Social media marketing can seem deceptively simple to people who look at it from the outside. All you need is a great product or service and your audience will find you.
Wouldn’t it be great if that were true? But sadly, it’s not.
In fact, social media marketing is a real challenge for local businesses – and can prove tricky even to people who spend a lot of time and energy managing their social media accounts.
The reason? There are some popular misconceptions about social media marketing and some secrets that you simply won’t know about unless someone tells you.
Here they are.
- #1: The Size of Your Following May Not Matter
- #2: There’s No Such Thing as Overnight Success
- #3: You Won’t Succeed Without Analysis
- #4: Engagement Is Just as Important as Content
- #5: Success is Difficult to Predict
- #6: You’ll Need a Creative Team to Help You
- #7: Everything Can Change at a Moment’s Notice
- The Dangers of Social Media
#1: The Size of Your Following May Not Matter
One of the biggest misconceptions about social media marketing is that Page Likes equal success. That’s often not the case.
You can create an entertaining account that attracts new followers and not see any change in your bottom line. If that happens, you’re basically whistling in the wind. The time and energy you spend on managing your social media pages isn’t getting you anything in return.
A better bet is to focus on attracting highly qualified and motivated followers who are likely to turn into customers and share your content with their friends.
#2: There’s No Such Thing as Overnight Success
To quote the cliché, social media marketing isn’t a sprint. It’s a marathon. It takes a lot of time, commitment, and dedication to attract a following and see results from your social media marketing efforts.
In many ways, this misconception relates to the first one. A big following doesn’t equal success. You may spend a lot of money boosting your page and attract a lot of followers. However, if those followers don’t buy from you, the money will have been wasted.
In other words, social media marketing requires an ongoing commitment to excellence. You’ll need to work hard to create valuable and entertaining content – and be willing to tweak your methods to get the results you want.
#3: You Won’t Succeed Without Analysis
Analysing the results of your social media marketing is a must if you want to grow your business. It’s not enough simply to eyeball your Likes and other obvious metrics. You’re going to need to dig deep to refine your strategy.
Fortunately, most platforms offer basic analytics that you can use to get started. If you pay for a social media management tool, you probably have access to additional reporting and analysis. Either way, it’s essential to use the data you have to test, refine, and re-test your content and strategy.
Even if you’ve done well on Facebook or Instagram, you’ll need to commit to doing the sometimes-tedious legwork that will help you hit on the right strategy to grow your business.
#4: Engagement Is Just as Important as Content
You might create fantastic content on a regular basis, but if you aren’t also setting aside time to engage with your followers, you might as well not bother.
A lot of companies make the mistake of forgetting the “social” in social media. It’s your job to monitor your content, reply to comments, answer questions, and generally make your followers feel that they are important to you.
Engagement can be time-consuming, and it’s one of the reasons that a lot of small businesses don’t do well on social media. You may need to hire someone to monitor your mentions, comments, DMs, and questions to ensure that nothing is falling through the cracks.
#5: Success is Difficult to Predict
The Holy Grail of social media marketing is the viral post. Whether it’s a video, a meme, a photograph, or a blog post, every social media marketer dreams of creating The One – the special post that reaches millions of followers and sends their business into orbit.
I’d love to be able to give you the formula to help you create that perfect post. Sadly, there isn’t one. The best you can do is create the most entertaining, valuable, relevant content you can – and hope that your followers will share it and that it will catch on.
Of course, there are some things that can help your chances of going viral. Humorous content does well, and so does content that’s useful to different groups of people. Instead of focusing on virality, spend your time getting creative – and the rest will, hopefully, follow.
#6: You’ll Need a Creative Team to Help You
Your social media goals may be simple or grand, but either way, it’s important to understand that you may not be able to do everything you need to do without help.
Creativity is a plus when it comes to social media marketing. If all you do is share content from other people or Tweet out information about your products, you’re not going to attract the passionate following you want.
The key is to give your social media manager the creative support they need. That may mean hiring a creative team to work with them. Or, it may be as simple as giving them a creative budget that they can use to hire freelance writers, photographers, and artists to give your social media marketing a boost.
#7: Everything Can Change at a Moment’s Notice
One of the trickiest aspects of social media marketing is that change is normal. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram are constantly tweaking their algorithms – and you’ll need to stay on top of the changes they make if you want to do well.
For example, Facebook recently changed its algorithm to prioritise posts from personal connections over those from businesses. As a result, business owners have had to rethink their strategies, work harder to get organic engagement and increase their Facebook marketing budgets to make sure that their posts reach their followers.
Tracking your performance and engagement can help you in this regard. However, it’s essential to be aware of changes and to adapt your strategy accordingly so you’re not spinning your wheels.
Social media marketing isn’t as easy as it seems…
That much is clear. But, keeping the seven items I’ve outlined here in mind can help you make the most of the time, creative energy, and money you spend to promote your business on social media.
The Dangers of Social Media
As we see the world use more and more social media, the amount of items that can go viral is insane.
In business and for popularity, this can be a good thing but false information, when taken advantage of and used in a way which is detrimental to individuals, people, cultures, societies, religion, countries can have devastating effects.
It’s so easy now to share something you have seen online, but just because it’s a image, meme, video or quote, a blog, does not mean it’s accurate or true. However people share it anyway and this act of sharing can go viral.
Don’t believe everything you see, hear or read online. Do some thinking, check the sources and if it checks out then share otherwise you may be adding to a conspiracy, campaign, hate or someone else’s agenda or marketing scheme.
As individuals and a human collective connected via social media, it’s easy to get caught up in a social pressure. The same way we have ‘peer pressure’, which is induced when with a group of people or even a crowd, acting in a similar fashion we now seem to have a new type of ‘Social Pressure’ which can be induced when all your friends and connections are sharing a trending topic. When you see enough of your friends participating, it can be hard to hold back and easy to just jump in. It’s also an online version of the herd behaviour. (Herd behavior describes how individuals in a group can act collectively without centralised direction. Everybody goes where the group goes.)
We know mainstream media does not showcase all the news from around the world but certain topics get highlighted more then others. Some would even say it’s manipulation of the masses. But on the flip side social media can highlight the issues which are not covered by mainstream, thus helping create awareness.
The internet is such a powerful place where even the individual blogger can compete against the big corporates. So much so that just to get news some large media news portals look for news to report from the internet. To the extent where non verified information is used just for the sake of a story at detrimental impact on innocent people. Can you believe it, they don’t even check their sources… this is madness.
News being manipulated, reposted and edited then shared. Images being manipulated from their original depiction to fit an agenda and then going viral. Videos being edited to change the message or show something which does not even fit the original version. False quotes being created to cause confusion or misguide people. Some on purpose, some for jokes. We can’t keep an eye on it all and what different people or the next generation see could be inaccurate.
The online world is a collection of all things of the human form, from good to the bad, happy and sad, high and low. It’s information overload. It’s the first source of all topics these days. If you ask people “where did you get that from?”, they say online…. it’s the first point of call for pretty much everything we do.
We know with SEO, online marketing and reputation management, search results can be manipulated, people who understand this can use these methods to push certain information around online. Can you imagine if you have the resources, finance and people, how much manipulation of the information can be done and controlled online? Even clients know they need to pay for SEO rankings.
The next best thing to the internet kill switch is the manipulation of data. We have to be careful in what we put out there or read.
For a lot of people their main source of news is actually social media. Taking a look at your daily Facebook wall can give you an indication of that is going on in the world right now, which I think is a lot better then the news that comes on tv as you get more sources (and reliable ones) if you are following those channels online. You can see more of a rounded picture that way, where as TV news can seem one-sided.
Social media has its advantages but just like anything there is an opposite affect too. A lopsided perception will only give you one side of the coin. It’s up to us as individuals to more cautious of what we decide to input into our brains and if we trust where the information came form.
Just take a moment to think and check multiple good sources before you react online.
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