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5 Myths About Social Media Marketing

5 Myths About Social Media Marketing

Posted 21/07/2015 by Ed Maule

It's clear that the majority of retailers understand the need to 'be on social media'. You can't really escape the endless bombardment of information regarding the use of social platforms for business - but it's clear that there are still a few myths surrounding 'social media marketing'. We thought it best to address a few of these with a quick 'myth-busting' blog.

1. It's simple.

Wrong. Social media marketing is far from simple - gone are the days when you can get away with just 'a post on Facebook' or a 'quick tweet every now and then'. Marketing via social channels requires planning, resource, creativity and commitment. With so many options available to businesses, a social media marketing plan needs to be thorough and ensure a brand is represented with the same tone of voice across each platform. Social networking may be simple, social media marketing is a whole different ball game.

2. It's free.

"There's no such thing as a free lunch" - this rings true for social media marketing too. Yes, the majority of platforms (in their simplest form) can be used free of charge - Facebook business pages, Instagram account, Twitter feed, Pinterest page - all of them, without any bells, whistles or paid for advertising, are free to use. So then, where are the costs? Resource; no longer can social media just be 'left for whoever has time' - if you're going to take it seriously, it needs to be managed by someone who's got marketing knowledge, good communication skills, understanding of language and tone of voice and have a head for customer services. Then there are 'paid for posts' - it's not as easy to get eyes on your business's content these days - Facebook timelines, Twitter and Instagram feeds are now awash with brands willing to spend to be seen.

3. No way of determining results.

The holy grail of social media marketing ROI. There are many businesses who still feel social media is a bottomless pit when it comes to the volume of resource and money you can throw at it - and to an extent that's true. You could spend thousands on platforms and teams of people to manage your social media presence - but one myth is that for all that spend, you can't monitor and report. As with anything, your results are dependent on your goals and objectives. If your plan is to build your brand's relationship with clients or customers then your strategy should focus on engagement and your results should look at sentiment analysis, engagement and repeat business/custom. If you're ready to expand and talk to a new audience, then your results should look at social reach, increase in community and new clients/customers. There is of course the obvious metric of traffic increase to your site - if your goal is to up the number of visitors to your website, this is perfectly determined using tools such as Google Analytics.

4. Too much content is a bad thing.

Not strictly true. Too much of the wrong content is a bad thing. You need to know your audience and remember that social media is just that, social. It's relational, it's a slow burner. A standard rule of thumb to follow (as a starting point) is 70% brand content/storytelling and 30% commercial/sales/marketing message, Remember - customers/clients use social media channels to connect with their communities, to build relationships - they are not always ready to be sold to. Ensure your content is relevant, timely, interesting, useful and at times, entertaining. Your followers will engage with you - as long as you're speaking to them in the right tone at the right time, with the right message.

5. It should never be used as a sales and marketing tool - it’s just relational.

Ok - forget everything we've said about relationship building, connecting and engaging - social media marketing is about one thing - increasing sales. This is not to say you should be shouting about your latest deal, offer or sale all the time - but let's be honest, if you can't talk about what you do and what you sell - is there really much point in using social channels? This may sounds contradictory - we've just talked about the need to make content interesting and relevant - but with a shift in attitude of the general population towards social media - users are now more than aware that brands/businesses are on these channels to connect with customers/clients and ultimately, sell more stuff (products or services). The key is to make sure the balance is right and make sure you practice what you preach. Sell too hard, and you'll lose followers. Sell too soft, and you risk missing a good opportunity.

Feeling a little lost? Give us a shout @DocnetUK or call the office on 0844 5210444 and ask for Ed or Steph.

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