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I hate Twitter…and other client’s initial perceptions of social media.

A majority of my clients come to me a bit confused about how social media will truly benefit their business. As a social media consultant, I’m never offended by the comment I get 9 times out of 10 on an initial consultation call. In fact, I have come to expect it.

“I hate Twitter. I don’t get it. And I don’t want to learn it. But, I know I need to do it. Help!”

The feelings people get about social media are the same feelings they get when they venture out into a new territory for business or are embracing on a new marketing campaign. There are a lot of unknown outcomes that aren’t comfortable. We might be moving forward, but in our minds, we’re still skeptics. I’m here to shed some light on 5 of the most common things I hear when it comes to using social media in your marketing strategy.

Social Media is Simple.

This is the most common misconception. Since 1 in 9 people in the world have a personal Facebook, they think they understand the ins and outs of social media. Building a network for your brand and business takes more than just a “Hey!” on Facebook. Strategy, planning and implementation are key to creating new relationships and retaining you loyal customer base. It’s an investment!

Build It and They Will Come.

Another favorite. My favorite quote from Seth Godin sums this up in one sentence, “Social Media is a “build it, nurture it, engage them, and they may come and stay.” It takes time to build a solid community, just like it should take time to make new friends. It’s not overnight and you have to invest completely if you want a specific outcome.

LinkedIn is for the serious business people. Facebook is for social only.

LinkedIn boasts about being the largest professional network with portfolio style profiles, the buck doesn’t stop there. Stopping at just one social media platform because you think this will solidify your presence online isn’t in line with where business is headed. It’s easy to setup a Facebook Fan Page for your business. Why wouldn’t you want your business on Facebook? With 71% of US web audience on Facebook, that’s a big customer base to dip into.

I need to gain 5000 friends and then my company will take off.

It’s not all about quantity. Yes, grow your base! Have a consistent stream of people flowing in. But, focus in our your 50 most loyal followers. Those people are worth far more than 5000 lack-luster followers who might be interested or they might have just been interested in gaining one more friend on their list. Either way, create your base, but do it in a qualitative fashion. Strategy is key. Now-a-days people don’t care as much about how many followers you have, but more about how your brand is represented and how you communicate with them. There are steps to doing this correctly and when you do, you’ll end up with far more followers than you anticipated. And…they’ll stick around and help you build your business.

I hate Twitter. It doesn’t make me money.

Sometimes, it’s not all about making money, it’s about cultivating your community and furthering your reach. Twitter is an instant access feed. It’s a way to create a soundbite that serves your community, continually drawing them back for more of an in-depth relationship.

I like to think of Twitter like a well stocked shelf at a grocery store. Why do they keep the milk and meat in the back of the store? To make you walk through the rest of the store, buying things along the way. Twitter is similar. Who you are, what your products provide, might not be something you want to sum up in 140 characters. That’s fine. Do you blog? Maybe you’re a business coach that hosts weekly seminars you’d like to invite new people to. You could be a recruiter that has jobs he/she needs to fill and needs a quick, free way, to advertise them  to a core demographic of followers. Shooting tidbits of information out over a broad scope will get people will start to notice your website, your products, your newsletters. All the while, you’ve been cultivating them, slowly using a 140 characters that are useful, disarming and image building. You now have a loyal follower, not just a random bystander that accepted your friend request.

 

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