Although social media is now an integral part of strategic marketing, there are still some professionals who are afraid to make the leap into the digital platform. Some traditional marketers still have their doubts about creating a social media strategy for their company or brand. Those doubts are mainly fueled from the wealth of misconceptions and rumors circulating about social media. “Does it work?” and “what will it do for sales?” tend to be two of the most common questions asked about the influence of social media for business. As a social media consultant, I’m here to clarify that social media (when done correctly) can only benefit a brand.
Here are 5 common social media misconceptions shattered by a social media consultant:
1) You Have to Be Present on Every Social Site
This one is a doozie. As a social media consultant I often hear brand’s shy away from social media because there are so many platforms to choose from. Do you need to pin, tweet, share, post and hashtag on every social media site established just so your brand has a shot at success? NO. Your company does not have to be on every social media network to be successful. Your brand can pick and choose the outlet that would best impact your target market. If your company wants to focus on visual content, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook are awesome options. Want to be on the front line of breaking news content? Twitter is the way to go. Looking to share video content? SnapChat, Vine and Youtube are great resources. Pick the best social networks that reach your audience and turn out great content on those platforms.
2) Social Media is a Kid’s Thing
Gen Y grew up in the computer age and has always adapted to the ever-changing face of the internet. Whether Myspace, Twitter or Instagram, “the kids” seem to just know their way around the world wide web. As a Gen Yer and a social media consultant, I hear this all the time from traditional marketing professionals. Although social media platforms like Facebook began with the younger generation in mind, it has quickly transitioned into a universal marketplace of users of all ages. The fastest growing demographic of social media usage is among 45-54 year olds. In fact, more than 51% of American adults age 45-54 have a profile on social media and are active users.
Companies that have the notion that their target audience isn’t on social media are truly missing out on an immense customer demographic. It may have been started with the youth, but now social media has become the form of communication, entertainment and sharing for everyone – young and old.
3) You Can’t OverShare or Post Too Much
Another common social media myth is that you have to constantly update your social channels. In actuality, the converse is true. Think as the consumer for a second. How annoyed would you be if all that was on your newsfeed or timeline were sales posts? Pretty annoyed, I bet. You would grow so irritated with the company’s constant sales pitching that you would probably unsubscribe to receiving any updates from them at all! Now think as a marketer and a social media consultant. Losing your audience is not good. Turning them off in any way is a sure fire way to discourage them from wanting your product or services in the future. A good rule is to post current and relevant content without being overwhelming. There’s no real magic number to the amount of posts you should churn out, but judge your audience and accommodate them in the best manner possible.
4) All Posts Must Be Branded/Promotional Content
Again, think from the point of the consumer. Would you want to be bombarded with some company’s product pushing agenda? Social media is about communication and engagement. You don’t always have to sell. Build a relationship by engaging with your audience. Try posting things to get people talking. Social media is new age storytelling. Being a social media consultant, I tell those stories through engaging, exciting and personable content that isn’t all about sales.
5) Social Media Doesn’t Care about Numbers
For a marketer, results and numbers are what determine a successful campaign. The same holds true in the digital marketing world. Sure social media consultants think in terms of quality content, but the quantity is measurable as well. Analytics are an extremely important part of being a social media consultant. Measuring and translating what all those likes and retweets mean for your brand helps to determine the direction your company is going.
The face of marketing is evolving. Just think, 10 years ago the title “social media consultant” didn’t even exist! Adapting to the latest marketing trends isn’t the easiest transition for traditional marketers, but it is a best practice for all marketers to at least understand the direction that marketing is going and how it could benefit their business.
What are some social media myths you’ve heard?