As a social media manager, there are a few social media myths that really bother me. Like most things, when people don’t know a lot about a topic, the wrong information can be spread. On top of that, social media is always changing, making it difficult to stay up to date. If you are curious if your business should be using social media and how, this post is for you.
Here are 10 social media myths that need some explaining.
Myth 1: You don’t need to be on social media
Bottom line: you need to be on some form of social media. There are TONS of stats that support why every brand should be on social media. Here are some quick stats:
- 71% of consumers who have had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others (source)
- 95% of online adults aged 18-34 are most likely follow a brand via social networking (source)
- In 2015 Facebook influenced 52 per cent of consumers’ online and offline purchases (source)
- My favourite social media stats infographic
Without social media, most of your website traffic will come from current customers or people who are familiar with your brand. This is because they are likely searching keywords that are already associated with your brand. Social media gives you a chance to reach new customers with every piece of content that you post, unlike your website which remains fairly static. Potential customers will also have a variety of ways to contact you via their preferred method of communication (phone, email, DM, Tweet, comments, etc.) You can build online relationships and trust with your customers from all over the world, which is key if you don’t have physical stores.
Myth 2: You have to be on every social media platform
Focus your efforts on the channels where you will be most effective; this will take some research. Find out where your audience is and what types of content they like to consume. Go where your target audiences spend there time.
Myth 3: Being on social media makes you vulnerable to negative comments and ‘unwanted feedback’
The negative comments and conversations will happen whether you are there or not, so you might as well use social media to create the true narrative about your brand or product. By not acknowledging negative feedback, you are letting other people, who aren’t experts, answer the feedback. A lot of times, negative feedback is from frustrated customers who aren’t properly informed. If you notice a trend in the feedback, it might be time to adjust your customer education strategy or even your product. Build customer relationships on your own terms.
Myth 4: The more followers you have, the better
First off, it’s not a secret that people can buy followers. Another strategy I’ve seen a lot lately is having loop giveaways to quickly boost followers. The downfall with both strategies is that you don’t attract followers that want to stick around, purchase, or engage. This can be seen a lot in influencer marketing, where brands do partnerships with users who have a small following, but have a highly engaged audience. You are more likely to make sales this way. Stats that are important to focus on are engagements, comments, and clicks. With clicks, you can use Google Analytics to see where your visitors are coming from and if they are making a purchase / conversion.
Myth 5: Posting content is enough
On Twitter, over 6000 Tweets are posted every second – your posts need to stand out among social media feeds (source). Focus on creating content that produces clicks, shares, and comments, and then engage with them. Pushing out content is not enough, you need to create a two-way conversation with your audience in order to build a customer relationship.
Myth 6: Social media managers just hang out on Twitter all day, anyone can do that
Most social media managers have to be ‘on the ball’ 24/7/365 because 78% of customers expect a response within an hour. Depending on your business, a lot of management is engaging with those users and potential customers. Another big part of the job is creating a strategy that will get your posts in front of your target audience. Your social media efforts need to be targeted if you want to see results. Aligning the social media strategy with your business goals is also key. On top of monitoring channels and conversations, social media managers need to schedule posts and look for third party content to share. A lot of times, social media managers need to create their own content and images to support their social media efforts as well. Being a social media manager requires a large skillset and knowledge base.
Myth 7: Social media will take up all of your time
There are some solutions if you can’t employ a social media manager. There are free and reasonably priced management tools such as Sprout Social, Hootsuite and Buffer, that allow you to schedule your posts, follow hashtags, and engage with your followers. The nice thing about these platforms is that it’s a hub for all your social platforms, instead of using each platform natively. If a management platform isn’t of interest, you can schedule posts within Twitter and Facebook on their own.
Keep in mind that customers expect fairly quick responses so you will have to get creative in how you deal with those situations if you don’t have a dedicated social media person.
Myth 8: Putting money behind a post is enough
Make sure you are targeting the right audience. Boosting a post won’t always put your post in front of potential customers; you could be getting engagements and views that aren’t of value to your company. All social media ad platforms offer a large variety of demographics options, so use them! Research your audience and use the ads to make sure they see your posts.
Myth 9: Only use social media platforms that are in your niche
While I agree that brands need to go where their audience is, there is some value in using platforms that have a lot of users. Be flexible and willing to try out platforms that are more general and reach more people, like Flipboard or Pinterest. Social media is not one size fits all, so you might be surprised by the results.
Myth 10: You should automate all your posting
Even though you can use apps to schedule posts, I wouldn’t recommend automating everything. If you repost the exact same text on all platforms, you run the risk of people getting annoyed and unfollowing. Make sure to tailor each post to the platform you are sharing it on. For example, use professional language on LinkedIn, use GIFs or fun images on Twitter, be more personable on Facebook. However your audience uses the social media platform, mimic that style. You also need to keep an eye on current events, so that you can reschedule posts as needed.
This was a longer post than my usual, but some of these social media myths have been on my mind lately and I wanted to clear them up. I started this blog to share information and opinions about topics I am passionate about so I hoped you learned some new things while reading this post (also high five to you if you made it to the end of this long post – please comment if you did!) I try to write a post about social media or PR at least once a month, you can check out those posts here.
Do you have any social media myths that bother you or that you want debunked? Comment below!
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