Social media is easily accessible to anyone and is one of the most visible spaces to raise awareness for your business.
More than 4.7 billion people around the world use social media–that’s over half of the global population–and that rate is growing every day.
Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, WeChat and Instagram are the most popular platforms. Users turn to Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family, share photos and videos and stay updated on news from around the world. With so many people actively using these channels, businesses have the opportunity to connect with a wider audience and convert them into customers.
Social media can be a powerful tool but, because it’s usable by anyone, it’s easy to fall for misinformation about how social media works. Letting your personal experiences with social media inform how you use these platforms for business can impact the performance of your marketing strategy. If you’re operating under false misconceptions about social media, it can negatively affect your brand online.
Learning about social media from credible sources and experts can help correct any misconceptions you may have had about social media, enabling you to use these platforms effectively.
5 Social Media Marketing Myths Debunked
The prevalence of social media means there are a lot of opinions about what marketers supposedly need to do, but strategies evolve to keep up with the technology, so it’s important to get insight from reputable sources.
We’ve shortlisted five myths that you need to cross off your social media marketing guidebook.
1. “My social media manager needs to be on social media 24/7.”
Your social media managers need to take breaks from the platforms, full stop. While it’s ideal to respond quickly to queries or concerns online, there’s only so much that social media managers should and could do.
It’s true that there will always be activity on social media 24/7—but choosing the “prime time” hours of when to post and engage with your audience is a better strategy than staying online for every waking hour of the day.
The roles and responsibilities of a social media manager go beyond monitoring your business’ profiles. Social media managers are tasked with developing a social media marketing strategy that uses your resources efficiently, creating a lineup of content to post and even providing an analysis of your social data.
Social media managers know their way around client software, collaborate with others to create your materials, solve problems and listen to what’s being said about your business.
You can think of social media as another type of channel that you need someone to plan, create and revise content for, so if you wouldn’t assign one staff member to sit by the phone waiting to answer telephone calls all day (and do nothing else), then you need to provide your social media manager with ample time to focus on equally important tasks under their role.
By giving social media managers the space and freedom to take breaks from social networks, social media managers can refresh themselves and come up with new and creative ideas to generate great social content.
2. “My business doesn’t have an audience on social media.”
No matter what stage of growth your business is in, every business has a potential (and actual) audience on social media, even if that audience size may start small.
Your audience across the platforms you work with is called social reach, and you shouldn’t underestimate its power. You need to keep this in mind when developing your social media strategy because one of the main metrics of your tactics working like they’re supposed to be is the number of people you’re able to reach. Website traffic and leads reflect these figures.
While you might think social media is the exclusive domain of millennials and succeeding generations, even older generations have preferences for which social networks to use. The biggest demographic on Facebook is males aged 25-34, but this doesn’t mean you can write off other age groups–especially if they’re your target audience–because of this statistic.
If the children of their target audience see your ad, they’re more likely to share it with their parents (i.e. the ideal customer for the content). Even if the post does not directly reach your target audience, someone can share it with them and create the opportunity for conversion.
Implementing a social media marketing strategy is a gradual process, so it’s important to be patient when it comes to finding and growing your audience.
3. “My business needs to have an account on all the popular social media platforms.”
You don’t need to have a page on every rising social media platform you encounter. It’s more important for businesses to focus on one or two social media platforms rather than stretching themselves thin with too many accounts.
Different social media platforms have their own purpose and function. You need to have a strategy as well as the proper resources to use a platform effectively. If you’re struggling with managing two different platforms, then don’t add a third.
When it comes to choosing platforms for your brand’s online presence, it pays to keep the nature of your business in mind. The first aspect you need to consider is if your organisation is a business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) company.
For example, Facebook and Instagram help increase visibility, engagement and interactions with customers of a B2C organisation. LinkedIn helps reach current and potential clients while building personal connections for B2B companies.
Aside from this, select your platform based on your audience; find out which platforms your ideal customer frequents and channel your effort towards reaching them.
Whether you exclusively work on improving your email marketing or provide content for only two main platforms, your strategy needs to be consistent across all platforms and aligned with your business goals.
4. “I don’t create enough content to use social media for my business.”
One of the primary functions of social media is to share quick, personal updates and connect with people — and this is impacting the social relationships between customers and their favourite brands. Even a picture of your breakfast can be used as content, especially now that consumers want to form genuine and personal connections with their favourite brands.
You aren’t limited to photos when you’re creating your social media strategy. There are also different options you can use to create professional, branded content, and one of the increasingly popular methods is to use videos to complement your other types of content.
Stories on Instagram and Facebook are clips or images that disappear after 24 hours. This type of content is so popular that 500 million people post a billion Stories daily, and the results are just as astounding; about 62% of Instagram users say they’re more interested in a brand after seeing it while viewing Stories.
YouTube remains one of the most popular platforms because the lack of a time limit on videos gives businesses the chance to feature reviews, instructional content and testimonials.
Live streaming is a way to create a show that can generate interest in your brand. You can have a Q&A, interview a special guest or have a product demo while interacting with your audience in the comments–which in turn sustains the show because viewers will want to continue watching to see the conversations your brand struck up with the audience.
5. “Social media marketing doesn’t deliver results.”
Social media marketing doesn’t guarantee a tangible result in terms of revenue or profit, but it’s a gradual long-term process of converting visitors into followers into customers.
Having a presence on social media is crucial because it’s where people turn when they’re looking for options, whether they’re about to make a purchasing decision or even if they’re just leisurely browsing. Think of social media as the new avenue for “window shopping”, 55% of consumers learn about new brands via social media, as opposed to the declining rates of people who encounter businesses through radio or television placements.
That’s an increasing figure because 43% of consumers even increased their social media usage to discover more products; followers want to know more about products, hear about brands’ values and see what they’re buying on social media.
When 78% of consumers are willing to purchase after a positive experience online, being intentional about your content is even more important. It’s less about hard-selling a product and more about creating helpful and productive content that consumers associate with you.
There’s no one sure approach or formula to succeed in social media, which is why it’s important to have a solid social media marketing strategy. When used well, you can build your brand presence as well as a loyal online community while developing a lineup of meaningful online content.
Social media platforms are growing and changing over time, so your business needs to adapt and evolve accordingly. Effective social media marketing benefits your business because you can reach audiences and convert them into customers by leading with the solutions you bring into their lives.
Now that you know how social media works, it’s time to put those learnings into practice. Contact a content strategy agency and we’ll help you develop a social media strategy that can boost your brand online.