Since the onset of the global coronavirus pandemic, businesses—small businesses and multinational corporations—are paying more attention to social media and other digital marketing channels. Many brick-and-mortars that previously did not have an online presence are turning to social media marketing to increase brand awareness and sell their products. Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about what social media marketing can do for a business. Let’s break down a few of those myths.
Misconception #1: Social Media Marketing Is Free
While businesses can post on social media without spending any of their advertising budget, contrary to popular belief, social media marketing is not free. Developing content and posting it to any social media site takes time and resources. Even if you are a solopreneur, using your time to post to social media has a cost. You certainly have several other tasks that are not being done as you create content for Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest. Develop a marketing plan that includes scheduling time for social media marketing to fully understand the resources required for success.
Misconception #2: A Large Following = Success
Speaking of success, building a large social media following should not be your only measure of success. Arguably, unless you are an influencer, it should not even be your primary metric. Social media should also be used for customer engagement. This means not only getting followers to interact with your posts but also getting them to message you or click on links to learn more about your product. Social media, by definition, should be social so plan to engage with followers to move a prospect along the marketing funnel.
Misconception #3: Brands Must Be on Every Social Media Site
Many entrepreneurs launch a business and create a social media account on every popular social media site. While it is a good idea to claim your brand name on social sites, it is not necessary to publish content to every site. Brands should think about who their target market is and where their target is most likely to engage to determine which social media platforms are right for them.
Misconception #4: All You Have to Do Is Post
Regular posting to your social media accounts is an absolute must. Best practice is posting once daily for Facebook and Twitter, once or twice a week on LinkedIn and five to ten times a day on Twitter and Pinterest. But, if all that you are doing is broadcasting your brand messaging through posts, you are missing the point of social media. Social means interaction with others. If you are starting out and just building a following, you should proactively engage with followers by liking, commenting on and sharing posts. Larger brands need to be responsive to followers who engage.
Misconception #5: Followers Will See All Your Posts
It is worth noting that not all followers will see all your posts. In fact, most of your posts will be seen by less than 3% of your followers. Social media companies use algorithms to determine when your post will be seen and by whom. Your posts will show up more often in followers’ feeds when early likes, comments or shares suggest your post would be of interest to more followers. For this reason, great care should be taken in developing good content that resonates with those following your account.
Misconception #6: Social Media Is Not Measurable
Most social media sites offer a dashboard with measurable insights into your account activity. Ultimately, you want media impressions, whether TV, print, social or other digital, to turn into sales. You can view metrics such as impressions, interactions, top posts and mentions on social dashboards. Insights are even more robust for accounts that advertise. Third party companies, such as Buffer, Sprout Social and Hootsuite, offer social media insights for their subscribers. Google Analytics, Webtrends and other web analytics companies provide insight into the performance of your social media leads on websites and apps. Use these to determine which of your leads are generated by social media and to help calculate your acquisition costs on the channel.
Misconception #7: Everybody Is on Social Media
If your prospective customer cannot be found on TikTok, you do not need to be there. If they are not on Snapchat, you do not need to be either. Of course, not everybody is on social media. Some prospects can be found with other media. Determine which media your target customer consumes and show up there.