Reality bites and sometimes what we picture in our head doesn’t always play out in real life.

At this point most businesses know that Social Media Marketing and Advertising are crucial for growth and success. However, some businesses still have some misconceptions about how Social Media works versus the reality.

Here are 5 cold, hard truths all businesses need to understand.

TRUTH #1: Success will take longer than you thought or planned it would take.

The truth here is that Social Media is not a magic bullet, success doesn’t typically happen overnight. Social Media Marketing and Advertising are a vehicle to get your business and its products/services in front of as many people as possible and as often as possible so your business will have success, but it will take time and a serious commitment.


Just because it isn’t going to work overnight doesn’t mean it won’t work. Implementing a consistent and aggressive marketing and advertising campaign will generate Social Sales Success in the long-run.

TRUTH #2: Your customers (and your competitors) are using Social Media, they are there and you should be too.

Nearly 70% of all online adults, of all age groups and demographics, are using Social Media. Over 90% of Millennials are using Social Media (in case you haven’t been paying attention, Millennials are the new consumers!)

No matter your industry or location, it is a safe bet your customers ARE using Social Media. If you aren’t reaching them through Social Media it is likely your competitors are taking advantage of the fact you aren’t there.


Get your business on Social Media. Use the sites that make sense for your industry. Each Social Site has a somewhat specific demographic, and Facebook is a pretty safe bet. Most online adults primarily use Facebook. The bottom-line is you need to be where your customers are, and your customers are on Social Media.

TRUTH #3: It DOES work.

If you have tried Social Media Marketing in the past, posting here and there throughout the past few years, or you ran ads on Facebook without any results this does not mean “it doesn’t work.”

Social Media Marketing and Advertising has changed so much in the past few years that what you tried a year or two ago is likely not an issue today.

Or, perhaps you had your assistant or intern give Social Marketing a try, they are young and “hip” and have been using Social Media nearly all their lives and it still didn’t work.

If you did not have a formal strategy with a consistent and professionally run Social Media Campaign it is no surprise it did not work.


Hire someone who knows what they are doing. A professional Social Media Marketer will know the ins and outs of the platforms and how to use them to your business’ advantage.

Keep your campaign running consistently, don’t start, and stop, don’t abandon your efforts, and don’t think that your college intern knows how to seriously market your business because they have been using Instagram since they were 12.

TRUTH #4: Success does not necessarily mean only generating direct revenue.

There are Social Media Marketing firms that will “guarantee” that you will make back 3 times or 4 times or 50% what you spend, they will sell you on the idea that your ads will do nothing but generate revenue. While this can happen (and does happen) it is not the only reason to use Social Media, and generating revenue comes from several other places than just running an ad.

We understand the importance of revenue and sustaining your business, we get ROI, but sometimes that return is not immediately monetary. Additionally, if you are trying to use Social Media to just generate direct revenue and ignore its other benefits you are missing the entire point of Social Media.


Understand that the return on your investment of monthly Social Media Marketing and Advertising is not just direct revenue. Social Media helps your business improve Search Rank on the internet and optimizes your entire business and assisting with your SEO efforts. It creates branding and recognition, develops your online visibility, provides word-of-mouth referrals, and creates warm (sometimes hot) leads and, finally, when combining all of this together it will assist in generating revenue.

TRUTH #5: You can afford it, because you can’t afford not to do it.

Traditional Marketing efforts cost a lot for what you get in return. Spending thousands of dollars a year to get in front of people once a month or quarter is not a wise investment or good use of your money. If you are still running ads in the phone book, sending out coupon mailers or mailing postcards and you aren’t getting any response it is time to rethink your marketing efforts. If you are getting responses, but not establishing quality leads it is time to rethink your budget.


It typically takes 7 “touches” to get a response. You need to showcase your business to your audience as many times as possible. The more people “get to know” your business the more likely they are to call when they need you. It’s time to put Social Media first and use Traditional Marketing as an adjunct to your online efforts. Furthermore, don’t let your competitors overshadow your business. Get out there and be where your competitors and your customers are, it’s a wise use of your money.

Read more: The Cold, Hard Truth: The PR and Ad Industries Are Still Hooked on “Vanity Metrics”