Social media is popular as a marketing tool for many reasons. First, it’s accessible to all businesses. More than 80 percent of the U.S. population uses it and not having a social presence can mean more than a lost opportunity. It puts your online reputation in the hands of customers and competitors. There’s no doubt that social media should be an integral part of your marketing plan. But you may be planning your social media strategy based on assumptions that could hurt your company in the long run.

Let us help you create an effective social media strategy by guiding you to avoid these common myths:

Myth #1:  Social media should be used primarily for sales.

Too many companies believe they can use social media as a free sales channel. But, if you think about why consumers use social media, it’s not always to shop. Instead, minus a few exceptions, social media should be used for brand awareness, communications, and occasional sales promotions or special offers for your customers.  

Myth #2:  Likes and followers directly measure campaign success.

Marketers are taught they must justify their efforts with data. Social media is seemingly easy to “measure” because you can count the number of likes, followers gained and lost, and other metrics. But the value of social media is more abstract. A “Like” or follow doesn’t carry as much weight as a company review or comment.

Myth #3: A minimal presence is better than no presence at all.

In this day and age, having no social media presence is not good. However, if you’re not going to put effort towards maintaining your profiles, you probably shouldn’t do it at all. A Facebook page that hasn’t been updated in a year does almost as much damage to your reputation as customers cannot find you. Maintaining a social media presence takes effort, so you should invest your time in it as any other marketing effort.

Myth #4: If your target market is above a certain age, you don’t have to worry about social media.

Social media may be newer to specific demographics, but it doesn’t mean they are not adopting it. For example, more than 60 percent of online adults over 65 used Facebook in 2016. So suppose you’re marketing products targeted towards that age group. In that case, your efforts may not be geared towards specific social media platforms (such as Instagram or Snapchat), but you should still include at least one or two social media platforms.

Myth #5: Some platforms won’t work for me.

Social media isn’t just a tool for customer engagement. Some platforms can be used for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The more social profiles you have, the more search engine results page (SERP) “real estate” you own, which will help protect your brand image.

To learn more about using social media for SEO, click here.

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