Social media is ever-changing, evolving, and taking on new roles in the world we live in. That means it’s also changing the way we do business.
Although it’s definitely picked up in the last few years, the idea of social media marketing for your business has been around long enough to have spurred a few misconceptions.
We’re here to debunk a couple of these myths.
5 common social media marketing myths
1. You need a lot of followers to be successful on social media
Followings are great—it means people like your brand enough to subscribe to your feed and get regular updates.
As a marketer, it’s tempting to measure your social media strategy by the size of your audience But keep in mind that just because someone is following you, it doesn’t mean they’re reading everything you post. Followers are a good metric, but an even better one is engagement.
At Hootsuite, we track a metric that call “Meaningful Relationship Moments” or MRMs. We use it to measure the positive impact that our engagement efforts are having on the business.
We define an MRM as a social media interaction with a customer, prospect, or community member that results in an observable positive change in sentiment or behavior.
At the end of the day, engagement-oriented metrics like MRMs say a lot more about how well you’re doing on social media than vanity metrics like your number of followers.
For more information on what kind of metrics you should really be looking for, check out our post on social media metrics that really matter.
The lesson is here is to make sure your audience is actually engaged with your social media activity. Pay closer attention to your engagement metrics—this could be shares, Retweets, or replies.
2. You have to keep everything online
If you never have any face time with the people who actively engaged with your brand you might as well be a robot.
It’s valuable to put a human face on your business—your customers will be more likely to connect and trust your business with their time and money. And they’ll be able to associate your brand with actual people.
As a tech company, Hootsuite is primarily a digital brand but we have an events team that handles our on-the-ground presence. Hootsuite attends and sponsors events all the time, and we organize social media gatherings like HootUps around the world.
While our online traffic and engagements are extremely important to us—like our weekly #HootChat—it’s also important to us to further develop our connections through human interaction IRL.
3. You need to be active on every social media platform
It’s awesome to see brands put in the effort to be on every platform—it shows that they take social seriously.
From a functional standpoint, when users search for a business online, they’re bound to be able to find them in some shape or form.
The reality is it’s not necessary to sign yourself up for every single social network. In fact, it can be detrimental at times. You might end up spreading yourself too thin and diluting your online presence.
To ensure you focus your efforts where you will get the best results, keep the following in mind:
- Target demographic—Think about your marketing personas and their online behavior. Which networks does your audience frequent the most? It doesn’t make a lot of sense to be making Snapchat videos if most of your target audience spends their time in Facebook groups.
- Functionality—Each social network specializes in something. For example, Twitter is great for discussion but Instagram is great for visually showcasing your product. Which platforms best suit your product or service?
- Specific metrics—Based on your business goals and objectives, you’ll most likely have some key metrics that you’re looking to achieve. It might be driving more traffic to your site or increasing social shares. Consider which platforms will help generate the results you’re seeking. For example, if you’re looking for better click-through rates (CTRs), you might consider using Facebook ads—as they can be targeted to specific users.
4. It’s too late to learn social media
A lot of businesses might think social media is reserved for the younger generation.
While we could sell you on the benefits of social media for your business—we’ll tell you that there’s plenty of support available online if you want to learn more about platform functionality, analytics tools, or even the more abstract social media marketing concepts.
Tune into social media webinars, read industry blogs, or put your student hat on and delve into the world of online social media training with set courseware and regular evaluations.
We have our very own online learning institution, Hootsuite Academy, which provides industry-recognized social media training and certifications. The online training videos are not just easy-to-follow, but add value to growing your career and developing the skills you need to succeed in the digital workplace.
5. Social media is separate from the rest of your marketing strategy
Your social media strategy will deliver best results when it factors in things such as content creation, brand advocacy, and SEO. Social must be supported by a number of other digital initiatives to work effectively.
If you’ve thoroughly studied your target demographic and have nailed down the best times to post, you still need the right piece of content to encourage engagement.
I know. It’s a lot to take in. But we’re not trying to tell you that everything you’ve known to be true, isn’t. Rather, we hope to show you a few ways to do social media marketing better.
It’s never too late to learn a better way to manage social media. Learn fundamental social media marketing skills with free training from Hootsuite Academy.