Social media marketing has the potential to be the most cost-efficient component of your overall advertising strategy. With that being said, businesses waste hundreds of millions of dollars each year trying to execute campaigns that miss the mark.
Still a relatively-new industry, social media advertisers know that there’s no time tested method to getting the best results. That means experimentation is at a premium, and what worked last month might not have the same success next month.
In this article, I’ll explain which social media marketing myths you need to stop believing in 2021.
1. You Should Be on Every Network
It only takes a few minutes to open a new social media account, and you never know where you customers are going to be, right?
Although it may sound like a good idea to have a presence on every social media network you can find, the reality is some of these accounts become nothing more than a place where time and energy is wasted. If you’re creating a page or account “just to have one,” there’s a good chance you’re falling into this trap.
If you know your customer base, you probably know where they’re most likely to spend their time online. Stick to the social media networks that provide you the opportunity to attract new customers with similar habits as your current ones.
2. A Large Following Is Just a Vanity Metric
Whether or not it’s important to cultivate a large following on social media channels has been a polarizing topic within the digital marketing community for some time. When the industry was in its infancy, there was an emphasis placed on getting the most likes and followers. The more people who regularly see your content, the more potential customers you’ve created, or so the story went. Today, the theory behind getting more followers is that more followers = more engagement, and more engagement = better SEO.
Whether you got your first insight into world of powerful algorithms by watching The Social Dilemma or had been aware of the phenomenon all along, it’s undeniable that social media networks favor brands and pages that have more engagement. It may be difficult to directly measure the impact it has on your bottom line, but make no mistake about it – a large following with high engagement numbers can help your brand in a big way.
3. Brands With Older Customer Bases Don’t Need Social
Gone are the days when social media was only used by college students looking to pass the time between classes in dorm rooms. The social media user of today could be just about any age. This is especially true when talking about Facebook, which still reigns supreme as the network with the largest, and undoubtedly most diverse, users base. As of 2021, almost 2/3 of the U.S. population (204 million) can be considered an “active user.”
It’s true that some platforms such as TikTok or Snapchat trend younger in terms of their user demographic, but Facebook and YouTube, for example, have more than enough users in the 40, 50, even 60-plus demographic to make advertising on these networks worth your time.
The bottom line is that a significant percentage of your customers are using social media regularly, regardless of your industry. If you dismiss it as something that won’t benefit your business because of your customer demographic, you’re missing out on potential sales.
4. Content Should Be Sales-Focused
Social media is supposed to be fun. You know what’s not fun? Browsing through a timeline that has decided they’re only going to post content that pushes their products. In essence, they’ve turned their page into one big digital billboard saying, “BUY THIS!”
If you’re managing a business’s account, of course you want to present your products and services to your audience. But, it’s important to remember to take a step back from the sales-y content and engage with your followers in a more personal, approachable way.
Social media trends come and go on a weekly basis. If you want people to see your brand as more than just a company trying to sell you something, play along and throw your name into the conversation. Answer the question of whether or not that dress is black and blue or gold (okay, that’s an old one – maybe find something more current). Tell someone you’re from somewhere without actually telling them. Do a “how it started, how it’s going” post. You get the point.
Social media marketing is about so much more than just pushing products. It’s about building a community around your brand, and spreading the message that you’re a company with which people want to be associated.
5. Results Should Happen Overnight
Just because you get a campaign up and running doesn’t necessarily mean you’re guaranteed success. In fact, the best social media marketers are able to monitor the results of their campaigns and make optimizations when necessary.
The algorithms that social media networks use can take some time to find the ideal audience for your particular ads. Once a campaign is launched, Facebook, for example, has a “learning phase” that explicitly tells advertisers that it’s still in the process of nailing down which users on its platform will be the most interested in what you’re selling. This can last for several days (or more) depending on a wide range of factors specific to each brand.
If at first you aren’t seeing huge results, don’t panic – this is completely normal. Don’t feel like you need to scrap your campaign or make significant changes just yet. Give every new campaign at least a month to get acquainted with the algorithm, and if you’re still not getting the results you want, then it may be time to make a change.
Social media marketing continues to drive real, bottom-line results for all types of businesses. Those who have invested an adequate amount of time and resources into social campaigns recognize the potential that each network has for increasing their business’s profitability and general reputation in the community.
If your business needs assistance in putting together a cost-efficient social media marketing plan, get in touch today and we’ll help you find solutions that work for your brand.