There are plenty of myths surrounding any topic, social media included. It’s important to have an idea about these before you lay out the first step to starting your business or even as you’re on your startup journey; so that you know what you’re heading into.
You will find many different myths and opinions on the topic. Some backed up by industry research, others by professional experience alone, and still others by personal experience.
It is not important that you take the information word for word; it is important that you are able to incorporate new notions on important business topics to your peripheral view. Information is valuable because it helps you to see a perspective, an idea, that you may not have seen on your own. It widens your view and allows you to plan your business for success.
With that out of the way, let’s move on and take a look at some important social media myths you should know about!
If you still believe in quick fixes and quick results, you are in for a wakeup call. Sure, on paper it seems like some businesses pop up out of nowhere; but reality shows differently. Typically, there’s a lot of behind the scenes work that you don’t know about and that the headlines won’t cover. Why? Because “quick” sells, it grabs the attention of readers.
As an entrepreneur I will assume you know quick isn’t part of the startup journey or at best, that it’s rare. What is part of the journey, plenty of business planning, perseverance and motivation to name a few. So, if you’re doing your social media right, this means you already know why myth 1 is busted.
This is not to say that it will take thousands of hours a day to manage your social media presence, but it won’t take you seconds either. Keep this in mind and if you’re managing your accounts solo, you may want to track yourself for a month or two, to get an idea of how much time you’re spending daily. Then rework your daily tasks to diminish the time you spend on social media, if you find it’s taking too much of your time.
I’ve come across multiple marketing studies that state how challenging it is for social media and online marketers to track ROI. This myth is busted depending on your idea of ROI. What I mean by this is the following.
If you’ve set social media goals like engagement, you can tell from your social analytics where engagement of each post stands. Some posts have a higher reach, click-through rate, and community interaction. That data in itself measures your ROI since engagement is your goal.
If another one of your goals includes branding and the number of your followers per social channel indicates growth, there’s an increase in community interaction and website views, and influencers are interacting with you more frequently; these are all indicators that can measure your branding ROI.
However, if to you ROI is tied to a number, a specific amount of money; then yes, that’s hard to track because you can’t always directly correlate all of your social media activity to a set amount of dollars.
Some suggestions that can help you with this type of ROI tracking include assigning a dollar value to your social media posts, specifically those posts that lead your followers to a lead generation page and/or a sales page or product; or you can set up a way to track how many people come to your store or restaurant to make a purchase as a result of your social media activity. You can do this by asking them how they found your store or allowing your followers to make reservations through your social channels. Also, if you want, you can decide on a monetary value for each social channel.
For example: My Facebook page is equal to X amount of dollars, if it results in X amount of sales. There are a number of ways you can calculate monetary ROI for your social media activity, it’s just harder to track through your existing social media analytic tools.
As long as you have goals and/or a set monetary value for your social media activity and channels, you can track ROI. But the latter is harder to track, which is why this myth is split 50/50 depending on your idea of ROI.
If you are deciding how to finance your business you don’t just wing it, do you? Or how about preparing for business taxes or deciding on your branding? I’m pretty sure there’s at least a little planning, research and guidance that goes on with each of them. Well, the same goes for your social media.
When it comes to social media for business, there’s a divide on how it’s seen by entrepreneurs and marketers alike. Some marketers think social media will fade or is not fundamental to a company’s marketing efforts. Some entrepreneurs believe social media is just posting to Facebook, Twitter or the latest social network that’s trending.
With these ideas in mind it’s normal to have individuals who think there’s no need to plan for social media. Sorry to burst the bubble, but planning is definitely required! Well, that is, if you want to use social media productively for your business.
Your plan doesn’t have to be super detailed, especially if you don’t have the time; but a minimum of social media planning is a must. You can always expand on it as you get more familiar with doing social media for your business or if you hire a marketing professional.
What do you need for your social media plan you ask? Three things: target market, goals, and content (outside sources, in addition to your own content). This is the minimum so don’t expect to be the most effective immediately, but at least you have a direction and you know who you’re talking to, as well as what valuable content you will share with them to attract their attention and keep them coming back.
If anyone could do it, social media professionals would not exist, would they? Social media marketing may not be rocket science; but there is a method, a way of thinking, a system. Anyone can learn how to do it with the right tools, knowledge and time; but anyone can’t just pick up and do it right.
First they have to become a social media professional by practice, experience, testing; even if they’re doing it for their own business.
No magic formula exists to make your business successful from one day to the other; social media is no different. Don’t go in with the expectations of going viral or making a huge amount of sales immediately. That’s not how it works and anyone who tells you differently is not being honest with you or themselves. The same way your business plan will take time to unfold, so will your social media.
What other social media myths have you come across that could help entrepreneurs stay on the right track? Tweet me and share your thoughts!