Even in this day and age, I still find quite a few misconceptions about social media.  There are still some that believe it’s a fad or some evil, “fake reality” tool.  I don’t know how you can call communication between 699 million active users worldwide every day a fad or just your teenager’s anti-social activities.  But I digress…  The fallacy I want to address is the one on the other side of the spectrum – those that think social media is some sort of magic fairy dust which will make their business explode with sales.  So let me clear up some things by telling you what social media cannot do for your business.

Social media cannot make you better than you really are.fairy-wand

Can it make you appear better?  More professional?  More hip?  Yes, but only temporarily.  You see, social media is only a tool that enhances your current business culture.  If you are rude to your clients or your product is faulty, it will eventually get out.  If you’re only in it for the money, your me, me, me, buy, buy, buy will not work magic for your business.

That said, it can make you better if you learn from the dynamics that make social media work – things like developing a relationship with clients, and learning more about the needs and interests of your target market.

Social media cannot create a great customer service experience

This ties into the previous point.  Yes, it does something for the experience by giving your clients a place where they can communicate their praise or concerns about your service or product.  But what if all you do is post about your product or service?  What if you never address their concerns or answer their questions?  What if you delete or block everyone who dared post something critical?  You’ve taken the first step in creating the channel; now it’s time to follow through.

Social media cannot turn traffic into leads or leads into sales.

Social media is for communication.  What you communicate is what is going to be the selling point.  Are you linking to a valuable resource and putting it behind a lead capture form?  Are you following through with sales inquiries and providing a good product or service?  How’s your customer service?  Are you providing enough information to take care of the micro-yeses?

As you can see, there is a lot more to what makes social media work.  Some businesses will do the faux pas mentioned above and then claim that social media doesn’t work or is a waste of time.  Social media doesn’t work magic.  It is a communication tool.  Adjust your expectations accordingly and social media will become a great asset for your business.