There’s no doubt that participation at social media is growing at an alarming rate. According to a recent survey, 43% of all online consumers are on one social network or another. More and more marketers plan to increase their social media marketing spend. The point is that you can’t ever ignore the potential of social media if you are serious about creating a solid marketing plan for your business.

However, the rapidly increasing growth of social media has also given rise to multiple misconceptions or myths. You, as a smart business owner, need to break out of these myths as quickly as possible.

Given below are 3 biggest myths about social media marketing that you should reject right away to realize the true potential of powerful social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Linked, YouTube and the recently launched Google Plus.

#1. Social Media is Optional

Thinking that social media marketing is only optional is a huge mistake that businesses can make. As mentioned above, around 43% of all online consumers use one social media website or another.

If you think social media is optional, you should consider these mind-bending statistics –

According to HarpSocial, 53% of people who use Twitter recommend a service or product while tweeting. An Econsultancy report, on the other hand, indicates that around 200 million Facebook users use this social media site via a mobile device. Nuvvo finds out that 1.4 million new blog posts are published everyday.

Businesses should, therefore, quickly reject the myth that social media is not mandatory. No matter what the size of your business is, you can always find and target your audience on the popular social platforms.

#2. Social Media is Tough

Certainly, social media is not going to give you results overnight. Social media marketing is all about connecting with consumers on a personal level. To engage your target audience, you really need to earn their trust, provide solutions to their day-to-day problems and gain credibility for your brand. If you aren’t ready to dedicate yourself to building a community of loyal followers around your brand, you shouldn’t use social media.

#3. Social Media is Free

Anyone who thinks social media is free has, most probably, not used social media yet. If you own a business and want to grow it through social media marketing, you should quickly reject this myth.

Definitely, social networking platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus are free to use. However, social media marketing requires an adequate investment of both time and money. Whether you are a small business with just two employees or a company with a thousand employees, you’ll need to spend time on social media. You may also need to spend thousands of dollars on social media marketing depending on the business objectives you want to fulfill.

Beware; such myths can prevent you from using the social media tools effectively! What other social media fears are you still holding onto? Please feel free to share your views and comments below.