Despite it being 2015, convincing strangers about the importance of social media marketing can sometimes be a difficult task but we’re always willing to take a shot. Here’s the five biggest misconceptions we run into every day.
1. It’s More Than Hashtags and Likes
For the most part, the reason behind this disbelief is that most don’t understand the difference between social media and social media marketing. Social media is the umbrella term for any kind of communication sharing platform. Anything sharable becomes social media. So ultimately every piece of content on the internet is social media or resides on a social media platform. For some, social media is about sharing their lifestyle, building or adapting to a brand or just showing your high school bullies how much better you are doing in life now.
Social media in this aspect is great for building a brand, making a following, finding a voice that customers and fans can appreciate and recognize. Once you have established this, you can move into social media marketing.
Social media marketing is using data, trends and your audience to help sell a product or promote your services. Believe it or not it can be done, you just have to know the right platforms and have an actual strategy. Make goals and a plan before you begin doing your social outreach and especially before you do paid promotions.
2. You Can Sell your Brand or Product for Free(ish)
The great thing about social media, especially for start-ups and small businesses, is that social media platforms are free to join. Yes, you can do paid promotion (becoming more necessary every day)and pay a social media employee’s salary, but if you aren’t there yet, you can still participate and try to catch as much business on social media by remaining active on your profiles, interacting with people for more than just a sale, and producing content that people want to see and share. If you don’t have a budget, we’d definitely suggest starting on Instagram or Pinterest.
3. If you’re on Facebook & Twitter without doing paid promotion, what are you doing?
What you see in your Facebook newsfeed is based on a carefully calibrated algorithm that was originally called EdgeRank. Not to mention, EdgeRank is an always changing algorithm. Its design is made to give a better interface and experience for the user but advertisers and business owners are made to work harder to get their products seen and their ads shown. It used to be that getting enough likes would allow your posts to be seen but that just isn’t the case anymore. Today’s social media marketing consists more so than ever of paid promotion. Twitter cards in particular “now allow marketers to increase conversions and display more rich and engaging content than the mere 140 characters.” For 2015, more social media influencers are predicting that social media conversions will be easier to make thanks to “methods…that provide direct action through engagement.”
4. Selling Bad Content Looks Just Like That
Consumers aren’t stupid. They can see an angle pretty quickly and they won’t respond to it. That is why creating organic interest and branding is a good way to begin your social media marketing strategy. That means sharing relevant content, crafting interesting stories, and being reliable with your posting. Which in the real world equals fresh images as well as engaging articles and video. It is all about quality over quantity, so make sure that each post to any social media platform has a call to action and valuable content.
5. Shortcuts Are Not the Way to Go
Outdated social media strategists will tell you to buy likes by the thousands from sketchy sites in order to make your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter look more popular and established. But do not be persuaded to buy likes for a page. It’s a waste of money that will only make it harder for you to engage with real customers down the line.. You would do better to invest your time and build valuable, interesting content and engaging with people. As Jon Loomer says, “Anything that doesn’t bring in an authentic ‘fan’ won’t help you.” Not only is it inorganic, buying likes will negatively impact Edge Rank and your post’s reach.
If you need advice or help implementing social media marketing for your company, give Online Optimism a call, tweet, email, or comment! We’re always happy to talk to businesses and help guide their strategy!