Digital marketing has become a key trend – and with good reason. Around 79% of Australian internet users are active on social media, with 15.48 million Australians logging into Facebook every month – more than 63% of the population.
Those usage stats are even more significant when you consider that people aged 13 and under can’t sign up for Facebook – any way you look at it, social media has become a key communications platform, a huge part of how we connect and interact.
But what you will find when you start investigating social media for your business is that there’s a lot of conflicting advice. Because social media has gained traction so quickly, there’s a lot of misinformation and misunderstandings around that can put you on the wrong path.
Here are three of the more common social media marketing myths that need to be clarified.
1. You don’t have to be on every channel
You don’t need to have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, Ello – you don’t have to be on every channel.
What you do need to do is research. Before you go pouring your time into social media, conduct searches on each platform and see if there’s any related discussion about your business or industry that you could tap into. Look up competitors and see what response they get, talk to your customers about what platforms they use, use larger-scale reports to see which platforms are most popular among your target audience.
You don’t have to be everywhere, you need to be present where your audience is, and on the amount of platforms you can feasibly maintain.
2. Likes and Followers don’t mean anything in isolation
There’s a lot of emphasis on Likes and followers and social media popularity. In reality, these vanity metrics don’t mean much – at least not in isolation.
For example, you could have a thousand followers on Facebook, but never convert any of those people into paying customers. In that case, having just one is just as valuable. In order to reach that one you may need to cast the net wider to raise awareness, but the value of your audience is only really in how much they’re going to spend. The number of followers, in itself, won’t help.
There is a ‘social proof’ element here – a business with more fans looks more reputable, and there is some evidence which suggests that having a bigger audience can help you show up higher in on-platform searches, but it’s important to remember that getting Likes is not your prime objective.
3. You can’t compare your performance on social to someone else
While it’s always good to benchmark your performance on social, the truth is that individual results will vary.
What works for you may not work for your competitor, and vice-versa – it’s all about creating content that resonates with your audience and speaks to their needs.
In one sense, this is freeing, as you’re not tied to any specific strategy or approach, you can test and see what works best for you. On the other, it can be intimidating, as there is no set rule book to follow.
But that’s how it is.
One of the best examples of this is BuzzFeed, who produces a lot of listicle type content, things like “Which 80’s Movie Character are You?”
You might not like content like that, and it’s highly likely that it wouldn’t work for your business. But it works for BuzzFeed, it resonates with their audience. Content marketers would advise against such material, for good reason.
But the example shows that you need to establish what works for your audience, as opposed to following a set of instructions.
There are, of course, always best practices to follow and ways to learn from what generally works, but it’s important to note that your engaged, active audience is the only voice you really need to hear.
Experiment, find what works, then replicate it. If you need help, get in touch.