Start Here October '22

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72 S T A R T H E R E 2 0 2 2 T here's a lot of disinformation circulating about social media today, and not all of it in the posts on the various platforms. Social media can be complicated to use, at least when using it for business purposes, and there are a lot of myths about how and why a business should use social media. So called "experts" will advocate things that simply don't work, and which may even harm your success on social media. Because there are a lot of half-truths and untruths out there regarding how social media can benefit a business, or how it should be used for business pur- poses, we want to bust some myths, and help you find the path to true social media success. As you start your business, get off on the right foot online Kristine Shreve is the founder and CEO of Kristine Shreve Consulting, which offers writing, marketing, and business development services. The company can be found at Kristine is also the creator and host of the Business + Women podcast and is also the Director of Marketing and Outreach for Applique Getaway. Kristine was the Director of Marketing for Ensign Emblem and EnMart from 2006 to April 2020. MYTH 1 My customers aren't on social media – Let's look at some stats to bust this myth. e number of social media users in the United States in 2021 was 233 million with a penetration of 90%. America also has the third largest social media audience after India and China. According to the Pew Research Center, most people who use social media visit their profiles daily and, while younger people tend to be the biggest adopters and users of social media, its use among older adults continues to grow. While it is possible that your entire customer base is not on social media, in most cases, it's pretty unlikely. MYTH 2 Handle negative feedback by ignoring it – We'll all get one at some point, the dreaded one-star review, negative comment, or customer complaint. Some people think the best way to handle anything negative that shows up on your social media profiles is to delete it or ignore it, but nothing could be further from the truth. Look at a bad review or a negative comment as a way to tell your side of the story, not with anger, but with confidence and clarity. Transparency is a buzzword these days for a reason. Use negative reviews or comments to make your business dealings transparent, and to let your cus- tomers know you're responsive to problems and committed to providing the best possible customer service. By Kristine Shreve Myths About Social Media 10

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