More than likely you are either the founder to a non-profit, startup business owner, or an entertainer looking to understand the ins and outs of social media marketing. At the same time trying to avoid making key mistakes that would cause you to lose hundreds if not thousands. While social media marketing is a legitimate and a powerful tool for growth and exposure, there are some misconceptions about the marketing process. None of these myths are meant to imply that social media is not a valuable or worthwhile strategy; on the contrary, it is highly cost-effective and can be a major boom for your brand. However, if you are going to be effective with it, you need to know exactly what you are getting into.
1. "I have to respond to social activity immediately."
There's no doubt a quick response is appreciated, but it isn't always required. People understand that you're running a business. There are exceptions, of course. For instance, most major companies run a few Twitter accounts ... one is exclusively for support. The people who manage that account should be responding immediately to inquiries that come in, because that is the whole point of the account.
2. "I need to Hashtags EVERYTHING!"
You know those tweets that look like this: Love this article on #socialmedia #marketing that talks about #pinterest and has an image of a #puppy #lol. The point of hashtags is that they join common conversation threads. So while it's nice to have a hashtag for an event, like a webinar or a trade show, don't lose your mind if it doesn't become a trending topic. It's not necessarily going to blow your leads goal out of the water if it does ... think of hashtags as a way to be more user-friendly for those following the hashtag, not a way to make all your marketing dreams come true.
3. Social media is free marketing.
It's free to join, but it's still a resource investment. Like any other marketing channel, you'll have to invest some resources behind social media marketing ... and to really make it take off, it's only natural you'll have to up that investment. Be confident that investment is worth your while!
4. "Social Media Marketing is Helpless in Generating Quality Leads"
This misconception is very common. Social media is often associated more with raising brand awareness and increasing customer loyalty than with sales. To ensure quality lead generation, you just need to apply correct targeting settings. You can choose your audience by interests, age groups, income, etc. One of the tools able to assist you a great deal in ratcheting up your brand or company mentions is Sprout Social. Another good method is creating a custom tab on your company’s Facebook page that is set it up specifically to collect leads. To better engage visitors, you can also take advantage of services like Pagemodo.
5. Paying for Tons of Fake Followers
The biggest one to me overall is someone willing to pay for fake followers. If you use Twitter for personal purposes, you’ve probably gotten some likes, retweets and many follows from an account that’s advertising itself to increase your followers. Many of these accounts offer you followers in the range of 1000-10,000 followers to build up your numbers quickly. Many websites and celebrities have actually been found to employ these services to boost their follower counts – but is it actually worth anything?
The short answer is no. While it might feel nice to see your follower count rise on social media, the reality is that you’re wasting time and money since these followers aren’t real, and they won’t actually engage with you or your content. You may also lose these followers overtime, as Twitter and Instagram both tend to remove all fake followers a few times per year from accounts if they see that followers are fake or if you account grows very quickly. Worst case this could lead to ban of your account for violating user terms. It’s always best to focus your social media marketing strategies on building relationships through content, not building numbers through unnecessary means.
When used wisely, social media channels serve as a great tool for your business. For that to happen, you must know your target audience perfectly. This enables you to find a way to give your prospects what they want and turn them into your loyal customers. Remember that most people in the online community don’t want to be sold anything. Instead, they are looking for information that they really need. Keep that in mind, and you will have the long-term success you’ve always dreamed of. How about you? Are you seeing the results you want from your social media marketing efforts? What platforms do you find most effective? Advice? Questions? Let us know in the comments below!