Most marketers are no stranger to the term “social media marketing” and its potential benefits for businesses. However, there are still some misconceptions surrounding the subject. Establishing a presence on social media requires more than simply creating an account. Unsure whether you’re doing it right? Let us help clear the air by putting some of these misconceptions to bed.
1. Social media can be done on an ad hoc basis
Social media is neither a magic pill nor a wish-granting genie – it’s a tool. It’s not enough to just possess a social media account and post something when you feel like it. Like any form of marketing, marketers still need to do their due diligence. This means conducting research to find out what your target audience wants to see and planning a social media strategy around it. As we debunk the rest of the social media myths, you will start to see how important content planning and market research is.
2. Success is determined by my number of followers
It’s natural to look for validation – we are only human after all – but we shouldn’t be looking for it in the number of social media followers our brand has. Followers can be bought and they don’t say much about your target audience’s perception towards your brand. What you should be focusing on is audience engagement. How many people have liked, shared or commented on your post? How many people have clicked on your ads? The more relevant or interesting your content is to your target audience, the higher your engagement rate will be.
Posting relevant content that is of interest to your target audience will naturally lead to a rise in your number of followers. South West Community Development Council’s (SWCDC) Facebook page is a case in point. We helped SWCDC build their page from scratch by posting various content, like event reminders and policy updates, that are highly relevant to South West residents as they help residents stay connected to the rest of the community. The result is a steady 2% growth in their Facebook followers every month.
3. The more content I post, the higher my sales will be
Social media isn’t just about achieving short-term sales goals; it’s about building a relationship with your target audience which will benefit your brand in the long run. Furthermore, content is not about quantity, it’s about quality. Your content needs to be relevant to your target audience in order to be engaging and effective. In fact, posting too much might annoy your followers, especially if they find the content irrelevant or repetitive. This is counterproductive to your marketing efforts.
4. Social media is free
Creating an account might be free but in order to ensure your content reaches your target audience, you need to be willing to invest – we are talking about time, resources and money. Most of the major social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have mechanisms in place to help businesses advertise and reach out to their target audience. Brands, especially those just starting out, should take advantage of these opportunities.
Despite being a small company, AVERBRITE worked with us to implement a Facebook ad campaign to increase brand awareness. Their investment paid off in the form of an increase in leads generated and greater consumer trust. AVERBRITE’s case shows that these short-term social media costs can have long-term gains.
5. I can post the same content on every social media site
You wouldn’t behave at a wedding like you do at a funeral. Likewise, brands shouldn’t “behave” the same way on every social media site. LinkedIn is more for professional connections as opposed to Facebook and Twitter which are more casual platforms. The content you produce should always be consistent with the nature of the platform and catered to the type of audience on it.
Keep these five points in mind when you’re crafting your social media marketing plan and you’ll be on the right track. If you’ve got other pointers to share, don’t be shy – leave a comment below!