Social Media has quickly grown as a marketing tool. Several years ago there was a massive push by marketing consultants to bring clients of all backgrounds onto Social Media. This has dramatically changed the social media scene in both feel and usage. As corporations took to the Social Media “Airwaves” the content and type of usage has evolved.
The need to increase ad revenue has pushed the big contenders in new directions which has significantly impacted their content, the display of YOUR content and the overall reason for the average household’s usage. Not everyone has been happy with the changes, and many users have become disenchanted with the big Social Media platforms, seeing them as no more than Corporate shills. Yet usage continues to be steady.
Like it or not we will continue to see this push by Marketing & Advertising agencies for a few years yet, until the next big tech revolution occurs, or until our first big tech blackout happens. All indications are that advertising options will continue to grow as a must for many Social platforms.
This Social Media revolution has taken place over a little more than a decade. Over that time the platforms have evolved, the tools have adjusted and our methods have changed. Tips and tricks for optimal Social Media usage have come and gone like political promises.
In three previous posts we have outlined several Social Media misconceptions. Ideas, tips and information that simply are not true. These posts can be found here:
- Five Social Media Misconceptions.
- Five More Social Media Tips To Ignore.
- Five Pieces Of Bad Social Media Advise.
In the following post we will finish up with 7 final Social Media Misconceptions that business owners and marketers alike can (and should) ignore.
7 Social Media Misconceptions.
1) Engagement Is The All Important Metric.
Let’s start by explaining. There are two key non-paying metrics involved in Social Media:
- Number of Followers: Your number of followers or likes – essentially your Social Media audience.
- Follower Engagement: Your engagement and individual connectivity with your followers.
Now both of these metrics are important, both will lead to potential sales and income. However neither by themselves will generate dollars. In our previous post we discussed why gaining followers is not the single key to success on Social Media. Engaging them is equally important, however one must note that “Follower Engagement” itself is considered a non-paying metric also.
Follower Engagement not only a non-paying metric, it’s also a fuzzy metric with many different interpretations. It is important of course. It establishes communication and relationships with potential leads and it provides insight into which of your content is connecting with your audience, which then impacts your future content and design decisions.
Follower Engagement however, is simply one more piece in the big-picture-puzzle. Your number of followers does not alone dictate your economic success, likewise engagement with those followers is just another in a several step process to generating sales interest.
2) Only Publish Content About Your Company.
I personally do not want to hear or witness a non-stop feed of propaganda about your business. If you are publishing only messages and content about your company, unless I am a stock holder, I DON’T CARE.
Ask yourself this: Would you want to sit and listen to someone you hardly know tell you all about how great they are? Probably not.
Why then would anyone voluntarily listen to you spout of a list of your awards, events, products, reviews etc? It is the exact same thing, and it is obnoxious. I will unfollow you quickly, as will the bulk of Social Media users.
Instead let your audience assist in dictating your content. The odd post about your companies recent achievement, or new product is great – but build the rest of your content based on what your audience wants. Think about it like romancing a first date. If you do all the talking, attempting to promote yourself, there likely won’t be a second date. Instead ENGAGE them. Find out about them, take an interest in their lives. Base your conversation around what THEY are saying.
Ask yourself (or rather ask them).
- What are their concerns?
- What are their problems?
- What are their challenges?
- What are they interested in?
- What are they talking about?
Romance your audience. Pay attention to them and engage them with your content.
3) You Should Post A Certain # Of Posts Each Day.
This is a common misconception and it is actually rooted in legitimate research. There are in fact optimal times during the day in which to post, likewise there is an optimal frequency with which to post. There has in fact been a great deal of research done on the topic including this great report by Dan Zarrella.
However, this research is not carved in stone and it does not necessarily pertain to everyone. As with any data and research, this report was based on independent results stemming from multiple test posts over a large number of accounts.
Every Social Media platform is different and has different optimal times for posts. Similarly every independent Social Media user has a different audience with different schedules, browsing habits and agendas.
We recommend that users do their own research based on their own profiles and their own audience:
- Test the timing for each of your posts and see when you are receiving the best level of connectivity with your followers.
- Test the frequency and verify the same.
- Test your content and see what is engaging the most.
Remember, these are YOUR followers, they are custom to you and your post scheduling should reflect that.
4) Setup Your Facebook or Twitter or Blog (etc) Profile and The Rest Is A Breeze.
Wrong again. Very wrong.
Engaging in Social Media is just like any other “Social” or Networking event. It is not enough to just be there. You need to be involved.
Think about it this way. If you set up a booth at a trades show and sat in a chair in the corner for the duration and never spoke to a soul, what would you expect for results? Social Media is much the same. It requires constant vigilance, updates and response. It is called “Social” Media for a reason. The entire premise of it is to get out and connect with other users. It is about conversing, communicating and networking.
Social Media requires time and effort. It requires consistent maintenance and updates.
There is a misconception that Social Media requires little planning, that one can just post to it as they see fit.
In fairness, Social Media does require a flexible and adaptable controller and the posts can be spur of the moment. When operating a Social Media profile the controller must be prepared for anything, you are engaging people over the anonymity of the internet after all, and that can result in some bizarre interactions.
However, while flexibility is a must, so is an overall strategy. A few things to consider when developing a Social Media strategy:
- Why are you on Social Media?
- What are you goals?
- How will you achieve them?
- Who are you targeting?
- How will you find them?
- How will you approach them?
- What content will you need to develop and post?
- Do you have the means to do so?
- Who will be in charge of doing so?
Figure our you goals, then determine who you want to connect with to achieve them; how you want to connect with them and what you need to do so? Who in your company is responsible for what? Have a plan to ensure success.
6) Every Division Of Your Company Needs An Individual Account.
Big corporations often go this route. Many large corporate companies (Kohler, Apple, Coca-Cola etc) have multiple accounts. In fact a report by Altimeter indicates that the average corporation has 178 corporate controlled Social Media accounts. That is an overkill even for companies of monolithic proportions.
The fact is that for every additional Social Media account, you are incurring added costs, added drain on resources and another avenue that can jeopardize the consistency of your brand’s communications. For the small to mid-size business especially, this makes zero sense. In addition, adding multiple accounts divides your efforts, provides far more information to analyze and reduces your overall Social Media reach.
The best plan is to create and build up a single account on whichever platforms you have deemed pertinent. If you have multiple target markets, don’t create multiple accounts, rather diversify the content on a single account, to reach the different targets from one place.
7) Don’t Ask Followers To “Follow, Like or RT” You.
This is a bit of a fair presumption actually. It seems quite forward and rude almost to just come out and ask someone to “Like” you. Yet the truth is that it works. There won’t be any terrible fallout or heckling as a result. You are simply putting it forward to someone – already engaged with your content – to share it. It is a polite call to action and it is in fact a recommended thing to do.
Don’t abuse it of course, if you are constantly badgering everyone to RT every post… well that may indeed get a little stale.
Transition Marketing Services is a small business marketing firm in the Okanagan. Our passion Small Business Marketing. Educating and equipping small business owners with the tools and strategies to succeed. We have made it our priority to know Specialized Marketing. We keep up to date on what is new, what is available and what makes the most sense for businesses of all sizes and backgrounds. We recognize that every Small Business is unique, and their Marketing needs to be as well. Visit us at our website and let us know how we’re doing or if you have any questions.