An effective social media campaign has been shown to work for businesses of all sizes. The potential to increase engagement, make sales, and find new followers makes social media an essential marketing channel. There are, however, various myths and misunderstandings that can drastically reduce the end results. Some of these myths relate to the day-to-day marketing operations, while others relate to paid advertising. Understanding these myths will enable businesses to more effectively run a social campaign that gets exceptional results.
Social media, similar to SEO, is often discussed as a free marketing channel. While you can theoretically set up an account and get results for no cost, the reality is usually quite different. An obvious cost for a business is the time required to run a number of social media accounts. Additionally, the best results will be gained with professional features like quality graphics and video. It is also a benefit to invest in social tools like Buffer or Hootsuite.
You Can Avoid Negative Responses
Many business owners expect to use social media to control their reputation. Unfortunately, there are limits to how much you can control the responses of your followers. An established business will inevitably receive some bad reviews, even if they may be underserved. Social media can, however, be used to highlight the positive feedback and smooth over any issues. If you can resolve any outstanding issues, customers will feel you are listening and engaged.
It’s for Young People
Social media is typically associated with younger people, but the demographics across various platforms are mixed. Facebook, for example, is popular among a wide range of ages. The Pew Research Center reported 72% of the 50-64 age range used the site, while 62% of those over the age of 65 were active users. Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, while not as popular in general, also reached a varied demographic. Social media is certainly more popular with younger people, but it is far from being limited to this age group.
Follower Numbers Are the Main Factor
Watching your following grow is one of the most exciting aspects of social media. For a business, though, a large follower count might not necessarily equate to success. If most of your followers have little interest in your brand, you will struggle to make sales. Instead, the focus should be placed on the relevance of your followers, ensuring they are targeted and engaged. The major social platforms will provide plenty of interesting data, but you can also benefit from independent tools like Sprout Social.
You Don’t Need Other Marketing Channels
While many of the myths are based on underestimating the power of social media, there is also an issue of expecting too much. Social media can be extremely effective, but it shouldn’t replace other marketing channels completely. Instagram, for example, has revolutionized many businesses, offering them a chance to showcase their brand. However, the proven marketing techniques of email marketing and SEO are still providing tangible results for businesses across all industries.
Engagement is Optional
Frequently, businesses set up social media accounts, but are reluctant to fully commit to the process. Unfortunately, social accounts that promote content without any engagement rarely find an audience. A simple way to engage with followers is to respond to their comments and questions. User-generated content takes engagement a step further, with content reposting offering the chance to develop relationships and showcase products.
Social media can transform a business, but it can also be a drain on time and resources. Businesses that follow the wrong path can find their work produces minimal results. It is common for many business owners to then dismiss social media as a viable channel for their marketing. Understanding and avoiding these myths can, though, allow a business to operate with a clear and considered strategy. Taking this clear approach will allow businesses of all sizes to gain a high ROI for their social media efforts.