Getting your small business active on social media is no small feat and should be taken seriously as a marketing channel. There is an absurd amount of information available on the internet about social media, what to do, and how to do it. It can be overwhelming to a business that’s new to marketing or new to social media. But don’t feel overwhelmed! I’ve collected a few popular myths that you can steer clear of as you find your way:

1. It’s all about the followers

Nope. The number of followers does not reflect how engaged or qualified your audience is. In fact, there are so many bots, ghost followers, etc. that there’s no telling how many of those followers are real people. It’s all about WHO you’re following and not HOW MANY are following you. Focus on reaching your target audience and engage with them! Having 2000 that share and comment  are better than 20,000 followers that ignore your posts!

2. It’s not a sales tool

Social media as a sales tool goes back and forth like a pendulum. As more social media channels add shopping carts your posts can definitely lead to sales and they can be tracked! Even better is to think of it as a lead generation tool. A tool that can generate warm traffic to your website and generate sales. A tool that can help you build relationships with prospects. However, sales are totally possible!

3. It’s all about the frequemcy

Um. No. While I understand that you’ll be posting on social media more often than posting a blog or creating new content. The key in social media is a combination of what you post and where you post. This means that you should be mixing your content types with video, gifs, infographics, photos, and text. You should be be strategic onyour message and look to combine inspiration, education, awareness, and maybe sales. So you shouldn’t have a target number of posts as this will develop on it’s own as you build out a structure of what and where you’re posting.

4. You can’t measure social media

Yes, you can. But it can get a bit irrelevant if you don’t set real objectives that are connected to your business. For example, if you have already calculated that a certain amount of traffic from Twitter results in a percentage of opt-ins, and a percentage of conversions then you can easily predict and calculate numbers based on incoming traffic from Twitter. If you don’t know these numbers yet, then your first goal is to start tracking and calculating those percentages for each campaign. Tracking every link is key.

5. If you build it, they will come

In the old days, followers would ‘Like’ and ‘Follow’ just because you were there. This is no longer the case. You can attract ghost followers, which count for nothing, and you can attract those that will ‘unfollow’ if you don’t follow-back. It takes time and effort to build a following of people that enjoy and engage with your posts. But the benefits of building such a tribe is invaluable!

Hopefully, you will take these 5 simple myths along with you as you build your social media marketing channels. Remember to engage with your followers by commenting back and responding to questions. And remember that everything on the internet is public so keep yourself in check!