Social Media Marketing Myths Debunked

February 7, 2020

Debunking some common misconceptions about SMM

We all know that marketing has changed and evolved in the past decade thanks to technology and social media. Despite what we think is a straightforward nature, there’s still a lot to learn about how it works favorably for particular businesses. And to complicate it even more, social media marketing is weighed down by several misconceptions. If you aren’t too sure what you’re doing on social media, or even if you think you’re a seasoned platform veteran, we’re here to help steer you in the right direction.

Myth #1: Social Media is only for the youths

The way we communicate has rapidly changed since 10 years ago. The number of active Facebook users in February 2010 was about 400 million, but as of December 2019, that number reached 2.5 billion. With multiple social media platforms and everything at our fingertips, this new technology is not just for Millenials and Gen Z. 

According to Sprout Social, 68% of adults 50-64 use Facebook, but only 23% use Instagram. So even though we perceive social media to be dominated by teens and twenty-somethings, the presence of older generations still makes a major impact when it comes to marketing. It’s a matter of seeking out the target demographics from your marketing strategy to achieve the right goals.

Myth #2: Social media marketing (SMM) is new and is just a trend

While the technology for social media is still somewhat new, the underlying principles have not changed. The difference in the present day is just a  matter of control vs. contribution. Traditional marketing seeks to control the content in which the audience sees, usually by dominating the marketplace. Social media marketing is quite the opposite.

SMM emphasizes audience contribution (UGC) and gives a large amount of control over the content. In SMM, the big job is contributing and facilitating conversation, but not controlling it completely. Technology is only becoming increasingly accessible and affordable. Social media has allowed people to communicate in ways they’ve never been able to before. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but social media is only going to keep evolving. SMM needs to evolve with it.

Myth #3: Social media is free

While it may be free to join platforms, that’s about it. There must be people to strategically run and post on the account, someone to create the content, graphic designers to make content, analysts to tell you if something’s working or not. To have a successful social media campaign you have to have all the right resources to do so- and don’t think that any of them are free.

With that to consider, there’s also a matter of promoting your posts on each platform. Organic reach on Facebook tends to be about 6.4%. There needs to be some consideration for services such as search engine optimization (SEO) and analytical software which can be costly.

Myth 4: You get to ROI with SMM

Social media metrics allow account owners to monitor basically every aspect of their website and platforms from clicks, comments, likes- even who’s tapping through your Instagram stories you spent all night planning and creating. They’re able to measure follow-through and conversions; they can see who is reading the links, buying the products, and who they’re reaching. It’s a bit backward to believe you can get no return on investment with SMM. If you have a well established and engaging presence on social media, you’ll see results.

The key to success is to make sure that your accounts are reaching the right people. Gary Vee says it best – we’re dealing with a ton of ‘free real estate’ here and it’s silly not to take advantage of it as much as you can.

Myth 5: “SMM isn’t right for my business”

Considering the growth of social media and its numbers of users, it would be pretty boomer of you to think you’re consumers aren’t online- unless you live under a rock, 99% are probably online in some way, shape or form. Having a proper SMM strategy or campaign set up can benefit any company whether it’s brick and mortar, company to company, or an already established online company. Figuring out which platforms are right for your company is a crucial first step. 

Next is all about consistency and engagement with the proper target audience. How the strategy is executed varies from business to business, but this doesn’t make SMM insignificant. If you’re still asking, why should my company use social media, try asking why wouldn’t your company use social media?

Myth 6: Don’t Get Personal 

Okay, whoever told you this doesn’t know social media. The whole purpose of social media (with probably the exception of LinkedIn) is to be personable and human. Funny, authentic, or real posts do very well, in addition to lifestyle posts. Being authentic is valued as highly online as it is offline. It’s all a matter of what is the underlying message you’re trying to promote within your brand or your company’s brand. Is your company culture more easygoing? Is it all about encouraging others? What values does your company have? Promote those with quotes, photos of company outings, highlighting a specific employee, etc. 

Try and relate to your target audience by being transparent. If your company needs to stay more on task with specific messaging such as sports news, maybe lifestyle posts aren’t right for your strategy. 

Myth 7: You need to post all the time and you can post at any time during the day 

FALSE. We’ll say it louder for the people in the back: FALSE. Believe it or not, there are bad times to post, okay times to post, and optimum times to post, especially to reach your particular audience. And you also DON’T need to post all the time- imagine being a consumer and being frustrated because your feed is being bombarded by content from just one brand? Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. 

Certain platforms such as Twitter have such a short shelf-life of relevancy that posting numerous times a day can be appropriate and quite engaging. However, other platforms such as Facebook tend to see a decrease in engagement when multiple posts are made in one day.

Myth 8: More followers translates into more success 

Success on social media varies based on the goals of each brand. Say there’s a brand that wants to increase engagement. They may find results in increasing the amount of content that can be engaged with, engaging more with their consumers and other brands, doing q&a’s on their stories, collaborating with other brands to reach a different audience that might want to engage more. On the other hand, maybe there’s another business looking to increase conversions, so their success is defined by bringing in more revenue. Outlining and defining the social media marketing strategy along with the company’s goals is crucial to define success.

Social media marketing might seem overwhelming! But trust us, once you define your goals and get the hang of planning and managing your accounts, you’ll be off to the races in no time. Let us reiterate: having a strategy is the best place to start. And if you still have any questions, comments, or concerns, our DM’s are always open! 

Sources not linked:

Barker, Melissa S., et al. Social Media Marketing: a Strategic Approach. Cengage Learning, 2017.

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