Don't let social media marketing myths get in the way of you kicking butt in this marketing medium.

Social Media Marketing has become a necessity for businesses in recent years. When done right, it can be extremely effective. It’s a great way to expand your reach and talk to your customers. But social media can get a bad rep. Don’t let these six social media myths keep your business from kicking butt on social media.

Social Media Myth #1:

My customers don’t use social media.

Wrong. Do you use social media? Does your dad? Does your grandmother? Does your friend’s sister’s cousin’s uncle? Yes, they’re probably out there lurking on Facebook right now.

Almost everyone uses social media today. In fact, the latest data from the Pew Internet project found that 76% of American adults with online access are using social networking sites. This statistic includes not only young adults, but those 65 years and older. So yes, some of your customers may not be using social media, but chances are the bulk of them are.

Social Media Myth #2:

Negative feedback should be ignored.

Receiving negative feedback on your social media posts can be uncomfortable. It’s tempting to just ignore them – or even delete discouraging comments and bad reviews. Unfortunately, the anonymity of the internet makes it easy for customers to flex their internet muscles and vent their frustrations.

Even the most reputable companies are going to receive upsetting comments from time to time. And it’s your duty as a social media maven to respond…not delete and hide. When you respond, do so calmly and appreciatively, remembering that this is another opportunity to show your customers how well you respond to their needs.

Consider this your opportunity to learn a thing or two about where your business might have some shortcomings. It’s a chance to make it right with a customer who might come back, if you take their situation seriously. Plus, it shows your future customers that you always make an effort to make it right.

Social Media Myth #3:

There is no need for social media in B2B marketing.

Social media is not off limits for B2B companies. Most consumers expect the companies that they work with to be on social media, and turn to them for relevant content and information.

Social Media Myth #4:

Likes and followers are the best way to measure social media success.

Sure, likes and followers make your business look popular and reputable, but they’re not the best way to measure your success on social media. Social media metrics are not as concrete as other marketing metrics – your reach extends beyond the number of people who follow your profile. There are better metrics to look at, such as engagement with your posts and referrals to your website. These metrics help you understand what posts are resonating with your customer base.

Social Media Myth #5:

Social media is a necessity, not a route for leads.

Some businesses look at social media as a necessary chore, rather than a tool to produce leads. We get it. It is time consuming to schedule posts each day, and you might not see the benefits of social media marketing from the get go.

Here’s the cold, hard truth. Having a presence on social media will do you little good unless you actually do something with it. If you don’t make regular posts, engage with your audience and respond when someone comments, your image could be harmed rather than enhanced. Customers will run across your social media profiles. Make sure they are up-to-date.

Social Media Myth #6:

There is no need to incorporate social media into your marketing plan.

Because it is a relatively new aspect of marketing, some companies think it’s not necessary to include social media strategies in their overall marketing plan. This way of thinking definitely does not pay off. Any time a marketing campaign is developed, social media should be considered. When you tie social media into your overarching plan, you convey a consistent message across multiple platforms.

There’s no doubt that social media does have its place in any well-crafted marketing plan. The key is to invest the time and energy into posting regularly, keeping your messaging consistent and responding quickly and positively to feedback. Get out there and be social.