Social Media Misconceptions: Setting the Record Straight

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With a society consumed with social media, one would think it would be relatively understood. Unfortunately, it isn’t. Many people and businesses are still struggling to not only digest what social media can do, but also to develop an effective strategy that adapts to continuous changes on each platform.

Social media is powerful and can be used as a primary marketing tool, which means it should be understood. To avoid falling for misinterpretations and some outright untruths, watch out for the following misconceptions.

Using ALL social media channels will make my business better – you can’t go wrong with more, right?

False. Time and time again, businesses jump on the social media bandwagon and embrace blogging, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Foursquare, online review sites, Quora, Vine, Instagram, and any other new platform that comes along. First of all, before you embrace the “tools,” you need to develop a social media strategy that outlines what they will do. For instance, you shouldn’t use Snapchat just because it’s new and exciting. You create a strategy based on market research around where your audience is, then you determine which tools will help you connect further with them.

Secondly, if you create a strategy that involves all the channels listed, you also need to have the team to support it. You have to be realistic in creating your strategy and know what you are capable of taking on. If you embrace too much at once and aren’t able to enforce it, your business will suffer as your audience won’t know what to expect.

So, I can just play on Facebook and Pinterest all day, huh?

Once again, the answer is a strong “No.” Let’s think for a minute – if it really were this easy, don’t you think a lot more businesses would be doing it and doing it well? Being effective on any social platform requires a strategy and an action plan. This action plan involves daily implementation on a variety of levels. Furthermore, all this implementation needs to connect back to the strategy which defines why you’re doing it. This allows you to be able to measure what is working and what is not.

Push out continuous content so no one will be able to miss us

This is a big negative, yet countless people and businesses continue to misuse it. The main problem with this is that businesses could be viewed as spammers for continuous content pushing. News publications have even had this issue due to pushing out their own articles repeatedly. Apart from the spam issue, people may stop following you. Audiences follow brands for particular reasons, but if you post too much, consumers will turn a blind eye to it.

Each brand varies in terms of how often it should post content, but again, if you have a solid strategy that you’re following, the plan will be clearly outlined.

Social media only benefits marketing

Really? Are you kidding me? While social media provides an incredibly valuable tool for marketing efforts, the benefits far exceed the marketing department. As we know from an individual perspective, social media touches almost every area of our lives. The same is true for a business. Social media impacts customer service, recruiting, human resources, internal relations, public relations, as well as many other areas.

Social media truly influences the business as a whole, just as other marketing elements do as well.

Also, in talking about roles, social media does NOT replace traditional marketing. Since social media is perceived as being “free, easy and fun,” it is often thought that other marketing methods are irrelevant. But, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Social media offers another tool to add to the marketing mix, but it is not a standalone toolbox. It is most effective when it is used in conjunction with other marketing tools.

High numbers mean success

Not necessarily. There are some brands that the numbers do speak to the strategy and work they’ve put into it, but this isn’t always the case. Think about Twitter, for example. If you have a 1,000 “egg heads” following you, it doesn’t exactly indicate your social media strategy is paying off. In this case, it would be better to have 500 people from your target market as they are where the real value lies in terms of interactions.

Because people do look at numbers, it is often important that businesses invest some money into building up their following periodically. Numbers can impact credibility, but they don’t guarantee success.

These are just a few of many misconceptions about social media out there. To protect yourself and your business, consider your own goals before falling prey to the latest misconception floating around.

 

Abby Johnson

Abby brings a unique perspective to the mix because her background consists of both traditional broadcast and public relations to now the world of online. She is very skilled at looking at the big picture and understanding how to get the message across to a particular audience.

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