3 Spooky Social Media Myths — BUSTED!
There is a lot of misinformation and old school thinking today about social media marketing, so I wanted to take this opportunity to discuss the 3 most common social media myths I encounter, and bust them open for you, taking the scariness out, and leaving you with only treats to help you manage your social media better!
MYTH 1. Social media marketing is easy to do; my 18-year-old employee can do a post.
Sure, anyone can do a social media post these days, but would you trust him/her to handle your WHOLE company’s social media marketing? Does the employee have a strategy, or is just posting cool pictures?
BUSTED: There is a lot more to “doing social media” than most business owners realize. First, social media marketing is constantly changing … FAST! Just in the last 6 months, Facebook & Instagram have went through massive algorithm updates, adding new features, & changing how the platforms work – You want a trained marketer who understands these changes & can help your business stay on top of things, rather than playing catch up, or not even in the race.
You also want the person who is handling your company’s social media marketing to understand your target audience, how to do hashtag research so your posts are discoverable by non-followers & reach a new audiences, how to interpret your social media analytics to know what’s working & what’s not working & make the appropriate adjustments, and finally, someone who has a custom strategy for your business and cares enough to make things happen.
And even I am glossing over all the tasks we do for our clients! We haven’t even addressed how to find & create content when you’re out of ideas, or social media advertising, or when to post. There’s a clear difference between having a trained social media marketer on your staff who will handle the company’s social media marketing vs. a regular employee who loves social media. The old saying is true: “If you think hiring an professional is expensive, wait ’til you hire an amateur”!
MYTH 2. I don’t have any marketing budget; social media is free it should solve my sales problems.
BUSTED: First of all, social media marketing is a small segment of marketing principles in general, and while it should be a part of your entire strategy, it should NOT be your entire strategy. Think of your business goals like a pie – one piece is social media marketing, one is PR, one is advertising, one email marketing, etc.; you need all of the pieces to be successful to form 1 whole pie. Social media marketing can help increase your brand’s awareness, build rapport & trust among your followers & community, and direct people to how they can buy; but it’s not a magic bullet. Let me repeat that … social media marketing is not a magic bullet that can instantly fix sales problems, social media marketing takes time, even longer if that is the only marketing avenue.
How long? How long does it take to truly know a person well enough to buy from them? That’s how long it takes. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes: When have you made a major purchase after seeing the information or ad 1 time? Can a purchase happen after 1 meeting? Sure, but only if that other person is ready to buy at the time of the meeting. Again, you need to take off your owner’s hat and think like one of your customers: what do you need to know before you would buy your product or service? What questions would you want answered? What are some challenges your customers face that your product or service could solve? Don’t sell, tell a story that they’ll relate to in a way that answers their questions & overcomes their problems. People don’t buy from companies, they buy from people, so tell your story in a people-way, not a business-way. Don’t make a sales pitch & expect people to buy – people don’t like sales pitches, do you? Again, put yourself in their shoes, you’ll find much more success this way!
But guess what? You still can’t do that all in 1 post. It’s said that it often takes 20 touches for someone to decide to buy. What are touches? It’s every time someone sees your post or other information. And it needs to be valuable to the customer, not just “Buy now”. And with the massive algorithm changes this year alone, it will often take longer than just seeing 20 posts because they might not see all of your posts; it’s however long it takes for a person to see valuable content that matters to them, not to the business owner, to feel comfortable enough to buy from you.
Sure, the social platforms are free, but to get in front of new, non-followers, you should consider social media advertising. Facebook especially is a pay-to-play platform for businesses as pages only reach about 3% of their followers and that’s a generous estimate. Advertising can slightly speed up this process, but please keep in mind, they probably won’t buy after seeing 1 ad either – it’ll take at least 3 ads before they’ll consider your product or service because you still need to create your ads like a story: beginning – awareness ad, middle – value ad, end – ask for the sale ad. Set realistic expectations & goals and please be patient…you’ll soon see rewards. Patience is a virtue for a reason 🙂
MYTH 3. We just need more followers to be successful on social media.
BUSTED: While the size of your account can act as social proof (make you look good), it does not directly affect the success of your social media strategy. You can have a small social media community and still be extremely successful with your strategy if you are directly connecting and engaging with your ideal clients and are turning them into loyal followers or brand advocates. Engage and provide value to the community you have consistently and it will naturally grow over time.
There have even been studies that show the larger number of followers you have can actually hurt your engagement rate because there’s simply no way for all 25k followers to see your posts so they can like/comment/share them. But smaller follower accounts signal that those people are the ones that really want to learn from you & therefore will engage & thus see your posts more often. Focus on providing valuable content that your audience wants to see and growth will come…. again, not overnight, and maybe not even in 6 months, but if you consistently and constantly do what’s right and use best practices, how can it not grow?? Do what’s right, even if no one is watching you. Do what’s right, even if no one else is. We as humans all want instant gratification, we want it now, but if you give things time to work, you will see growth. Believe in yourself, that you’re doing what you can and will constantly be learning & implying new tactics, and you’ll be successful.
Those myths were pretty scary, huh? But as you can see, once you shine a light on setting realistic expectations, arming yourself with real facts, and making a commitment to take action on those best practices, it’s not so scary!
I hope everyone has a safe & happy Halloween!