5 Common Social Media & Marketing Misconceptions

Digital marketing is evolving faster than you can twirl a fidget spinner — wait, are those even around anymore? Gone are the days when we’re tripping over newspapers on our way out the door. We’re fast forwarding through commercials, thanks to DVR, or avoiding them entirely, thanks to premium subscription services. And sometimes we’re completely blind to the ads we do see!

So what do we do? We evolve with the times. I’m often approached by small businesses and friends to help out with their social media. As a brand and digital strategist, that’s my job and I absolutely love the creative process of it. We are living in a social media world and I am a social media girl. But it doesn’t mean we have to be Insta-famous, selling slim tea and posting #tbt on Boomerangs in the color scheme of “Millennial Pink” and hunter green… 

Check out these 5 common social media and marketing misconceptions…happy posting!

1) Having a Presence on All Social Platforms

It’s not always necessary for businesses to be active on every. single. social. media. platform. Choose them wisely! 

Where are you going to have the largest market for your business? Pick your top three and do those well. Most importantly, if you are on a social platform, ensure you’re checking your notifications frequently and try to respond as soon as you can.

Recently, I was evaluating a local business that wanted to hire me for social media management and content creation to increase their presence on a myriad of platforms. They specifically requested Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, and a weekly blog. Once I got a better understanding of their market, I was able to redirect their strategy and make it more efficient for them.

For a service-based business with a local market, having a presence on Pinterest isn’t going to generate any leads for them. They’re not selling any products that would interest a wide demographic of followers. And without a regular following and interesting content, a weekly blog would be a waste of time and resources.

So where should they be? Facebook, Yelp, Google are all great suggestions for local businesses because potential customers can check out reviews and photos!

2) You Don’t Need an App for That!

And while you probably don’t need a Pinterest account, you also probably don’t need an app either. What is your goal? Is an app the best way to accomplish that?

Think about what you mostly use apps for: 

  • Social Networking (ie: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn)

  • Entertainment (ie: Netflix, Spotify, games, books)

  • Shopping (ie: Amazon, Groupon, eBay)

Forget about the app and ensure your website is mobile friendly! Can you navigate your site well on an iPhone or Android? If not, better chat with your web developer and make sure it’s fast and simple. 

Or partner with an app that can already achieve your goals more productively. For example, if you’re a small apparel brand seeking to expand your growth, create an Amazon, eBay, or Etsy account. For a fraction of the price of developing your own app, you can sell your products on other platforms and reach a larger market. No need to reinvent the wheel.

3) Followers = Success

If you’re reading this: stop paying for followers! Followers does not equal success. Good content does.

Whether you’re managing a client’s social media or building your own brand, it’s a very common misconception that a high following yields success. Don’t let the likes of other accounts discourage you; I’ve learned of plenty well-known accounts that struggle to keep their doors open because business is just plain bad. 

We all want to increase our growth, but focus on organic reach and engagement. Nothing is more obvious than inflated accounts with irrelevant emoji comments, high likes with no comments, or automated comments of “Gorgeous photo!! ❤️” on your meme…

Here are some tips for increasing your social growth:

  • Follow and engage with other accounts, especially brands with similar interests.

  • Leave well-worded comments that show users you’re actually interested in their content.

  • Join comment pods and networking groups; A simple Facebook search can help you connect with groups of like-minded social groups.

  • Create, collaborate, or join social media contests.

Again, unless you’re selling something to a large network of potential clients, don’t stress too much about having a massive social media following. 

4) Post Frequency

We’ve all heard it: Facebook 2-3 times per day at peak times, blah, blah, blah.

But is it true? Absolutely, I’m not going to argue with statistics. That would be really dumb. Not to mention, it usually takes about 7 impressions to generate a lead from a potential customer. 

Quality over quantity is totally relevant in this case. Too much posting can often come across as spammy and can go ignored or potentially unseen by your followers.

So, most importantly, make sure your content is relevant to your brand. Whether you’re selling a product or a lifestyle, keep it consistent. 

Stick to a general posting schedule and remember, growth takes time to increase organically.

5) It’s Expensive

Yes, you have to spend money to make money. But exactly how much depends on your brand and your budget.

Think about where you’re going to maximize your leads. Is it through mailing advertisements? If so, services like Vistaprint and even Fedex Office offer easy to use templates in decent quality so you can focus your project budget on postage.

Or maybe you want to improve your online leads through search engine optimization. 

Whatever your case may be, in order to stand out in today’s competitive market, you need to make a lasting impression. And that means high quality content, especially if it’s going online. 

Great digital marketing almost always requires:

  • A clean, user friendly website (and mobile site)

  • High quality photography (if not videography, as well)

  • Strong copy writing

Most importantly, if you don’t enjoy doing it, think about expanding your resources. There is certainly no shortage of quality digital freelancers who are skilled in all of these tasks — I’d personally love to chat with you to see how I can help you exceed your goals! If not me, check out sites like Upwork or this Facebook group for social media and marketing jobs. And if you’re not willing to pay, consider hiring an intern for college credit. There are plenty of those, too. 

Here are some other social media and marketing tips for ya: 

Keep it Professional

Always be mindful that you’re representing yourself and your brand when you post on social media. Easy on the subject matter and tone of what you post, especially political content. 

Keep it Relevant 

Make sure your accounts reflect your business goals. For example if you’re using it for business, make your Instagram username your business name as opposed to your personal name. And if it’s just for business, avoid sharing personal posts and pictures on those accounts.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Don’t worry too much about your social media analytics. Focus on engaging with your customers and building the best business you can.

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