The truth can hurt sometimes. Perhaps that´s why some brands are still getting their social media marketing all wrong – nobody has got the nerve to tell them that, you know, their digital strategy is erring on the side of, um, well, rubbish…
OK, even we´d be a little hesitant to throw words like ´rubbish´ in the direction of a, shall we say, ´clumsy´ social media marketing strategy, but you get my point.
It´s easily done, though, with some digital marketing teams having little in the way of outside influence to guide them. Often it´s just one lonely soul that´s tasked with implementing a firm´s entire social media marketing campaign, so it´s perhaps no surprise at all that some methods aren´t generating the sort of returns expected.
Here at M2 Bespoke, we´re lucky enough to have a team of social media marketers who can bounce ideas off each other and share practices. They´re also grateful to have the capacity to take a bit of time to seek out the best engagement techniques – in fact, earlier this year our social media manager, Liz, flew to New York for Social Media Week, where she was able to gain insights into the very latest trends in the industry.
Many businesses, however, don´t have the resources to remain at the forefront of all things social media. Fear not, though: I´ve come across six “truth bombs” that might set you straight.
In an article for VentureBeat, Salesforce´s David Thomas puts right some of the common misconceptions about social media that a good chunk of entrepreneurs and businesses are guilty of upholding:
1. It is quality of followers that matters not quantity
Make no mistake, it certainly helps to have a lot of followers to your name, but if the majority are disengaged with what you´re posting, what use are they? It´s much more beneficial to have a more select group of followers attuned to what you have to offer, who will then (without too much prompting) share your content to their followers – a good proportion of whom will likely be moving in similar circles.
2. You don´t need to be on every platform
Instagram is a fun network to play around on – but it´s not exactly tailor-made for the financial services industry, is it? Sure, even firms in the business-heavy sectors will get a little bit of value from the likes of Instagram, or Pinterest, but not enough to make presence on them worthwhile. Instead, cherry-pick the platforms which are best aligned with your line of work and your audience.
3. Facebook still holds considerable value
Log on to Facebook and you´re likely to find all manner of eye-rolling silliness unfolding (it depends on how frivolously you hit the ´Add´ button, though, I guess). That might have led you into thinking that Facebook is no longer a happy hunting ground for brands, but you´d be mistaken. Your customers will be receptive to clever and informative content regardless of the medium. It´s also worth mentioning that Facebook is offering to let publishers keep all the revenue from certain advertisements, according to the Wall Street Journal. That´ll do.
4. You can´t do social media on the cheap
If you´re having an intern do all the ground work on social media for you, you´re not taking it seriously enough. Interns usually are only around for a month, tops, so how are you going to ensure that the quality and tone of your posts is kept consistent? You can’t, of course. As Thomas poses: “an intern to lead a call with your biggest client?” Like anything, the more time and money you put into your social media campaign, the better it should (note emphasis on the should, there) be – and social media marketing is every bit as important as any other facet of marketing now.
5. It´s never too late to start producing content
Quite frankly, your social media presence is only as good as the content you´re producing. Having people engage with your brand profile on Twitter (as an example) is all well and good, but if you´re not getting them to click through to your website every once in a while it´s going to be tough to illustrate return on investment to the powers that be. The key, then, is to produce wonderful content at the same time, giving those smart and witty social media posts some substance. If you think you´ve missed the boat on the content front, you´re wrong, so get out there and identify some topics your competitors are yet to cover.
6. Being ´introverted´ won´t get you very far
This tip is all of our own making. Whereas in life being quiet and enigmatic can prompt intrigue in people, on social media that understated approach won´t pay dividends. As Susan Cain alludes to in her wonderful book ´Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can´t stop talking´, we are living in showy times, and that means brands have little choice but to go with the flow. So, once you´ve got your profiles set up, talk until your heart´s content – just make sure that what you´re putting out there is interesting and useful to your audience, and not offensive, of course…
If you think you´re guilty of displaying any of these misunderstandings you shouldn´t panic. Instead, clear your throat and go again, but this time with a more assured mindset. We´re more than happy to impart a bit of our knowledge, too, if further clarification is required.
What other misconceptions about social media marketing are some marketers still prone to holding on to? How has your mindset changed since you first entered the world of social media?Ben Hollom
May 13, 2015