This post originally appeared on Newswire.ca
Let’s put these 10 social media myths to rest once and for all.
1. I don’t have the resources for social media
Nonsense! Even though many small and mid-sized businesses have bestowed their social media tasks onto small (or solo) teams, there are many ways to scale your social strategy without missing out on effectiveness. Check out our seven tips for the one-person social team.
2. I need to be on every social platform
Not every social platform will suit every company’s needs. Each social platform requires a certain level of attention and curation and each appeals to a different demographic for a different reason. Find the ones that benefit your business most and focus your energies (and money) there. If a platform isn’t working for you, or if you don’t have time for its care and feeding, remove the account – don’t leave dormant accounts in your wake. Check out our social platforms guide to find the right fit.
3. My customers aren’t on social
While social activity among companies can vary by industry or job role, chances are at least some (if not most) of your customers are on social media personally. eMarketer estimated that almost 20 million (nearly 2/3) Canadians would be using social platforms by the end of 2015. And while some aren’t active contributors, many more – possibly 90% of all users — are lurking. That is, they are not posting or engaging with content but they are using the platforms for news, research and time-wasting, just like the rest of us.
4. Fans = Customers
It’s fun to have a healthy amount of fans and followers, but the numbers are only one piece of the social pie. The quality of your followers is also important – are they influencers and opinion leaders? Do they engage with your content? Defining these influencers takes time. Need some help sorting this out? Our guide is a great first step.
5. Social Media is only a promotional tool
When it comes to social media (and many other moments in life), it’s almost never all about you. Yes by all means use social posts to overtly promote your brand once in a while but remember to keep the social in social media. This means attention to engagement and conversation. One-way communication strategies are better suited to a press release or white paper. And as with all good conversations, make sure you respond to users in a timely fashion, especially anyone who seems angry with your company. Not every user will warrant a response; learn more about internet trolls here.
6. #Hashtag #everything
Although engagement doubles for social posts that include hashtags, try not to go overboard. #This #Is #Hard #To #Read. You don’t want to look like you’re spamming your users. A good rule to follow is to have 1-3 hashtags per post. Learn more ways to be handy with hashtags, here.
7. Social media doesn’t generate leads
As much as social media is about brand enhancement, it’s also a great way to bring people into your marketing and sales funnel. In fact, 1 in 4 businesses saw a revenue increase when they used social media for lead generation. Sprout Social created a comprehensive guide for generating sales leads on each major social platform.
8. We need content 24/7
It’s important to post consistently on social media, not constantly. Twitter has many rules about spamming, which includes aggressive following and re-tweeting. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the continuous requirements of your social media accounts, but there are many management tools and featuresthat can help you navigate into easy social seas. Focus on being present and consistent, even if that only means 1-2 posts per day.
9. Social media analytics aren’t useful
Oh yes they are. Measurement has come a long way in PR and is essential to demonstrating your business value. To understand social metrics, you first need to wrap your head around terms such as engagement and reach. Each social media platform is equipped with analytics to help you track your likes, re-tweets, click and other forms of interaction. Not sure which metrics matter most? Start here.
10. Social media marketing is free
Adweek said it best, “social media is free: social media marketing is not.” Like any marketing strategy, social media requires investment to see significant returns. Social media is most effective when assigned to quality team members with good judgment and writing skills. In other words, don’t delegate it down to the people with the least brand experience. In addition, results tend to improve when you combine both paid and organic strategies. Rome was not built in a day and neither are your social profiles. With the right time and resources, you’ll be sure to see results.