Social media is taking over the world. At least, that is how it feels some days. Consider these statistics: Facebook enjoys use by more than 2 billion people every day. YouTube enjoys more than 1.2 billion daily searches. And Instagram boasts more than 800 million users every month.

The only reasonable conclusion is that businesses need to be part of the social media landscape, and that means they need to invest in some serious social media marketing. Still feeling doubtful? You are not alone. Here are five social media marketing myths that you need to ignore right now if you want to enjoy the potential these platforms have to improve your business success.

Social Media Marketing Myth 1: Businesses do not need a social media presence.

Some companies, especially small businesses, consider social media marketing to be an optional pursuit. We can’t entirely blame them. Small businesses are busy, strapped for cash and time, and laser focused on the activities most likely to deliver them real, tangible results.

The thing is, social media marketing is one of these activities, and that makes it worth the effort and the expense (which, by the way, is minimal). Consider the statistics above. With access to millions or even billions of people, social media marketing offers businesses the ability to inexpensively reach their target audiences right where their target audiences are most active.

Social Media Marketing Myth 2: Businesses should join every social media platform.

Some companies, on the other hand, jump on the social media marketing bandwagon and go all in. They join every social media platform. After all, if social media marketing is the way to go, why not take advantage of every network out there to promote their businesses?

The problem is that joining every social media platform is not likely to deliver the results a business needs, but it is likely to absorb lots of time and money that small businesses cannot afford to spend.

The reality is that every social media platform reaches different audiences and has different goals. For example, LinkedIn is a professional network, while Pinterest is a much more laid back wealth of creative ideas.

Thanks to the wide differences in platforms, not every platform will allow companies to reach their target audiences. Lawyers, insurance companies, and other professional businesses, for example, may do better on LinkedIn than in the more laid back environment of Pinterest or Instagram. A comic book store, however, or a florist, may thrive on Instagram’s access to incredibly visual stories and ideas.

Before you join every social media platform, therefore, take the time to figure out where your target audiences are, and where your brand can thrive. Then focus your social media marketing efforts on those platforms.

Social Media Marketing Myth 3: The number of followers is the most important metric.

Social media can often come across as a popularity contest. Businesses think that the more followers they have, the better. In part, this is true. Lots of followers is a good thing, and means you are providing your target audiences with a social media experience they find desirable. However, it is not the most important metric for your social media marketing goals.

Instead, engagement is the primary factor you are looking to achieve from your followers. For example, 4,000 followers might be an impressive number, but if only a handful ever comment on your posts or share your latest blog, you may be missing the goal when it comes to delivering posts that resonate with those followers.

On the other hand, carefully crafting a following of 300 people, many of whom take the time to provide feedback on your posts, share your posts, retweet your thoughts, offer criticism of your opinions, and otherwise engage with you, means you are delivering a meaningful experience. And it means that word about your company is likely reaching wider and wider networks which will, you guessed it, eventually lead to the higher numbers of followers (and customers) that you crave.

Social Media Marketing Myth 4: The goal is business promotion.

Companies used to traditional marketing are used to making their business the focus of their marketing efforts. The problem is that this approach will not work on social media. People do not come onto social media to look for ads about how great your latest product is. They come on social media to engage, relax, and be entertained. So you need to provide them with that experience: Valuable, interactive content that is not necessarily all about your company.

Business promotion has its place, of course, but not usually on social media. Keep your content focused on what is valuable for your target audience. And don’t forget to take the time to engage with others’ ideas and opinions. Like any conversation, it’s not all about you, and the people and companies that can embrace a good conversational style are the ones who will earn the most opportunities and build the best relationships online.

Social Media Marketing Myth 5: Social media does not create business revenue.

Think that social media does not translate into cold, hard cash (or cold, hard conversions)? Then you would be wrong. In fact, one quarter of businesses who use social media enjoy an increase in revenue, while up to 62 percent of companies who use LinkedIn enjoy customer acquisition. Yes, social media marketing is good for your bottom line.

If you need help crafting a successful social media marketing campaign, do not hesitate to reach out to Distinct Web Design. We can help you find, and leverage, the right platforms in the right way as part of your digital marketing strategy. And that can mean more conversions and business for your company.