Social Media Marketing is one of those things that most businesses believe they need to do, but some are afraid to do for one reason or another. Of those who are investing in it, there are some who aren’t quite sure it’s working for them, or whether they’re doing it right. Following are some common misconceptions that can deter you from doing social media marketing altogether or derail your efforts and stop you from getting real results.
The goal of social media is to turn customers into a volunteer marketing army. - Jay Baer
“You can’t really measure return on investment”.
This is true if you don’t set goals or have a clear idea of what success will look like for your business. Let’s say one of your goals is to increase brand awareness. This could translate into measuring things like your daily/weekly/monthly reach, website traffic, leads and follower growth over a period. To properly track these metrics you’ll need to set up analytics on your website and analyze where your traffic increases, leads and conversions are coming from.
A social media management tool would also be useful in tracking reach, follower growth and engagement. You definitely can measure your return on investment with social media: first set goals, determine what metrics equal success and then use an analytics tool to track progress.
“The more social networks I’m on, the better”.
One of the quickest ways to overwhelm yourself and derail your efforts is to spread yourself too thin by trying to be on every social network (of which, by the way there are approximately 60!). The best way to determine what networks you should be using, is to first take the time to find out the top 3 or 4 networks that are popular with your target audience and then understand how they are using it. Next determine if it makes sense for your type of business to be on those networks - taking into account the type of content that works best there.
Ask yourself “WHY do I need to have a presence on this network?” and “WHAT content will I need to create that will work best here and appeal to my audience.” You definitely don’t need to be everywhere, but you do need to be where it counts.
“Nobody uses Google +”.
Wrong. Google + has over 395 million active users. It’s a great place to join niche communities that allow you to promote your blog posts, products and services to members. Perhaps the most important feature about Google + is that posts are indexed by search engines, which can greatly improve your click-throughs (website traffic). In fact, the average sales order for a visitor referred from Google + is USD$40. [Source: Statistic Brain] Don’t underestimate Google +.
“More followers means more business”.
Not necessarily. I have personally seen this misconception frustrate businesses who got desperate to have lots of followers so they gave in and bought 20,000 followers for like $10. The problem with this is that in many cases those followers are bots, fake/inactive accounts and just not people who will care anything about what their business has to offer. Like Jay Baer (Convince & Convert), said, “The goal of social media is to turn customers into a volunteer marketing army.” You can’t do this if your followers aren’t real or interested. It’s perfectly okay to start small and build a genuine, fully engaged following.
“If I start doing social media marketing, I’ll get negative comments online that everyone can see and it’ll hurt my business.”
If you treat your customers well and you offer great products and services, you really don’t need to fear that you’ll suddenly get a ton of negative comments when you start using social media. That being said, it’s impossible to please everyone all of the time. If you allow for transparency and for people to share their opinions with your business, it can open up dialogue and give you insight into areas that you can improve on. You can also demonstrate that you care about your customers in the way you handle negative feedback. (NB. if the comments are inflammatory or discriminatory in any way you can delete those comments and even block offenders from engaging on your page.)
Instead of focusing on the negative comments you may or may not get, think of all the positive comments from happy customers that will inspire other people to do business with you.
There’s a saying where I’m from that goes, “the hardest thing is to know”. So now that you know the truth about these misconceptions, you can take your social media marketing to the next level.