By Felicia Guthrie
In 2019, there are 3.48 billion users on social media. Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re probably registered on several social media platforms. Since there’s a massive number of users, and social media is so commonly used, some may approach social media marketing as if it’s a no brainer – easy to execute. This isn’t so. There are so many social media myths that many business owners believe that make it harder to succeed on social media. We’re going to dig into these myths to not only debunk them but to also suggest things that can actually improve your marketing strategy.
Myth #1: You need to be active on every platform
While being active on social media is important and it is a great marketing tool, it is also important to carefully consider your options, especially for a small business. Time and money can be limited, so choosing which social networking websites to be present on is quite important.
The truth is, your audience is likely not active on ALL of the top social media platforms such as Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat, so it’s better to focus your attention on one or two platforms rather than all. Your goal should be to have relevant content that is easily accessible to your target audience, so you want to be where they are.
The key to deciding which platforms to build your presence on is research. In order to get the most from your social media strategy, you’ll want to look into several things. The following are some of the questions you can ask yourself:
- Who is the audience that I am trying to reach?
- What age range do they fall into?
- What are their habits online?
- Who are my competitors?
- What social media platforms are they present on?
- Where do they receive the most engagement?
- What type of content do I have/can I produce now?
- This is important as each platform relies on content and certain types of content may work well for different platforms. For example, if your business doesn’t have many engaging photos or videos to use and you don’t yet have the opportunity to produce or share much, a platform such as Instagram, likely isn’t right for you.
Once you have the answers to these questions, you can begin to decide which platforms to build your presence on. Need a bit of extra help? We’ve created a guide on our blog to help small business owners choose the right social media platform.
Myth #2: It doesn’t matter when you post
In past blogs, we’ve talked about the importance of consistency when posting but many people still think that you can post at any time. While it’s true that you can post at any time, it doesn’t mean that you should.
Each platform has peak times when users are online and engaging with brands and it’s important to create a strategy that lines up with these times. If you’re not sure what times to post, research general data regarding the networking site you’re going to be using. For example, if you’ll be active on Facebook, a simple google search of the most popular days and times to post on Facebook will give you a few options of where to start, but remember, this is just generalized data.
After you’ve created a plan and calendar, and have begun posting, you can analyze data to discover which times are the best to reach your specific audience. These insights can be easily accessed on platforms such as Instagram (Instagram Insights), Facebook (Facebook Insights) and Twitter (Twitter Analytics) but, if you need help – we’re here to help you.
Myth #3: More followers = more successful
While having thousands of followers looks great on the surface, it does not equal success. The belief that it does often leads to the use of automated bots that give a false sense of success. Thousands of followers are great but if they aren’t engaging with your brand, then you’re lacking a connection.
Rather than looking at only your follower count, take a look at your content and how your audience is engaging with it.
- Are people commenting on your posts?
- Are people sharing your posts?
- Are you talking to your audience?
- Is your content encouraging actions such as calls, emails, website clicks, or “Get Directions” clicks?
These types of interactions are more important than your follower count when it comes to business because they show you are building a relationship and connection with your audience through your content. And they also show if your audience is taking the customer journey a step further by emailing or calling you.
If you’re not getting much engagement, then you’ll want to consider ways to boost your engagement. This may include:
- Starting a conversation about a relevant topic
- Replying to comments
- Commenting on others’ posts
- Asking your audience questions in your social media posts
- Creating polls to spark small interactions on platforms such as Twitter and Instagram
Myth #4: Social Media is free
Yes, creating and maintaining social media accounts doesn’t cost you any money, but it can take a lot of time to do things the right way. You have to be committed to it. As the adage says, “Time is money.” Time is a valuable resource and, as a small business owner, you may not have the time needed to build your social media from the ground up.
You’ll need to decide what your time is worth and how to maximize your time and your money.
Here are some important things to consider:
- Do you have time to dedicate towards social media which requires time every day?
- Can you afford to have someone else tackle some – or all – of the work?
- Do you want to consider paid promoted content?
If you can afford to have someone coordinate your social media, such as a contract worker or an agency, you can rely on someone who specializes in social media to take care of your accounts so that you can focus your attention elsewhere and get optimal results.
If you’re still uneasy about where to start, visit our website to review our Social Media Starter Kit and reach out to us!