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Ten Myths About Social Networking for Business  The most important thing to remember about social media is that it is still in the process of evolving.  We learn new things on a daily basis!  To keep you from any social networking misconceptions, read this comprehensive guide that reveals 10 myths of social media use and how to avoid them.

Myth #1: Everyone is using social media Although social media has become a huge advertising platform, it is important to distribute your attention wisely when it comes to advertising.  Your first step will be to make sure the keywords on your website is optimized for Google Searches.  You can do this using the Google Keyword Tool. Make sure you choose relevant keywords that describe your product or service and choose keywords that are not used too frequently. To increase the number of links to your site, you can start by building rapport with relevant bloggers. Send them a short note with a link to your website.

Myth #2: Social news aggregators are dead Less popular sites like Digg and Stumbleupon don’t get the same level of mainstream media coverage that Facebook and Twitter do, yet some of the most shared content on these large sites is initially submitted to these and similar social aggregation platforms. When you start using these platforms, make sure you integrate yourself with the other users. Vote on articles and other contact that Digg users submit, and also your own.  Votes will lead to more votes and increases your chances of getting your article bumped up to the “popular” section of the platform!

Myth #3: You can’t do it all in-house Social media networking is not as complicated as it may sound.  Try this: go to Google and type the following: [your product or service keyword] social network. In your results, notice how many people are registered, currently online or even replying to a conversation thread.  What are the topics of the threads with the most responses? Post a question to the forum and link to your own website and websites of people who inspire your work.  You are bound to receive a positive response to your acknowledgement.

Myth #4: You have to spend hours a day on Twitter Although Twitter can be fun, you don’t need to spend your whole day tweeting.  Spend an hour a day sending your customers and social media contacts and anyone else interested an invitation to a weekly chat on Twitter.  Prepare for this chat by having informative tweets about your business handy and by ending your chat with a call to action.

Myth #5: Social media is solely a broadcast channel One of the important things to remember about social media, is that people love to be involved.  If you turn your Facebook page into an announcement board, don’t be surprised if you don’t get many likes. Use your social media platforms for having competitions that require your customers to enter on the Facebook page.  Ask questions, have surveys and giveaways – keep everyone involved!

Myth #6: Social media can replace your website Social media might be the shiny new toy everyone is playing with, but don’t forget your old toys either. If you have a customer database of email addresses, you can send frequent emails with information on products or any specials running.  It’s not so hard to get these email addresses.  Simply add a form on various pages of your website that ask your visitors to record their details.

Myth #7: You can’t measure your return on investment in social media Many people use social media for social purposes only.  To see whether your marketing is targeted correctly, you can follow three simple steps. The first step is to track where your users are coming from.  You can do this by creating trackable URL’s with Google that you place in all the links leading to your website. The second step is to identify their actions on your website and then calculate the value of that activity.  This way you can see what value social media networking adds to your business.

Myth #8: Blogging is a waste of time Although blogging can seem like useless blabbering, it gives you a voice and social control of your product. Using WordPress, create a blog that answers some of the best questions your prospects have asked.  Ask a question to end off, which will encourage them to comment. Share the content with others in your network and repeat the process.

Myth #9: You have to be on every social network Being everywhere concerning social media will take up your entire workday.  Rather focus your efforts. Go to Facebook and Twitter and search targeted key words in the search field that describe your product or service. When viewing the results, take note if the pages resembles your target community and if they are the type of people who usually buys your product or service.  If they are, interact with them.  Stay away from other networks that do not resemble your business.

Myth #10: Social media will replace real-life networking Social media can never replace face to face contact.  Use social media to generate face to face meetings.  Schedule gatherings, invite prospective customers and maybe have them test your product for free. You will be rewarded.