Social media is littered with myths and scare tactics that are designed to convince small businesses to stay away from it. It’s no surprise that people have a hard time separating fact from fiction, because social platforms change all of the time. In fact, we update our readers with the latest industry updates every 30 days, and inside of Strong Brand Social, these updates occur daily. With so much information about social media marketing circulating around the internet, how is anyone supposed to know what’s real and what isn’t?
First, a deep breath. We’re here to unpack and debunk seven of the most common social media marketing myths.
1. Social media doesn’t work
It’s a common misconception that social media won’t grow your business. The fact is, social media can and will deliver bottom line results if you’re doing it right. One grocery and food service client of ours realized a 400% increase in YOY ecomm sales with just social media marketing, while a local brick-and-mortar saw a 4,483% ecomm increase in the dreaded year of 2020.
The first and most commonly overlooked step is to align your social media strategy to your business goals. Social generates more demand for your product or service (via engagement and increased website traffic) and can then convert that interest into increased revenue.
Social media marketing integrates with the entire customer journey and you’re the architect of that experience. As a brand, you control how your audience discovers you, where they follow you, how they make a purchase, the quality of experience, and what happens next.
2. You need to post every single day
Ouch. Just reading that gives me a headache. You don’t have to post on social everyday in order to “do social media right”. At our agency, we emphasize quality over quantity and post 12 times per month for many of our clients, and from this we drive crazy wonderful results. More important than volume is consistency, so posting every other day is better than seven days in a row followed by a drought.
3. You should hire an expert
As a business leader, you know your product, the problem it solves, and what your customer wants better than anyone else, which makes you the perfect candidate to build your social strategy, even if you need a little guidance on how to do so. Once that’s in place, you can hire someone to help you with the day-to-day management of your account, but think twice before handing off all your accounts without a solid social media strategy in place. I’ll say it again for the people in the back: the person who cares and knows the most about what your brand needs to do to connect with your customers online is YOU.
4. Social media marketing takes a lot of time
Social media marketing can be time consuming, but it doesn’t have to be. We don’t recommend using swipe files and template marketing that flood the internet today, but inside Strong Brand Social we give you 100 content prompts that can be customized to your brand, along with instructions on how to measure success on each one of them. We also give recommendations on how to prioritize your social media marketing investments to move forward efficiently. All of this combined can cut your content production time by 75% (at least that’s what our students are finding).
5. You should be active on every social platform
A common mistake for businesses shifting to social is to set up a business account with every social platform under the sun. While it’s not a bad idea to create an account in order to claim the username, it IS a bad idea to post everywhere just because you think you have to, especially in your first year or two. When thinking about social media strategy, look for the smallest gap to close for your audience. Don’t introduce your brand on a ton of channels if your target persona doesn’t hang out there. Think about your market, and where they spend their time online. If you have no clue where to begin, Instagram and Facebook are not only foundational, but table stakes when it comes to online presence.
6. You need professional photography
For most brands, an iPhone and some natural light will get you as far as you need to go. We wrote a blog all about creative considerations for social media where you can dive deeper on this, but for the record, we have a global brand we create content for that consistently gravitates towards the shots we take with our iPhone 11 whenever we blind test them with multiple shots to choose from.
7. It’s impossible to measure
False, but this is one myth that “experts” everywhere perpetuate. Social media performance can be tracked and measured against your unique business goals. The one caveat is that you need to invest against the full marketing funnel. Meaning, if you’re just starting out, you need to attack the top of funnel investments like awareness and engagement so that you can generate demand (creating a pool of prospects) that you can then convert. The most common mistake that small businesses make is abandoning social media if they don’t see sales a few days after starting.
If you want to learn more about how to grow your brand with social media marketing, check out Strong Brand Social.
In your corner,