Social media marketing is inundated with misconceptions. To be successful in your social media endeavors, you need to look beyond the false impressions, bust the myths, and find the truths.
#1 Your brand needs to be on every social media platform
While it is important for your brand to have a social media presence, the idea of being active on every social media platform is neither prudent nor effective. You need to be on the social platforms your target audience frequents. Depending on the type of customers you have, that may mean Twitter and LinkedIn or Instagram and Pinterest. Understand where your audience is and establish an active presence on those particular channels.
In addition to focusing your social media efforts to the platforms your target audience uses, you have to consider the time commitment behind a healthy social presence. It is better to have an engaging, robust presence on one or two platforms than an embarrassingly meager presence on every single social media channel in existence.
#2 It doesn’t matter when you post social media as long as you are posting
Theoretically, you can post on social media any time of day or night but that isn’t necessarily best practice. In the same way, you should depend on your target audience for where you post, you should also rely on them for when you post. Each social media platform has different times when it attracts users. Look at the statistics from your marketing campaigns to understand when your followers are most active. Utilize that information to guide when you push out social posts to ensure your brand’s content is being put in front of your target audience at the most ideal times.
#3 The more content you post, the better
How much you post is a careful balancing act. You want to post enough to stay in front of your audience on a regular basis but not so much that you become an annoyance. Aggressive promoting can be a turn off if all your followers are seeing in their feed are your posts. They may even unfollow your account to give the posts from other brands, friends, and colleagues an opportunity to be seen. Don’t just post content for the sake of posting something. Post content that brings value to your followers and will enhance their day.
#4. If you follow someone, they will follow you back
Just because you follow someone doesn’t mean they will automatically click your follow button. A common rule of thumb is to acknowledge a follow but only follow back those accounts that will bring value to your newsfeed. If someone follows you back out of some sort of guilt, they will quickly unfollow you once they realize your posts don’t add to their existence in any way. You are better off following only those accounts that seem interested in your domain or have relevant content to your own goals, mission, and so on. This will increase the chances that the account will follow you back.
#5. Keep content business focused
Many brands hold to the misconception that they should keep business and personal content completely separate. While it is true that most of your target audience doesn’t want to see pictures from your family vacation, many of them do want to see the personality behind your brand. Publishing posts with personality will help you better connect with your followers. Avoid oversharing but do let your brand’s charm, humor, sassiness, or whatever, shine through your social media posts.
#6. Only younger people care about social media marketing
If you take a look at recent studies, you’ll see that more and more consumers over the age of 50 are finding their way onto social media platforms. Don’t assume, just because your target audience is outside of the 18-30 age range that they won’t be active on social media. All of the social platforms provide a basic analysis of your audience – use that information! This goes back to understanding on which social channels your ideal customers spend their time. Don’t make assumptions, use data instead.
#7. Social media marketing is absolutely free
While there are social media marketing opportunities that will cost your brand nothing, there are even more paid opportunities available that are well worth the investment. It is, generally, less expensive to engage in social media marketing than in marketing on other, more traditional channels. Do your homework to understand how you can get the most out of your efforts. Social media marketing is extremely doable with a modest marketing budget.
#8. You have to use hashtags, lots of hashtags
Hashtags serve a purpose. They should not just be randomly added to a post. Your marketing team should do a bit of research to determine which highly trending hashtags are relevant to your efforts and will draw in consumers from your target audience. You can also strive to establish one or two brand-specific hashtags and include those on all of your social media posts, your email campaigns, and so on.
#9: Social media marketing isn’t right for my industry
The widespread misconception that social media doesn’t work for all industries was most likely born from a lack of understanding as to how diverse the social landscape is. We would agree with the statement that not every social CHANNEL is appropriate for every industry but do believe that every brand can find a suitable place in social media. Again, this goes back to understanding on which channels your target audience is engaged. If you aren’t sure, send out an email questionnaire or include questions about social media in your interactions with customers.
#10: I should just start posting content and then work up a social media plan along the way
There is a good deal of power in planning… Your brand should establish goals for using social media whether they are to grow your reach and brand awareness or to increase conversions of some sort. Create a comprehensive social media marketing plan that establishes who your target audience is, which social channels they frequent, what sort of content they most engage with, what sort of value-added content you want to share, what voice will be used, how often you will post, which metrics you will use to determine success, and on, and on.
Establishing an initial social media marketing plan is a healthy sized task. If you feel that your team (or you, if you are an organization of one) are not up to that task, considering finding resources that will help you create a solid social plan. There are free resources such as blogs and YouTube videos available on the Internet to help you get started. Or, considering hiring a marketing consultant or agency, like Strategy Driven Marketing, to help you as little or as much as you want or can afford.
It goes without saying that social media marketing is not a straightforward affair. Myths and misconceptions can foil the most well-meaning of efforts. The experts at Strategy Driven Marketing have worked with brands of all sizes and across all industries. We can help you make the most of your social media efforts through a tailored marketing plan, content creation, social media management, and more. Whatever your social media needs are, SDM is ready for the challenge. Contact us today to get started!