How many of these myths have you encountered?
Social media changes fast – over the last few months alone there have been 14 updates and tweaks to Facebook, Instagram and Messenger according to Facebook legend Mari Smith. And that’s not including any updates on Twitter, Pinterest or LinkedIn! And yet so many myths still persist.
Following outdated and quite frankly plain-wrong advice can waste you time, effort and even money. Here are three I have come across most often. Who’s ready for some busting?
1. ➡ My customers aren’t on social media / it’s not relevant for my industry ❌ Incorrect
Surprisingly, many business owners still feel social media is irrelevant to their business. This is despite repeated reports & statistics warning that UK small businesses are lacking essential digital skills.
There are 3.4 billion active social media users worldwide ranging in age from 13 to 65+ and that includes 66% of the UK population. If your customers aren’t among that lot, I’m not sure they actually exist. Just as your website is your virtual storefront, social media is your way of connecting with new customers and more of them. Instead of greeting them over the counter, you’re reaching out through your choice of content to interact with them.
Definitely time to overcome that resistance and embrace digital marketing. If lockdown has taught us anything it’s that social isn’t going to go away. I just worry about those businesses with no social or digital presence. How have they fared since March 2020?
➡ Just get your friends and family to like your page and posts. Job done! ❌ Incorrect
While you want the support of family and friends, if they are unlikely to buy your products or services, they’re not your customers. I regularly see people asking everyone they know to follow their page and like their posts but let’s take a closer look at why inviting everyone onto the bus isn’t always such a good idea.
Social media platforms are run by algorithms. Essentially code that seeks to reward popular posts and topics. Algorithms are always learning and trying to match the right content, to the right person – at the right time. That’s a lot of maths! And when it gets it right – and importantly, when you are posting the right things – people engage with your posts. That means they like, comment or share it. Engagement is the Holy Grail for the algorithm, the longer it can sustain our interest and keep us on the platform so it can run ads past us the better.
So, the algorithm never ceases to find and share the content we create with the people who’ll like it most, which means it’s also learning about our businesses. The more people like our posts and engage with them, the more people like them the algorithm will show it to. If I have populated my Followers with people who will never buy from me, I’m sending the algorithm on a bit of a wild goose-chase. Instead of refining my audience and getting it to seek out customers most likely to buy from me it’s looking for people similar to Aunty Doris and your neighbour from No.62. This becomes even more of an issue when you come to using Facebook Ads. Essentially you will be paying for the privilege of showing your ads to the wrong people. Ouch!
By all means seek support, but don’t just rely on friends and family, you have to get out there and find your audience, be seen and heard by a wide variety of potential customers to make your business discoverable.
3. ➡ It’s easy. A few posts here and there is all it takes. ❌ Incorrect
This myth can be so damaging and explains the frustration that jumps off the screen from business owners who feel they’ve done what they’re supposed to but not achieved anything. Social media isn’t a quick fix or a sure thing. It’s a long game. You are looking to grow your audience, build that know, like and trust factor and develop a rapport that turns them into customers. You need to understand all you can about them and piece together a plan as to how you’re going to get their attention.
You need a Strategy.
- Choose your social goals & KPIs: Brand Awareness, an Engaged community, increased Traffic to your website or more Sales and Leads. Your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) relate to each option chosen but will be a mix of Reach, Impressions, Engagement Rate, Click-throughs. These are how you measure your success – not your Targets. They come after you have tested your content and are underway.
- Research your target audience and create your ideal customer persona (avatar): Vital to success online. Your customers already exist. They’re out there engaging with other accounts online and you need to have a very clear idea of who they are so you can start to think like them and speak their language. That’s what will attract them to your business.
- Conduct a Competitor Review: Look at what they’re doing, what’s working what isn’t? What are their audience responding to? Can you do it better? It’s not about copying – it’s learning about customers, understanding their expectations and finding a way to exceed them through your content & offering.
- Research potential influencers: – Search out respected influential voices and experts in your field that you can look to both to share content & track emerging trends or topics. Potentially you might also want to collaborate with them. One day.
- Create and importantly Curate your Content: Remember Bart & Lisa shouting ‘Please take us to Mount Splashmore’ over and over again? Well unlike Homer trapped in a car, as consumers we don’t just give in. Harp on too much about yourself and your product and we’ll just click out and look elsewhere. Research external but always relevant content to share with your audience. It provides a bigger picture and affords you the opportunity to add insight and demonstrate your expertise. And remember the 80/20 rule. 80% – Other content / 20% – Promotional.
- Test, Measure and Refine: You cannot skip this part! An essential part of the process and crucial to your success. You’ve done the work and identified your ideal audience, found them online & crafted posts to attract and engage them. Brilliant! But, all too often we find that the stats don’t back this up. Our lovingly crafted content just isn’t hitting the mark. Check your analytics regularly so you know what’s really resonating with your audience, you may be surprised by what you find.
If you need help sorting fact from fiction or developing a social media strategy of your own, get in touch. Book a free Discovery call today.