Social media marketing may have been the dark horse of the marketing world before, but it has since become one of the top strategies that businesses adapt to reach and engage their target market, promote their products and services, and ultimately, drive leads and sales. With 98% of digital consumers being social media users nowadays, it’s almost unthinkable nowadays to have a business and not have a social media account to go along with it.
The popularity of social media marketing in helping businesses achieve their goals, has, unfortunately, led many to consider it as some magic solution to instant visibility in their market. This belief gave rise to many social media marketing myths that can damage an otherwise promising strategy.
In this infographic, we dispel the top social media marketing myths may be holding back your business from achieving success:
Likes and Follower count = success
- It’s typical thinking that numbers — and large ones at that — mean quantifiable success, and that’s why many businesses often feel the need to chase more and more likes and follows through their social media accounts.
- The truth behind this, however, is that following or liking doesn’t automatically mean you’ve gained a new customer. In fact, not all your followers might be interested in your brand at all.
- When it comes to gauging your success in social media, you need to look past the raw numbers and focus on engagement metrics, because this is where you see if your likers or followers are genuinely invested in your content. Like the adage says, “Quality over quantity.”
Social media is free marketing
- While it doesn’t cost anything to sign up for a personal or corporate account with any of the major social media platforms you’ll probably consider using (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.) and post content, this doesn’t mean that social media marketing is truly free.
- With social media, you’ll have to invest time – lots of it – into research, effort, and refinement. Like everything else in your campaign, social media marketing demands attention and hard work, which means that you can’t just rely on scheduling organic content and hope for the best.
- Your time and effort are valuable, and the more you pour into your social media marketing strategy, the higher ROI you may be able to get.
You must “get” social media to succeed
- Many businesses make the mistake of assuming that their social media marketing manager has to be someone young — a late Millennial at least — because “social media is their domain.”
- Don’t buy into this. Social media marketing is not rocket science that must be done by someone who has met all the intellectual criteria. Its basic premise is simple: talk to your customers and show them that you’re an authoritative, trustworthy source.
- This is also grounded in the demographics of social media users. Contrary to popular belief, millennials are not the only ones using social media. According to HubSpot:
- 40% of Facebook’s active users are over age 35
- 52% of 55-64-year-old internet users have joined a social network
- 93% of US adult internet users are on Facebook
- To put it simply, just because someone’s young doesn’t mean that they’re automatically a “social media genius.” While there may be young SMM managers out there that are acing the game, they most likely developed the skills through trial-and-error, not because of their age.
You need to be active on every platform
- There are a multitude of social media platforms out there, and it can be tempting to sign up for every single one so you can reach out to the majority of your target audience. This, however, can be detrimental at times.
- After all, not only will you be spending so much time managing every single account you’ve signed up for, but you’ll also have to continually adjust yourself to the different ways that each social media platform should be tackled.
- Don’t spread yourself too thin. Focus your efforts on the platforms where you’ll get the best results. Hootsuite recommends finding the perfect platforms for your business through these criteria:
- Target demographic – Which networks does your audience spend time on? Think about their possible online behavior and where this fit.
- Functionality – Each social network has a characteristic that you need to consider. For example: are you aiming for discussion (Twitter) or showing your products (Instagram)?
- Specific metrics – Based on your business goals and objectives, what results are you seeking for? What key metrics are you looking to achieve? Consider which platforms will help you generate the results your seeking.
Social media is a separate strategy
- Social media marketing is often described as an independent strategy, and in some ways, it is. It has its own best practices and can technically be performed even if no overall strategy manages it.
- However, it still runs best when used in synchrony with other, interrelated strategies like content marketing, SEO, influencer marketing, and personal branding.
- More than anything, these strategies all support and draw power from each other. Your website and content’s reach can be multiplied through your social media efforts, while your social media posts are backed up by strong branding and the presence of your website for optimum organic posts that are interesting and eye-catching.
Audience comes naturally
- The typical advice in content marketing and social media marketing circles is to “create high-quality material,” and the rest will come naturally. Enough “good” content will attract the right kind of audience, and your strategy will be successful. Unfortunately, this isn’t entirely accurate.
- Even good content starts out in a vacuum. You need to properly promote that content if you want it to be seen by an audience, which can take some time and a lot of effort. You need to provide your audience with the initial push that will encourage them to share your posts on their own.
Hashtags are extremely important
- Since the usage of hashtags in Tumblr (first called “tags”) and Twitter that later spread to other platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, etc., they have been popular among users who want their posts to be noticed by the public.
- The point of hashtags is that they join common conversation threads, especially about events, marketing campaigns, or special news, but it’s not necessarily going to blow your lead goals out of the water, especially if your hashtags are more generic.
- Hashtags can also be a turn-off for some audiences, especially when overused. It gives the impression that you are trying too hard to be seen or are spamming your followers. It’s essential to practice control and not overdo your use of hashtags whenever you can.
Social media doesn’t drive bottom-line results
- Many marketers think that social media marketing is just good for engaging your audience, but it’s so much more than that.
- Not only is social media a useful traffic generator for your content and website, but it also drives leads and customers.
- HubSpot reports that companies that use Twitter have an average 2x more leads than those who do, and those with 1000+ Twitter followers get 6x more traffic. LinkedIn and Facebook are also useful in acquiring customers for a majority of companies who use them for marketing.
Social media is a valuable and worthwhile strategy with its cost-effectivity and powerful connection to potential audiences. However, to be truly useful with it, you need to know exactly what you’re getting into and avoid believing these myths.