Since the onset of the pandemic, companies of all sizes have been paying more attention to social media and other digital marketing channels. From one-person entities to global powerhouses, we’re all looking for ways to build an audience, increase brand awareness, and sell our products and services.
But social media is one of the most misunderstood marketing methods utilized today. This is mainly due to common misconceptions and a lack of education on how social media should be used for businesses.
Influencers everywhere will tout their several thousand followers as their claim to success. Because of this, some clients tend to think that social media success is founded on how many followers an account has. After all, because they have such a broad audience, they must monetize their audience and kill it with sales.
Not so fast.
Let’s break down four of the most common misconceptions surrounding social media today:
- Social media marketing is free
- A large following means success
- All you have to do is post
- Your audience will see everything you post
Myth: Social media marketing is free
Fact: Social media marketing is NOT free
Sure, you can create an account for free and post content and photos until your heart’s content. But you’ll still need the resources and time to develop and publish content. If you’re doing this in-house with a team or on your own, you’ll have time overhead. When determining what you’re spending on social media, your hourly rate and your team’s hourly rates should be included as a cost. If you are using creative software like Canva or Adobe, you’ll want to account for those costs, too, along with any stock photos sites and social media schedulers you may be paying for.
Myth: A large following means success
Fact: A large following does NOT mean success
Unless you are an influencer, the number of followers should not be your primary or only metric for success. Unfortunately, business owners see far too many influencers with large followings and automatically attribute that to success. And that’s not a true reflection of what’s happening behind the scenes. Many accounts buy their followers to appear more legit. Or perhaps it’s for an ego boost; I’m not sure. We often see this from influencers and coaches who create courses and workshops to sell you their “proven methods” for building a social media following. You’ll want to put the right metrics in place that align with your growth goals, which should include conversions that take place off social media (such as a follower converting on a landing page or website). While followers are important, unless you’re monetizing, the number of followers will have little impact on your revenue and bottom line.
A word of advice:
Before you go buying courses and social media methodologies from influencers and coaches, I’d encourage you to do your homework and analyze their audience’s quality and engagement rates by using tools such as Social Auditor. This AI tool can break down their followers and tell you if they are real (not bots or fake accounts) and their typical engagement rates per post. This is far more important than their follower count. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather work with someone who has a few hundred real followers with a high engagement rate than someone who has 10K followers with bot followers and little engagement. I’m all about putting in the work and building a real following from people who genuinely care about what I have to say. You should be too.
Myth: All you have to do is post
Fact: You not only have to post, but you must interact
Social media, by definition, is to be social. If all you’re doing is posting your brand messaging on various social media channels but not interacting with followers or other accounts, you’re missing the point of social media. Your results will also be less than stellar and incredibly slow to monetize. If you’re starting out, you’ll not only want to post frequently, but you’ll also want to engage with your followers by replying to their comments, as well as commenting, liking, and sharing other posts too.
Myth: Your audience will see everything you post
Fact: It’s been shown that less than 3% of your audience sees what you post
It’s not fair; all that effort is put into building a reputable following and knowing that very little of your audience will see what you post. This is because algorithms determine when your posts will be seen and by whom. Your post is most likely to show up early on when your engagement rates are high. This means you’ll need people to like, comment, and share your posts close to when it’s published. It’s for this very reason that you need to spend time creating content that resonates with your audience and that it’s compelling enough to interact with.
With more than three billion people worldwide using social media every month, it’s a no-brainer that it needs to be an integral part of your marketing strategy. Social media can grow your business with the right approach, the right campaign, the right audience, and the right visuals.
If you’re not sure where to start or how you should be measuring the impact that social media has on your business, we can help formulate a social media strategy with the right metrics so you can find success in 2022 and beyond.