The pace at which social media evolves has left behind a generous trail of confusion, misconceptions, and downright myths about how these platforms operate.
If your brand is going to succeed in the world of social networking, these fabrications must be cast aside with haste; the longer you dwell in a social media fairy tale, the more at risk your business becomes.
Drop your phantasms here, because we are about to embark on a journey through the true nature of social media.
Myth #1: Followers are a Byproduct of Good Content
This is one of the most common fallacies that surrounds social media and content marketing. This idea of “If you build it, they will come,” is not only impractical, it’s just not true.
This is not to say that crafting stellar content is a fool’s errand; most content lives in a vacuum and needs to be pushed out of it.
In order to give content the visibility it needs, it must first be heavily promoted. This can be done through a series of social posts or adverts, blog publications, and various other avenues. But just throwing content online and waiting for it to gain traction will, well, keep you waiting.
Myth #2: Social Media is Free
Don’t we wish!
Despite the erroneous nature of this assumption, there was a time when brands could organically reach their consumers through social with ease. Those days are gone, but social media was never free.
While it doesn’t cost any cash to set up a business profile or post content, it does cost you something of equal value; time, and lots of it.
Most business owners or entrepreneurs are going to sink hundreds of hours into consumer research on various social platforms, best practices, analytics, content creation, strategy refinement, and other aspects of building a healthy presence and meaningful engagement.
Simply using social media won’t, in itself, put bread on the table. In order to be successful and drive the actions that will pay the bills, a serious investment in time and energy is required.
And if you really want to start gaining traction, you are likely going to wind up spending cash on social adverts.
Myth #3: The Haters have No Purpose
I get it. No one likes dealing with “trolls.” We all do our best to avoid spammy content and negative ninnies.
Social media is not just a hotbed of negativity. There’s loads of uplifting content that you can join forces with. But you will have to deal with the haters, no matter what.
Your brand should be responding to every comment and message that comes its way (outside of the aforementioned charlatans), negative or otherwise.
In order to build consumer loyalty and a true rapport with your customers, unfavorable comments should be your bread and butter. These are the moments when you can turn an adverse situation into a shining example of your organization’s superior customer service and dedication.
Showing that you are sincerely listening to your customers and care about their plights is one of the best ways to gain access to a follower’s heart. Turn a hater into a fan, and you have a customer for life.
Myth #4: All Platforms are Beneficial
When just getting started on social, most new brands will run to secure a profile on every social platform in existence. This is actually a great idea to help ensure that your company name doesn’t get hijacked.
The misunderstanding lies in the idea that all of these platforms will produce value for your brand. More times than not, your audience will predominantly live on two, maybe three, different platforms; these are the ones you want to heavily target and engage.
Myth #4: Social Media Marketing is an Isolated Strategy
Over the past several years, terms like “content marketing,” “influencer marketing,” “social media marketing,” and similar phrases have become popularized. Many consider these practices to be independent strategies.
Sure, each have their own set of tenets and best practices, but social media marketing heavily relies on, and intertwines with, content marketing, SEO, influencer marketing, email marketing, and other advertising disciplines.
All of these strategies are just pieces to a larger puzzle and all help to support one another; leveraging multiple approaches simultaneously is the key to achieving the highest potential ROI.
Just because these myths exist does not take away from the immense power that social media wields. From gaining awareness to boosting sales, social platforms can help drive, and achieve, just about any business goal that you can dream up. The key is having a realistic view of what these platforms are, which audiences they play to, and how you can leverage those qualities.
Need help crafting or refining your social strategy? Let us know and we can help put together a blueprint that pulls you out of the social vacuum.