Mythbusters: Social Media Edition

Mythbusters: Social Media Edition

There are tons of different takes on what truly are the best practices for social media marketing. While many have their merit, there are some that aren’t true, and can even be damaging to your online presence. You want to be sure you’re not wasting your time making social media choices that won’t actually help your views and engagement – and that’s where we come in to set the record straight. 

While the real MythBusters are out to prove the world wrong using the scientific method, dangerous explosives, and lots of fire extinguishers, some myths just need a dedicated Content Strategist to get to the bottom of whether they really work. I’m here to bust some popular social media marketing myths with my laptop alone – just as impressive as the OG MythBusters, right?

scientist mythbusters GIF by Discovery Europe

Read on for a few common assumptions about social media and what you should be doing instead.

Myth #1: Join Every Single Social Media Platform Immediately

When your business is ready to kickstart an online presence, it’s beneficial to do research on all the different social media platforms and their benefits. However, many new businesses end up just spinning their wheels by trying to dive into every single social platform as soon as they step on the social media scene. The truth: it’s not necessary to join every single platform right away, and in fact, by spending time considering your target audience and where you'll be most likely to find and connect with them online, you can save yourself time and effort and see greater social success on the channels where it counts. 

A few reasons why this strategy isn’t successful: 

Your target audience is not on every single platform.

If your target demographic isn’t using a certain platform, there’s no reason your business should be investing time and resources into it. Why would you want to put time and effort into a platform where your community is not active or there at all? 

You should only use as many platforms as you can manage effectively.

Spreading yourself too thin across different platforms can cause the quality of your content and community-building to drop. If you are not able to create great content and respond to comments on all of your platforms, you may be juggling too many media outlets.

New platforms don't always last. 

It may seem like a good idea to get ahead of new social trends and be an early adopter of a new platform. However, investing time and resources into a brand new social media network may be a bad idea — many of these platforms never gain enough mainstream adoption to be useful for marketing purposes, and some disappear altogether.

Myth #2: Ignore Negative Comments and Feedback

You may have heard a popular piece of advice floating around amongst millennials over the past few years: Ignore the #haters. While this might be a good mentality to adopt for your personal social media accounts, a good PR rep would tell you this is a bad strategy for businesses. As frustrating as it can be sometimes, responding to negative comments and feedback is beneficial for your social media presence for multiple reasons: 

Response fosters relationship-building.

We can obviously see that positive interactions with an audience builds up a business/client relationship, but engaging meaningfully with negative feedback can strengthen these relationships in the same way.  When consumers express negativity, by responding with an apology, explanation, or a few kind words, you can show your customers that you care about and are ready to help them. This not only will improve your relationship with that particular person, but it will also improve your relationship with your whole audience base. Consumers and potential consumers are given the opportunity to see that if they were the ones with a negative experience, they would get the same caring, timely response. This creates increased trust and positive associations with your brand.

Engaging with negative comments can help you gain insight.
By responding to a negative review, your business has the opportunity to learn from that interaction. It allows you to learn what might have gone wrong, and can possibly open up a door for positive change. If you’d like to really dig deep, you can take the conversation offline, to the phone or email to learn more about what went wrong and how you can fix it internally so it doesn’t happen to others.

Myth #3: Your Main Focus Should Be Increasing Follower Count

Growing your followers is an admirable goal for your social media marketing efforts, but it shouldn’t be the main aspect you’re focusing on. There are several other important features of social media, especially for businesses, such as creating branded content that drives engagement and interacting with your community. A few reasons follower count isn’t everything:

More followers doesn’t mean more brand interaction.
Rather than being fixated on the number of followers your business has, focus on how engaged your audience is and how often they interact with your brand. Sure, you may have 50k followers, but if you only have 15 people that actively interact with your content, you won’t see any growth. An engaged and active audience is more likely to share your content, visit your website, and bring in new, interested followers.
Followers aren’t as important as good content and community management.
If you focus on delivering quality content, community management, and products that garner interest, people aren’t going to care if you have less than a million followers. Imagine you’re shopping for a new leash for your dog, and you find a pet supply company’s Instagram account. They’re posting well-branded graphics, positive customer testimonials, and are responding to comments—do you even think to look at their follower count? Or, are you already on their website buying 4 of their dog leashes? If you focus on perfecting social media marketing and building up strong engagement and customer rapport, follower count becomes way less important. 

Myth #4: Social media is just a sales tool for businesses. 

I get it – operating a business is extremely hard work, and there are tons of moving parts. Being told that you need a strong digital presence these days on top of everything else can sound exhausting. Social media marketing is vital, but not just as another place to push products and services. The truth is in the name: it’s a social tool, and the brands that perform best on social media do so because they have found ways to engage with an online audience beyond the products they’re hoping to sell. Use social media as effectively as possible:

Follow the 70/20/10 rule. 
An easy mythbusting tip for avoiding being too pushy or over-promoting is to follow the 70/20/10 rule. Sticking to this rule of thumb can help you highlight what’s great about your brand while making sure you come across with a great brand personality that’s more than just a sales tactic. Here’s how it breaks down:
  • 70% brand awareness and images
  • 20% sharing
  • 10% promotion
Don’t forget what drew us to social media in the first place – social insight.
If you’re ever unsure of what to post, don’t underestimate the power of giving your audience a glimpse into the people behind the business – anything from office culture to pictures of kiddos and pups tend to perform well on social media. As a business, it of course can’t be all you post, but your audience will enjoy seeing what you care about beyond what you promote.  

Myth #5: You Will See Big Results from Social Media in a Month

Sadly, social media marketing doesn’t care about your need for instant gratification. Building a social media presence and engaged following takes time and consistency. Most businesses need to be willing to work on community building for 6-12 months before they can expect consistent and predictable results. Of course, if you have a larger budget for placing social ads, you can increase the speed of your growth through social media campaigns, but, regardless of your budget, it will still take longer than a month to see quality results.

Want to Know More?

Whether you’re in need of a social media marketing consultation or a team to take it all on for you, Speak can help you transform your online presence to help grow your business and give your clients a world-class experience. Let’s make something great together!

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Posted by Maggie Dye at 08:00