Here are 5 myths that may be stifling your social media for your small business:
1. Business social media should be all about business. This is probably the most common myth I've encountered, and it bothers me a lot. Anyone who knows me knows that I prioritize authenticity and vulnerability above virtually everything else, even in - or, perhaps, especially in - business. I can't stand when a business' social media accounts are written completely impersonally, referring only to the business name itself, with no actual people seemingly involved. I wouldn't advocate that approach for the very driest of industries (what would they be, anyway? insurance? funeral homes?) but definitely not in the wedding and event business! People want to connect with another live being - they want to know that someone, a human someone, has something at stake. So put some thought into what kind of voice will best represent your brand, your business, and you as the business owner, and post with that. Share a little about yourself and the other people who make up your team. You'll enjoy more engagement with your fans and followers, and feel more inspired to keep posting, when it's not all business, all the time.
2. Sell! Sell! Sell! Again, viewpoints vary when it comes to the purpose of social media. I personally believe that businesses should use their social media for three purposes: creating connections, sharing resources, and reinforcing brand identity. Note that hard selling isn't anywhere on that list. if your Facebook page, Twitter feed, Instagram account or Pinterest boards are chock-full of products you're peddling, you may get a little love here and there, but not much. That I can promise you. Instead, why not try leaving your merchandise on the shelves (your website), and focus on using social media to position yourself as a leader, a giver, and an inspiration? Do those things and the sales will follow. They always do.
4. If you're not on every platform, there's no point in being on any platform. Not true! We all begin somewhere, and it takes time to (a) learn new technologies; (b) become comfortable with using them; and (c) figure out what works for your business. Not every business needs to be on 5 or 8 or 10 social media platforms - depending on your industry and your competition, just Facebook or Twitter (or Pinterest, or Instagram) may be enough. The important thing is that your presence on whatever platform you choose is well-developed, representative of your business, and utilized to its greatest advantage. Truly rocking out a great Facebook page is loads more effective than 5 other neglected social media accounts. Promise.
5. Social media is only for businesses with actual news to announce. Um, you do have news to announce. In the absence of major media coverage, or important awards, you still have some awesome things to put out into the world, and your story is worth sharing. When you can't think of anything important to say, think about what things a potential client or referral source might not know about you or your service or your team, and say that. And when you can't think of that, look around at your industry pals' feeds and share something of theirs - everyone loves to be publicly supported, and your efforts to promote others' news will come back to you in a great way. That's a fact.
I hope you'll commit to yourself and to your business that you'll use social media in a more meaningful, but less high-pressure, way this week. Test out some post topics and see what response you get. Spend some time interacting with others' social media accounts and watch your bond with them strengthen. And, if you're truly stuck, don't hesitate to reach out. We can help.