Our Top 7 Social Media Myths Debunked
Chances are; if you follow anything on social media, you've heard at least one or two of these "facts" toted about online. So let's separate fact from fiction.
There's much information out there about social media and especially on how you can achieve success on social media. Plenty of businesses waste precious time working toward what they think is the "solution" only to find none of their hard work converting to sales.
So we have our social proton packs ready, and we'll bust some myths for you.
"FACT" - Lots Of Followers (Likes) = Success
The short answer is a loud and resounding "NO!" Sure, it helps. But having people "Like" your business page does not necessarily mean success is guaranteed.
With our clients; we like to measure success with the engagement rate. Engagement gives us an insight into what trends well among your online community. We look at things like;
the percentage of your followers that like or comment
the content your community engages with the most
what times of the day your community engages with your content
what format they like it delivered it
what platform they prefer it delivered upon
what structure is information best communicated; and;
the topics your community best respond to.
An account might have 30,000 followers, but if only 100 of them engage with any post, does that make it a success?
As we said before; the short answer is a loud and resounding "NO!"
"FACT" - Call To Actions (CTA's) Must Be Used…Always
Like & Subscribe (we know you've heard this one a million times)
Come and see us
Call to actions are fundamental, but do they have to be everywhere? When converting an audience into paying customers, a CTA is essential. Using them too often can make your audience feel less like a community and more like the subjects of a cattle auction.
If your sales pitch is the predominant face of your social media campaign, you open yourself up to losing credibility with your online community, as you lose the personal touch and your social media stops becoming SOCIAL.
To avoid overselling to your audience only put the CTA on the posts that need one. Call a spade a spade, if you're trying to sell something, there's nothing wrong with asking for the sale. With other posts; focus on building trust and positioning yourself as the expert; the more value you can provide, the more genuine your brand becomes on a social level.
"FACT" - Only A Pro Can Create Content
Getting a professional to take care of your content creation has many benefits; not the least of which, is; letting you get on with your day and do what you do best to keep your customers happy and the money rolling in. (Seriously, don't you have enough to do?)
Yes; they have skills you don't have. Yes; they have tools and knowledge you don't have.
But you are not entirely without options.
These days there's so much technology packed into our smartphones that you won't always need a professional camera. There are tools like gimble's, drone's, and editing software that anyone can buy.
Your phone can capture amazing photos and videos to use on social media.
Lighting is important. Great lighting can make or break a photo. Make sure you have subtle highlights, shadows and contrast in an image to draw interest.
Also, there are an abundance of video and photo editing apps out there; enhancing your content has never been more accessible from an amateur level.
Most social media apps also have built-in editing tools to help you make the best of your content without external software.
You can do it. You don't have to. But you can.
There is absolute and tangible evidence that successful use of hashtags benefits a social media campaign, but they also have their cons. Many studies show that hashtags improve engagement and reach.
But. And it's a big but.
A hashtag for the sake of a hashtag is just a hashtag. Using incorrect or unnecessary hashtags can harm the organic reach of your content. Ineffective, spammy, hashtag overcrowded posts are messy. They provide little benefit and (dare I say) give the content an appearance of desperation to be noticed.
If you want hashtags to work, the best place to start is to gain an understanding of why we use them.
Do you know the purpose of a #hashtag on Social Media?
There is plenty of advice on how many hashtags you should be using and how that advice differs between the platforms, but the best advice we can have is to pay attention to the trends of your audience and adjust as you go to best cater for them.
A hashtags purpose is to create an index between your post and posts of similar content matter. It turns the tag into a link that an audience can use to find more of what you're sharing - it can also help people who are looking elsewhere find YOU. If your content isn't on point, your legitimacy can be quickly lost.
Our advice - Do not use hashtags that do not support your content.
The relevance of a hashtag will better attract the ideal target audience. Don't put #redcar when you have a picture of a #bluecar unless you aim to attract people who are #colourblind. Attracting the attention of the masses might work once or twice, but when your brand's integrity is on the line; it's all a matter of ethics.
"FACT" - You Have To Post Every Day
Once upon a time, in a Kingdom far far away- not as much of a fairy tale as you think, to be honest.
There was a time when; yes; I would say post every day, in some cases post 5 times a day every day, but those days are gone as algorithms have changed, and online society has changed with it.
Every business is different, which means your approach is singular to your situation, your audience, and your goals.
When establishing a social media presence, we advise a 4 week trial period to gain an understanding of which posts get more followers and engagement.
The frequency with which you should be posting or sharing content to your pages is entirely individual. The first real goal is to get to a stage where your analytics are providing you with real-time data that directs you towards a more strategic approach moving forward.
Posting too frequently, or infrequently over a prolonged period can impact your pages negatively. Remember; work smarter, not harder.
"FACT" - Your Business Must Be On Every Platform
"What social media platforms should my business be on?" "All of them!" "Really?"
On a trial basis? Sure. Long term? That all depends on the data.
Let's be realistic. Can you have a presence on every social media platform? It's absolutely possible... if you want to commit the time and money to it. That's ALOT of content creation... and copywriting... and research... and uploading. But it can be done.
The better question is, SHOULD you be on every platform? Like every expenditure in business, you need to be sure the investment is worth it.
A Social Media presence is something every business needs in modern times. You cannot ignore that. You need to be on at least one platform actively, but there's no need to feel like you need to succeed on every single one… that would be time consuming and exhausting. If you know your customers well, you'll know where they spend most of their time so focus on that and those platforms.
If you post every day (simply because you feel you must), this can result in dead posts. They don't achieve anything, they do not trend, and they can leave your page looking empty and without an audience.
Don't post for the sake of it; spend your time wisely and make every post count. Ask yourself, is this post going to be of value? Will it engage your community? Whether it makes them laugh, comment, like, share, tell their circle of influence about it, or (even better) ask you question, which in turn creates a conversation; it's worth doing.
If not... then don't do it again. It's a dead post. There's nothing wrong with a bit of trial and error, but doing the same thing, again and again, the same way, and expecting a different outcome, is the definition of lunacy.
"FACT" - Negative Feedback Should Be Ignored
How would you like to be ignored? Well if you're an angry or upset customer, the last thing you want to be is disregarded.
If a comment is constructive in any way, we recommend you reply as soon as possible and where you can direct the conversation to a private dialogue, either through direct message, email or phone call. Make sure when you do that that your reply is on brand – don't put your personal feelings or emotions into it. You also want to ensure it is personable and professional.
You may not realise it, but other customers like to look at reviews, and when they see something negative they observe how you manage complaints and or negative feedback, and that creates a perception of your brand.
As the old saying goes, you cannot please everyone, and this is the internet, and trolls are everywhere. Should you get an untruthful comment that is hurtful, hateful, or is meant to cause personal offence, these types of comments provide nothing beneficial to your business (or society), and we recommend you hide the comments. Ignoring them is in everyone's best interest.
The voice of reason is inaudible to irrational people. Engage at your own risk. Or don't. Even better.
"FACT" and "FICTION" are not always black or white
Taking that even further; today's fact can be tomorrow's fairy tail. The best advice we can give - and indeed; the way we function - is to follow the data, be aware of changing trends; and adjust your strategy as you go.
Best practice for Social Media Marketing is CONSTANT VIGILANCE. Keep your eyes open and your thinking cap on.
Co-Written by Jason Armstrong & Nathan Coombes