The Truth Behind Common Social Media Myths
Working in marketing in the digital era, I hear a ton of misinformation about what social media can and can't do. With so many experts, enthusiasts, and even laggards (no offense), the expectation of social media can either be that it's an overnight miracle worker or completely useless. I love social media and it's just so misunderstood.... Poor thing. I understand that some are not as familiar with social media as others, which leaves a lot of questions unanswered about if what you've heard is actually true. Here's some common misconceptions about social media and the truth behind them:
"Social media management is so easy that anyone can do it." Social media isn't just posting content about your business or brand. Do you know what content is fitting for which platform? How to format images so that they're compatible on Twitter? Do you know how to track your data? Do you know what said data even means? What content will draw engagement? Which SEO keywords to use? Are you tired of my questions because you don't know the answers to any of them? :) Social media management isn't easy and shouldn't be left to just anyone. Though you should encourage your team to have an "all hands on deck" approach to social media and to contribute, social media requires a lot of technical aspects that many don't realize.
"If I start posting on social media, I'll instantly gain followers and engagement." Unless you're already a well-known public figure, building a social media following takes time. The industry standard for seeing results from your digital marketing strategy is 6 months and that includes your social media. It takes time, consistency, and great content for most brands to build a following.
"The more social networks I'm on, the better." I can see why most people think that being on every social media platform is a great idea. More people= more exposure, right? Not so fast... Not only will you stretch yourself thin trying to manage all of the different social media pages but your time spent on all of them would be a waste if your target audience isn't there. Buffer wrote a great post about how to choose the right social media platforms for your business. As always, let me know if you need any help picking the right social media platform for you.
"Google+ is dead." How about we stop declaring things as dead? "Marketing is dead" "Facebook is dead" "Google+ is dead." Let's declare this social media myth as dead! If you truly believe that a social network created by the SEO masters themselves won't help you rank in search engines, you are sorely mistaken. In fact, Google just announced that it is reintroducing Google+, making it more mobile-friendly and functional for its users. I admit, I haven't been as active on Google+ as I should be but it's definitely in my 2016 Digital Marketing Strategy. Who's with me?
"I only need to post about my product/service." Social media is about being social! It's not about you- it's about your audience. What do they want to read and share? What does your service or product provide that would make them what to read and share your content? Nobody likes to be constantly sold to. My advice is to develop a content strategy and social media calendar. Give your audience a feel for what your brand cares about and what you stand for. If you need content inspo, I wrote a blog post about that, too!
"Social media doesn't increase revenue" Social media is a great tool for increasing revenue by getting the word out about your products, providing action items, and offering customer incentives. It's also a way to reach prospective customers and clients that you otherwise wouldn't have access to. Even from a management aspect, prospective employees (especially millennials) are leery of companies who don't have a social media presence and chasing qualified employees away definitely hurts your business.
"My business doesn't need to be on social media." If your business isn't on social media yet I'm guessing it's because you're either overwhelmed with how much you don't know about social media or you're satisfied enough with the amount of business you're already receiving. Your prospective customers are on social media so you need to be, too. 47% of Americans say that Facebook is their #1 influencer when it comes to making a purchase decision. And that's just Facebook.
"I can't give away too much free information about my product/service on social media." "Giving someone a recipe does not make them a world class chef" is one of my favorite quotes. It doesn't hurt to give out free advice and tips. If you are great at what you do, being a source of informative content only helps your business. Most of the time, if you withhold your knowledge and expertise from your customers, they will withhold their business from you. Give more to get more.
What are some common myths that you've heard about social media?