Many entrepreneurs and brand managers believe a number of “lies” about social media Marketing that make them downplay its importance or just give up on it altogether. Let’s look at the top 5 that stand out and hopefully shift your mindset in a way that will help you take full advantage of social media as a marketing tool.
Lie 1: Social Media Marketing is FREE
Social Media use may be FREE but Social Media Marketing is NOT.
What does “free” mean anyway?
Going by the above definition, we can all agree that it’s not free. For example, is the device or internet you use free?
What about that awesome content that keeps you glued to your phone screen for hours daily? What are the odds that those cool words and beautiful designs were developed for free?
Back to your business, you probably believe the only time you will need to pay anything on social media is if you ever buy ads. So let’s say you opt-out of running ads on Facebook and you decide to just post once in a while without making any deliberate effort to maximize reach through social advertising. This decision overlooks the fact that these platforms operate on specific algorithms which were built to enable them to earn through advertising.
You really don’t think Facebook became a billion-dollar business by giving the world a free place to take photos and gossip, do you?
For example, as of 2021, the average organic reach for business content on Facebook is 6.4% of the total audience. If you have 1,000 followers on your page, only 64 people are guaranteed to involuntarily see your content if you don’t advertise.
Going by this number, the other 936 are virtually “idle” and no matter how valuable your information is, no one will see it. This is why in spite of having thousands of followers on your page, your stats for user reach are usually very low.
Insert Facebook reach screenshot
Truth is, most of the brands you envy or look up to invest significant budgets on social media. They understand that they can’t get much out of it by playing the free game and that is why they level up.
Lie 2: Social Media is EASY; anyone can do it.
Business leaders with this belief are the type to deploy their receptionist or an intern to run their social media accounts. Others who are fortunate enough to have an I.T department just offload the social media tasks on them, “it’s all computers after all,” they say.
Have you ever searched for a company on social media only for 100 duplicate pages to pop up, each with a few, scattered posts? It’s likely that every new receptionist, I.T guy or intern creates a new account because the last guy went with the logins.
Nothing worthwhile is easy to do and like every other endeavor worth pursuing, you will need the right skills, the right tools, the right strategy, and the right level of discipline to pull off social media marketing. When you decide that you want to reap the full benefits of social media marketing, you need to make the decision to hire or outsource it to a professional who you will hold fully accountable.
Lie 3: you can’t get sales from social media
When you have Facebook, a platform with over 3 billion daily users, and Instagram or Pinterest with features dedicated to strictly enable business transactions, it is hard to stand by a claim that you can’t make sales there.
Social media users don’t just use these platforms to catch up with friends. While this was the original idea, they have since evolved into full-blown marketplaces. They also use them to engage with brands. There are many reasons why you aren’t making sales through social media and most have to do with your strategy than the platform itself.
Here are a few things you can do to fix it;
- Create more high-value content without the pushy or salesy stuff. Great content addresses pain points, solves problems, or entertains. The more engaged your audience becomes, the more likely they are to become customers.
- Use the in-built shopping features on social media. Pinterest and Instagram are ahead of the game on this one, especially for fashion and food brands.
- Use social media ads to increase your reach and tap into audiences that aren’t already part of your community.
Social media will get you sales if you do it the right way. The right way means a solid strategy backed by patient, deliberate action. Never let anyone convince you that a place with so many users who check-in at least 3 times a day isn’t a good place to find sales.
Lie 4: It doesn’t work for MY INDUSTRY
This is only believable if “your industry” operates with no human interaction at all. And by that, I mean, even the machines or whatever tools you use are never seen or touched by human beings.
Social media does a good job of informing, educating or engaging people. You may think it doesn’t work for your industry because you have seen other players who don’t fully rely on it but it’s really a question of strategy. It will work for you if you make it work for you. A smart plan of action can go a long way in helping you achieve this.
Lie 5: It’s the only marketing avenue you need.
While you can accomplish any marketing and advertising goal through social media, there are other strong touchpoints that may determine the difference between growth and failure for your marketing. The choice of what additional tactics to use will largely depend on your type of business and how your target audience works but for most businesses, you will need to use social media with at least two other mediums.
For example, a combination of social media, search engine marketing & email can go a long way in taking an ecommerce brand or a B2B brand from unknown to beloved.
Think of social media as a single tool in this big machine called digital marketing. It takes more than just one tool to make a robust machine work smoothly and therefore when you combine social media marketing with other tools, you greatly increase your chances of digital marketing success.
And there you have it, top 5!
Are you using social media for marketing? What tactics and strategies have you found to be the most successful for you?
Tell me about it in the comments section below.