Is your social media marketing strategy hurting or helping your business?
When it comes to social media marketing, many entrepreneurs and marketers have developed their strategy based on advice that’s either outdated or doesn’t apply to small businesses. What’s worse, many small business owners are overwhelmed and unable to keep up with all the advice available for engaging on social media.
Below are five myths about social media marketing that, if believed, could cripple your results. Each myth is accompanied by the truth you need to know instead and how to apply it to your social media strategy.
Myth #1: Social media is free.
Many business owners spend a significant amount of time and energy promoting their business on social media because they view it as free advertising.
The Truth: Social media costs a lot of time.
An organic post on LinkedIn or Instagram won’t make a dent in your bank account, but it will consume a lot of time. When deciding how much time to spend on social media marketing, it’s important to evaluate what your time is worth.
For example, if you’re a freelancer charging $100 an hour for your work, each hour you spend on social media essentially costs you $100. Once you know the value of your time you’ll be able to analyze if your social media activity is a valuable use of your time. You’ll also be able to make strategic investment decisions such as purchasing a content calendar or outsourcing the work to a social media management agency.
Myth #2: You must be on every social media platform.
Trying to manage and grow accounts on five different social media platforms is not only exhausting, it’s also nearly impossible to experience results with your focus diluted across multiple platforms
The Truth: You only need to be where your ideal customer hangs out.
When assessing which social media platforms to use for your business, it’s important to make the decision based on your ideal customer and which platform they engage with most often. To help with this, build out a detailed buyer persona that outlines the demographics, buyer behaviors, challenges and goals of your ideal customer. Your buyer persona will help you identify which social media platform your ideal customer hangs out as well as where they go to get information about your type of business.
Myth #3: Social networks are broadcast channels.
Social media is not the place to continuously brag about yourself or your business. Unless you’re Apple, your followers do not care about your latest press release or new product update.
The Truth: Social networks are interactive channels.
The content you post on social media should be less about you and your business, and more about your ideal customer. Share content that provides value to your audience and entices them to engage with your posts. The best way to increase engagement on social media is to ask questions. Oftentimes a simple question like “coffee or tea?” will spark a debate and generate hundreds of comments.
Myth #4: You have to post multiple times a day.
This is one of the most widespread myths about social media marketing and one of the most detrimental. As a small business owner, it’s nearly impossible to post 3 – 5 times a day on social media and many business owners sacrifice their health or the health of their business in an attempt to abide by this myth.
The Truth: You need to post consistently.
True results come from posting consistently regardless of the number of posts per day. Stop worrying about posting multiple times per day and instead identify a frequency that is sustainable to maintain long term. This may mean you’re only posting a few times a week on social media, which is plenty to produce results as long as you’re consistent.
Myth #5: Social media is great for finding new customers.
No matter the social media platform you use, it’s very rare to attract a brand new customer for your business through an organic social media post. Search engine marketing and social network advertising are better methods for attracting new customers.
The Truth: Social media is great for connecting with existing customers.
When creating social media content, focus on content designed to build deeper relationships with your existing customers. Over time, as they engage with your content and you continue to provide value, they will become repeat customers as well as share your posts with others and recommend you to their personal network.
It’s important to remember that social media marketing is a long term strategy. Your goal shouldn’t be to go viral or get thousands of “likes” on a post. Instead, focus on consistently creating valuable content for your ideal customer. The value you provide will build connections, strengthen relationships, and produce ongoing results for your business.