No doubt, social media marketing is hot. It is also confusing thanks to multiple social media outlets, changing SEO strategies, and conflicting advice from dozens of self-proclaimed social media gurus. To help you break through the confusion, we’ve busted the following social media marketing myths:
- You need a presence on ALL social media sites – BUSTED. There are far too many social networks to effectively leverage all of them. Plus, each social network serves a specific purpose, so some may not be appropriate for your business. Go where your best customers hang out, and start there. The big three are: Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
- Email is obsolete – BUSTED. There’s a saying in the Internet marketing world, “decisions are made in the inbox.” Building a list should remain a top priority. Your prospects may hang out on, and generally prefer, Facebook or Twitter, but they still use email.
- Automation is the key to success – BUSTED. In theory, automating all of your tweets and updates sounds smart and efficient. In reality, your followers will see right through your attempts and perceive you as robotic, fake, or uncaring. Remember, social media is social. Robots cannot converse nor can they fake sincere interactions. Some automation is helpful. For example, you can set up automatic updates whenever you publish a new blog posts; however, make sure to be interact as people comment and ask questions. While you’re at it, avoid the temptation to blast each post to every single social media site you’re on. Each platform has its content preferences – and your prospects may be following you on several sites.
- Your prospects aren’t using social media – BUSTED. While recent research shows that the majority of adults spend time on social media. Whether your customers are teens or great-grandparents, chances are good that a large percent of them are using social media. In addition, people close to them such as parents or adult children are also influenced by companies on social media sites.
- Social media is free – BUSTED. Watching TV using rabbit ear antennas is free too, but producing and broadcasting ads isn’t. Even if you don’t run ad campaigns on your social media sites, you or your employees will spend a great amount of time interacting with followers. In addition to the human resources costs, it often makes sense to invest in social media management software and analytical tools.
- Social media for business should focus only on the business and its achievements – BUSTED. If your social media accounts are used strictly for patting yourself on the back and telling the world how wonderful your products and services are, none of your followers will stick around. Remember, people want to know, “What’s in it for me?” The more you can make your posts relevant to your customers’ problems, challenges, and concerns, the more engaging your social media efforts will be.
- Create a profile and fans will flock to you – BUSTED. If you build it, they may or may not find it. Make sure to let your customers and prospects know where to find you. Whether you wrap all of your company cars with your Facebook info, use QR codes, hand out fliers, include social media buttons on your website, or purchase “get more likes” ads, you must let people know your social media sites exist. Take it even further and give them a compelling reason to like or follow your company.
Social media continues to evolve and is no longer considered “new.” Now that it’s been around for several years, myths are being challenged – and busted.