The opportunities offered by social media marketing are boundless. But as with any successful area of business, there are plenty of myths and misunderstandings that can get in the way of results. If you want your social efforts to bear fruit, start by ignoring these six myths.
1. Social Media is for Finding New Customers
There’s no doubt that an effective social campaign can boost sales. But it doesn’t do this most effectively by bringing in new customers. The main aim is to strengthen relationships with your existing customers, increasing their engagement and therefore their impact on your bottom line.
2. It’s a Great Way to Promote Products
If your social media activities center around ceaselessly pushing products, special offers, and in-your-face promotions, you’ll likely wind up alienating as many people as you attract. The key to effective social media marketing is to approach it from a branding point of view.
Develop your company’s reputation for expertise. Focus on helping your customers use your products to their best. Make your brand the first thing people think of in your niche. Step back a little from the highly commercial angle and the results will follow, with your campaigns having a deeper, longer-term impact.
3. Social Media is Easy and Low Cost
There’s an idea that social media is something of a free lunch. After all, it costs nothing to set up an account, and advertising costs are generally low in comparison to most other channels.
But that doesn’t mean social can be an afterthought. Building a successful presence takes time, money, effort, and creativity. Shooting for quick results can often backfire, shredding your brand’s reputation through poorly thought-out approaches and badly executed campaigns. It’s usually better to stay away from social media marketing altogether rather than treating it as a cheap and easy solution.
4. Social Media Relies on Output Volume
Being active on social media doesn’t mean being hyperactive. You don’t need to deluge your followers with multiple posts each day just to keep your brand at the front of their minds.
Only post when you have something worth sharing with your followers, or your output will quickly become irritating rather than engaging. It’s much more effective to provide a consistent stream of high-quality content, even if this means you only post once a day or once a week.
5. You Need to Be Active on Every Platform
Similarly, there’s little point in spreading your marketing resources over each and every platform just so you feel you’re covering all bases. First, you’ll see a better return on your budget if you focus on the platforms where your potential customers are found the most. Second, each platform requires a different approach, and it’s better to nail just one’s requirements than misfire on several.
Unless you have a huge social budget and a large team to work it, concentrate on one or two platforms and get the absolute most you can out of them. You can always broaden your campaigns to other platforms once you’re seeing diminishing returns on your main targets.
6. Social Media is Set and Forget
One of the great advantages of marketing on social media is that you can automate it to an impressive degree. You can schedule months’ worth of content and have it drip-feed out while you get on with other things. You can even set up chatbots and automated posting scripts to guide your followers down the sales funnel of your choosing.
But no matter how useful automation is, to rely on it too much is to miss the point of social. To see the most benefit, you need to take an agile approach, interacting with your followers and tailoring your output to current trends and events.
By all means set up an automated background for your campaigns, but the real magic happens when you become hands-on and deeply involved.
A social media presence is an essential part of any modern business. But getting it wrong will at best waste resources, and at worst damage your brand. Ignoring these myths will give you a strong head start toward achieving social media marketing success.