Social media can be a powerful tool in your marketing and relationship
When done correctly social media can certainly provide you with a steady stream of leads and sales.
However, if your brand or business starts out with unrealistic expectations – and certainly when those expectations are not realized – your company can lose faith in the power of social media.
When faith is lost, less of a priority is put on social media or it may be scrapped altogether, which is a big mistake as it likely wasn’t that it didn’t work, it’s that it was viewed as a magic bullet without any need to work at it.
It’s likely that for many people/businesses much of what’s believed about social media is wrong.
They are myths and it is time to debunk them once and for all.
1. I Need to Be On Every Social Media Platform
Myth: Many brands and businesses believe they need to have a presence on every social media platform available. Sadly, many “social media experts” even proclaim this.
Reality: It’s a false assumption that your business needs to be on every social media platform to be successful.
There are a number of reason this is neither true or wise.
Firstly, you’ll be wasting your time using a social media platform if your ideal clients aren’t using it.
Social media’s power is its ability to help you connect and build relationships with your ideal clients, why would you want to put time and effort on a platform where your community is not active or there at all?
Secondly, you should only use as many platforms as you manage effectively. Stretching yourself too thin over too many platforms can actually hinder your ability to build relationships and see results on any given platform.
Doing social well requires spending time creating great content and also engaging in conversations with your community. If you’re not responding to comments, questions and generating engagement, that will do more damage in the long run.
Many brands also have the false notion that they need to chase every new shiny object.
2. I Can Publish the Same Post On All My Social Media Platforms
Myth: In an effort to save time, many brands and businesses will create a single social media post that they’ll push out to all of their social media platforms.
Reality: Each social media platform is different. They have different requirements, different focuses and different users.
If businesses want to be successful using a specific social media platform, they need to take the time to understand those differences and use them to their benefit.
For example, LinkedIn is a professional platform. Most B2B businesses can find their ideal clients on this platform and should tailor their posts and content to appeal to this group.
Instagram on the other hand is heavily used by Millennials and businesses using it will be the most successful by creating graphics and images that emotionally connect with their audience.
3. I’m Successful If I Have a Large Number of Followers
Myth: Often brands and businesses will judge their social media success by the number of fans, followers, friends and connections they have.
Reality: While the size of your account can provide a level of social proof, 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 if you’re directly connecting and engaging with your ideal clients, and are turning them into paying customers, loyal followers and/or brand advocates.
Engage and provide value to the community you have on a consistent basis and it will naturally grow over time.
4. I’ll See Big Results from My Social Media Activities in 30 to 60 Days
Myth: Many businesses and brands expect that they’ll see significant results from social media in the first 30 to 60 days.
Reality: Building up a social media presence and following takes time and effort – most businesses need to be willing to work on community building for 6-12 months before they can expect consistent and predictable results.
There will always be exceptions to this where someone had a viral video or post and built a large following organically in a short period of time, however these are extreme exceptions.
Businesses with a budget for social advertising are able to invest in growing their community more quickly, and can do so with things like paid Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram campaigns.
5. I Can Sell On Social Media Simply by Pitching My Product or Service
Myth: Businesses and brands of all sizes are still pitching their products and services on social media and expecting people to listen, care and purchase.
Reality: People don’t want to blasted with your sales and marketing pitches – your community wants to be treated like you value them.
You do this by listening, finding out their needs and challenges, creating educational content to help them be successful with those challenges (in their preferred format) and then regularly sharing this in a consistent fashion.
When creating goals, strategies and action plans for your social media marketing, you need to set realistic expectations that can actually be met.
It’s also important that these expectations are instilled at every level and department of your company – as unrealistic expectations from senior leaders can and will create a bad social media strategy, which will ultimately hurt your brand or business.