Social media is a marketing channel ripe for rumor and speculation. Because it’s so new and in such a constant state of flux, it’s easy for users to form misconceptions about what it can offer, and what its limitations are.
You shouldn’t let the truth get in the way of a good social media marketing story, after all.
But if you allow yourself to believe some of these myths you can really inhibit your organization’s growth. You can paint social media marketing as something it’s not, and subsequently miss out on the exciting opportunities that the medium offers.
Let’s have a look at five of the most common social media marketing myths, and why they’re nonsense.
Social media is taking over email
“Email marketing is dead”, they’ll say. “You just don’t need it now that social media is omnipresent.”
If anything, over the last few years email marketing has strengthened its position as the backbone of any organization’s digital marketing efforts. Why? Because nothing competes with a well-written email when it comes to engagement.
The algorithm changes that have been made to most social media platforms over the last few years have seriously decreased a post’s organic reach. In fact, some Facebook users have reported as few as six percent of their followers see their updates, and Twitter can be as low as two percent. Email, meanwhile, has an average open rate of 20 percent. In fact, using one study’s findings, if you had 2,000 email subscribers, 2,000 Facebook fans and 2,000 Twitter followers, you could expect:
- 435 people to open your email
- 120 Facebook fans to see your post
- 40 Twitter followers to see your tweet
Email is still as valuable as ever.
B2B social media marketing is very different from B2C
Business-to-business (B2B) companies are often afraid to get too laid back, or show too much personality. They feel as though being beige is part of the job description, and their social media efforts need to reflect that.
The truth is that B2B marketing on social media really need not be any different from business-to-consumer (B2C). A client has “liked” your Facebook page because they are genuinely interested in your business, and are looking to be educated or entertained in return.
In the end, you need to work out what your followers are expecting or hoping for when they click the follow button. Then you need to deliver that, whether you’re in the B2B, B2C or even social media celebrity game.
No engagement means no one is noticing your posts
This can be a very easy trap to fall into. It’s one that has resulted in many an organization doing away with social media altogether. “If no one is liking or commenting on my posts”, you surmise, “they must be completely ignoring them.”
It’s important not to lose faith in your social media approach. Firstly, a large percentage of social media users roam the platforms without ever officially engaging with anything. They may not like or comment, but they’re still ingesting your content and clicking on your links. Secondly, patience is a social media virtue. It may take a while, but if you focus on increasing engagement, it will eventually come.
My older clientele aren’t on social media
The bulk of your clientele is baby boomers. You presume that social media is a young’uns game, so stick to traditional advertising to better target your customers.
You couldn’t be further from the truth.
Baby boomers are the single fastest growing demographic on social media. In fact, young people are trading in Facebook for Instagram and Snapchat due to the fact that their parents and grandparents are now on board the book.
Social media is for “sexy” companies
If you’re a plumber, a laundromat or an accounting firm (with the greatest respect to plumbers, laundromats and accountants) you may feel as though your business doesn’t “fit” on social media. It’s a marketing medium for fashion houses, for artists; you won’t have anything sexy to post about.
You don’t need to. While you may not have a particular product to sell on social media, you can still use it to stay top of mind. Tell your brand’s story. Offer a behind the scenes look at how you operate. Post about a community event you sponsored. Use it as a customer service tool. There are an incredible amount of ways social media can be used over and above pretty pictures.
No matter what your organization does, how it does it, and who your clients are, social media will undoubtedly be beneficial to your business going forward.
With these myths debunked, there’s no excuse not to jump aboard the social train.