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April 6, 2017

5 Social Media Myths for Businesses

Published: 6 April 2017 

Social media has been around for awhile now, and there are lots of social media experts and professionals. However, there always seems to be myths about social media that just won’t go away. Doesn’t sound like a big deal, right? Not if you’re following these rules as part of your social media strategy.

We’ve done our fact checking and are here to debunk some common social media myths:

1. You need to be on every social media platform

You can really appreciate brands that put in the effort to have a presence across every social media platform. However, it’s not always practical for every business. If you’re a smaller business and don’t have a dedicated social media manager, chances are you don’t have the resources or time to dedicate to posting on lots of platforms.

Instead of spreading yourself thin, the better option is to know what platforms your target audiences uses the most, and dedicate your time to posting there. If you really don’t need to take photographs, you don’t need to worry about Instagram. If you’re an e-commerce store that needs to showcase your products, LinkedIn may not be the best option. Do some target research, and put effort into a few select social media platforms where you’ll get the best engagement.

2. Lots of followers means you’re successful

It feels good to have lots of followers, and it’s a tempting way to measure whether your social media strategy is a success or not.

However, just because you have lots of followers doesn't mean they are engaging with your content, or even buying from your store. Does it really mean much if you’ve got thousands of followers but zero conversions?

Rather than measuring success through the number of followers, look at engagement rates, click-through rates and on-site behaviour. You don’t need hundreds of thousands of followers to have high rates here.

3. My customers don’t use social media

Sometimes people will claim their customers aren’t really online, and therefore they don’t need a fancy website and a big social media presence.

However, social media shouldn’t be excluded just because you rely on word of mouth. Social media is a great way to expand a business and find new customers who perhaps don’t know your existing customers. In fact, 78% of U.S. population has a social profile. So chances are, some of your customers will be online. Social media isn’t just used by millennials! Don’t let this misbelief discourage you from using social media to promote your business.   

4. It doesn’t matter how often I post

The hard work is all done once you’ve decided what social media platforms you’re going to use, and have established an account on them, right? Not so much.

You should think about making a schedule for your social media posts and know how frequently you want to be posting. To save yourself having to manually do this throughout the day, and when you’re out of the office, consider using automation tools such as Buffer. This means you can schedule all your posts for the day, across all your platforms, from the one place.

You’ll want a different schedule depending on what social media platforms you’re using. Facebook and Instagram may have less posts than Twitter. However, this will vary from business to business. Know which platform your audience uses the most, and publish more frequently there. Just make sure you post frequently enough that your followers will see your posts, but not too often so that they will think you’re spammy and unfollow you.

It’s not only important to think about how many times you’re going to post per day. You need to think about what content you’re posting. Make sure what you post is relevant to your brand and your customers interests. Otherwise, people won’t engage with your posts. Make sure you’re not always selling your own products or services. Most of the time should be dedicated to sharing resourceful, useful information that your followers will want to read and share. This can be your own original content, or blog posts or videos from your influencers. Sharing this type of content will help to establish your business as an authority in your industry, as people will view you as a good resource for information.

5. Social media is free

One of the biggest myths surrounding social media is that it’s free. It is, in fact, free to sign up to the major social media platforms. If you’re not investing in paid advertising, then posting on your business’ account is also free.

However, social media can be a big investment in time and money. As well as setting up accounts, you have to establish followers, raise awareness of your brand, schedule content, engage and interact with your audience and monitor your social media performance. This can take up a lot of time, depending on how much return you want from social media. If you’re wanting to get better results, it’s also worth considering paid media, rather than just relying on organic reach. It’s easy to see that while it doesn’t cost anything to set up an account and make posts, getting the biggest return possible out of social media will, in fact, cost you money.

Now that these myths have been busted, it’s time to stop including these as goals in your social media strategy, and work to improve your marketing and increase your social media return on investment.   

Ben Maden

Read more posts by Ben

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