Social media is the next frontier for entrepreneurs. With the rise of mobile users and active social media consumption, more and more consumers are looking to social platforms to get to know brands and transact with them. A UK study revealed that 77.9% of the public uses some form of social media. That opens businesses up to an audience of millions unrestricted by time and place. Because of the popularity in social selling, major social networking sites like Facebook and Instagram have even integrated marketplaces into their platforms.
The rise of social selling has made it an attractive, if not obvious, pursuit for modern entrepreneurs. However, its accessibility also makes way for a lot of misconceptions. Make sure you know some of the most common myths about the practice.
Organic traffic is the best route since it comes easily
Though organic traffic is indeed a feat to be proud of amidst so many paid promotions and ads, it’s not quite as simple as just setting up a page and hoping for the best. Because search engines and social feeds follow an algorithm tailored to various user behaviours, entrepreneurs have to be proactive in staying visible. This means you need to get the ball rolling by utilising SEO, geo-tagging, and using hashtags. These actions ensure that you are searchable, and that you can rise above millions of results to get that organic traffic.
Automation is key
Though automating posts and FAQs can be very helpful to your operations, there are actually pitfalls to relying completely on this. A personal touch can significantly improve perception of your brand, and customer experiences have a big impact on customer loyalty and impressions. Consider how an auto-response or limited chatbot compares to having a live chat to answer queries and respond to concerns. According to a survey of 2,000 UK customers, 85% of consumers prefer to talk to human agents over AI and bots.
This also helps avoid pushing away potential customers since many bots target users much like cold calling. As of 2021, the cold call method only has a meagre 3% success rate.
It’s better to focus on just one platform
You may think focusing on a single platform helps you streamline your content and focus your goals, however we live in the age of cross-platform interaction. According to data from Later’s ultimate guide to social selling, social shopping is steadily becoming one of the most active channels for e-commerce, and various platforms drive sales from different demographics. Whether it’s Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or TikTok, brands should ideally optimise their social selling features on their preferred channel before experimenting with others. As trends and features vary per platform, it’s best practice for e-commerce businesses to adapt accordingly and simply have a coordinated campaign throughout different social media platforms.
Being a Jack-of-all trades increases engagement
Though you may want to be a sort of one-stop shop for a diverse array of products, this will only make your business seem run-of-the-mill. In an age filled with continuous content, finding your niche is the way to success. Just as previously noted in our article Why Not Knowing Your Niche Is Killing Your Income Potential, getting specific about what you offer and who your target market is will create a more reliable appeal factor and stream of income.
Negative comments are meant to be ignored or deleted
Aside from trolls and haters, negative comments actually pose some value to entrepreneurs. First, they can become teaching experiences that help one’s business to improve. Second, keeping reviews of this nature public shows other potential consumers that your business is transparent. Even better, a good response that can be publicly seen will improve your credibility and brand perception.
It’s also wiser to respond immediately instead of deleting, as this sets a precedent and can be noticed in a negative light by your customers. In fact, a survey by Broadly notes that 51% of customers will take their business elsewhere if they don’t get a response in six hours or less. In the UK, nearly two-thirds of adults say they feel frustrated by the length of time before they get resolutions.
Avoiding these myths will help any budding online entrepreneur to make more sound business decisions. With the right know-how, social media is an attainable space for success in the digital age.
Contributed by: Demi Cameron