This blog was prompted by three different conversations I had with local business owners today. All together they swirled into this question.
Are there businesses that SHOULDN’T use social media?
Short answer: no! Social media is flexible and can be adopted to any business need!
Personal answer: I personally wouldn’t contract with any company that isn’t safe for children or any doctor’s office. There are too many legal pitfalls in those two industries for them to be worth the risk with my limited legal knowledge.
So why do some business owners think their business wouldn’t benefit from social media? Here’s 5 misconceptions about social media that makes them think this.
1. Social media is only teens.
Where I run into this misconception most is in churches. I approach them saying “Social media is simply a digitization of what you’re already doing with your members and community. It’s just another communication tool.” and they forward me to the youth pastor. Hello? Did you hear what I just said? Churches aren’t the only ones tainted with this heresy. It’s amusing to me to have people with a question about social media turn to me automatically not knowing that the middle-aged people standing around with me have smarter phones and more experience than I with anything technological or social.
2. Social media is only women.
This perception is harder to pick up on. It shows up mor ein conversations and assumptions. I see it when people are surprised when my male marketing colleagues do more than SEO or when an automotive repair businessman tells me that hair saloons would benefit more from social media than his store. I’ve heard the term “chatty Cathy” applied to the social media profession.
How does this assumption hold up? Well, all of the major social networks do have more women than men users, but only slightly. It’s not more than 10% gap on Facebook and Twitter. LinkedIn leans more toward men. Pinterest stands out in that it has the largest gender gap, heavily favoring the ladies. However, not even that site is devoid of men!
3. Social media is only geeks.
So I should only use it if I’m selling comic collectibles or app development, right? Wrong! Who is the most followed person Google+? +Britney Spears. Is that geek behavior? Please, don’t insult us!
4. Social media is only Facebook, which we all hate.
I know I talk about Facebook a lot on this blog. That’s because that’s where most of my clients’ customers are. However, I’m not recommending a Facebook diet to anyone! And I know anytime anything changes the slightest bit on Facebook your stream fills up with wailing and weeping. It’s hard to take it seriously though when no one leaves. They can’t possibly all hate it as much as they say.
Let’s assume for a moment that you just cannot stand the idea of your business being on Facebook or you have been granted the divine insight needed to know that Facebook would not help your business in the slightest. You still have Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Flickr, and WordPress to pick from!
5. Social media is only procrastination.
Sounds like a personal problem to me. ;)
If anything this misconception is just another reason to hire Magic Bottle Marketing. If social media is distracting to you and decreases your productivity, let me do it for you!