.”
It was one of those rare moments when I was actually at a loss for words. All I could do was nod in agreement.
He was right. Some days we get so caught up in all the latest features in our favorite social network or finding new ways to grow our followers that we forget to take it back the basics.
Let’s start at the very beginning
(A very good place to start)
Today I’m going to talk about the three biggest social media marketing myths for small businesses. I know you’ve all heard these before and quite honestly, you probably even heard the answers to debunk these myths.
So let me give you my updated answers and show you how to convert these social myths into some ideas to include in your social media marketing plans.
Myth 1: There is one best time or day to post your social media messages
Posting on a specific day or time that an expert recommends makes sense since those ‘expert people’ are suppose to know what they’re talking about, right? So we post our messages on those days and times and hope that our engagement will peak just like they said it would.
That would make sense but it’s wrong. It’s just so wrong.
Remember that each of the social networks are different. They each have their own audience and heavy users, who have their own social usage behavior. Their users log in at different times and in most cases, on different days.
When I ran a search on the best days to post on social media, this general guide comes up:
(I can personally argue with this one as there’s that Smart feed thing that posts our pins based on the pin’s content not when it was posted!)
Facebook: Thursday – Friday
Twitter: Monday – Thursday
LinkedIn: Tuesday – Thursday
Instagram: Monday and Thursday
Unfortunately, finding the answer for the best day to post on social media is like that old joke about opinions. Everyone has got one.
My advice to you is spend time tracking your top social networks. Try using the checklist from my Social Media Quarterly Check-in post and monitor everything for 3 months.
This is how I discovered what time of day and what days of the week work best for me to share my content on Facebook. I tracked what were the best times and noticed which days/times were the worst for reaching my audience.
Myth 2: Your business should be on all social networks
I recently heard Jay Baer from Convince and Convert speak at Social Fresh Conference in Tampa. I always enjoy hearing his presentations. I love to hear his latest take on how to move forward with social technology.
His presentations are always captivating and his words pull me into his view on the social world. Basically, his overall view on how to increase your reach to more of your customers is to use multiple networks.
Baer recommends that to increase our connections we should start posting on ALL the social channels and increase the amount of content we create which will in turn increase the number of times we would create those sales converting touchpoints.
And then he ends his recommendation with this piece of wisdom: To do this, your team needs to get bigger.
For the 80% of the Social Fresh attendees who work for large companies, of course this made sense. They have a team of people who handle their marketing and some even have a separate team who handles just the company’s social media messaging.
But what about those of us who are small business owners?
My *team* includes my accountability partner, my online mastermind group (to brainstorm with) and occasionally my Golden Retriever Winston who likes to sleep under my desk.
I feel pretty confident that these *team* members won’t be helping me create all this content and update all these social networks I apparently need to be on to reach everyone who may or may not need my services.
How do we bust this myth of being everywhere and thinking that we need to post on all the social networks? Take it back to the basics.
This is where you start. This is how you learn what social sites work for your company and what’s the best use of your time.
You don’t have to be everywhere and everything to everyone. You just have to reach the right people who are right for you and your business.
Myth 3: Social media is easy and free
At its core, the steps we take to create a Facebook post or send a tweet are as simple as typing on a keyboard. Yeah, I get that. And I get that we can all say that updating your social sites is pretty easy.
But the truth is, there’s more to creating a social presence than just posting up a couple of pictures and a link to an article.
It takes time to grow your community. It takes a lot of work to develop a marketing strategy, create original content and then track what’s working.
Then there’s the finding relevant content to share, posting, engaging and all the other different things we need to do like participate in online networking groups. I do this stuff for a living and it still takes a lot of work.
And FREE? Your time has value. Think about it – how much is your hourly rate? How much does it cost you every week to do all those things I mentioned in my list above?
If you’re one of those people who struggle with what to charge for an hourly rate, here’s a good rule of thumb to follow:
- Decide what your total income will be this year. It could be based on the contracts you already have in place or a financial goal you’re pushing towards.
- Now divide that income number by 52 (work weeks); then divide that number by 40 (the number of average work hours in a week). Then mark it up 25-30%.
What number did you come up with? Now think about having to pay someone that hourly rate to manage all the work it takes to handle your social media marketing.
And then tell me how FREE social media is.
Need some help?
Some days, it’s just exhausting trying to figure how to fit all this social media marketing stuff into your day. So, why even bother, right?
With the 10 Social Media Time Management Strategies ebook, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know to create a social media routine that works with your crazy busy world.
Because it’s not about just learning some new ideas. It’s about turning these cool things that you’ve learned into a habit. It’s about learning social media skills to make your time online efficient and effective.
It’s about finding the balance with all these new habits, stopping what’s not working for you and fitting it all into your already hectic day.
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