More and more businesses are looking to the digital world these days, seeking a new way to connect with their target demographics. While joining a platform like Facebook or LinkedIn can offer a virtual boost to customer interaction, we find that certain myths about social media marketing still persist.
In order to truly thrive on social media and feel satisfied by your efforts, make sure you know what to expect from the experience. Don’t buy into these common myths about social media marketing; learn what you should be doing instead.
“Lots of followers equals social media success.”
A large following might mean more exposure, but that doesn’t equate with instant success. Focus on quality over quality, and reevaluate your strategy using metrics such as:
- Do my followers actually engage with me (asking questions, sharing posts, leaving reviews, etc)?
- Do followers click through my links and read blogs or view product offerings?
- Do my followers fall into my target demographic (in other words, likely to follow through and complete the buying cycle)?
In other words, gaining followers is just the beginning of a productive campaign. The above types of engagement signal true social media success.
“I need to be on every social media platform.”
You might think that launching a campaign on every social media platform would lead to wider recognition, but once again, remember to consider your target demographic. If your typical customer is over age 55, for example you probably won’t connect with many of them on Tik Tok. Any time spent on Tik Tok would likely be time wasted.
Analyze your target audience and then research their preferences. In most cases we find that businesses need to concentrate their efforts on one to three social media sites.
“All I need to do is post on social media, and I will build a loyal following.”
Yes, posting is part of a social media strategy, but the content of your posts must be carefully considered and targeted toward a particular demographic. Messaging should be consistent, positive, and relevant to your followers’ interests.
Consistently making the perfect posts still isn’t all you should be doing. Social media should be social, so make sure you’re responding to your followers, liking and commenting on some of their content, and sharing relevant posts from other pages. Get involved and present a well-rounded and approachable image.
“Once I gain followers, they will see all of my posts.”
If only it worked that way! But unfortunately, social media algorithms don’t simply show every post by every page that users like. Instead they are calibrated to favor certain posts over others, namely those that receive a lot of early interaction and those that match user interests.
In most cases you can count on followers seeing about 3 percent of your posts. That’s why it’s so important to carefully consider the brand messaging of each post.
“It’s impossible to know if social media marketing is ‘working’.”
Here’s a lesser-known fact: Most social media sites offer an extensive and detailed “dashboard”, displaying metrics such as impressions, interactions, and mentions so that you can track all of your activity on that platform. There is a wealth of data at your fingertips, so you can easily determine which posts were successful and which ones were not. From there, you can extrapolate even more insight into your target audience.
Over time, you will also gain a more intuitive feel for social media. You might even know it’s “working” when someone recognizes you in the real world!
“Social media marketing is free.”
Technically, social media platforms are free to use, but they will always cost you time. As you’ve learned, social media success requires considerable effort toward analyzing your audience, crafting messages that appeal to them, interacting with followers through comments and messages, and tracking metrics on your dashboard. And, as the saying goes, time is money. Plan to devote either a portion of each day, or a portion of your marketing budget for outsourcing your social media strategy.
We can help with that last part. Give us a call, and we can help you get started toward a social media marketing strategy that is thoughtful, targeted, and effective.