Social media has become the main channel for communication in personal and professional relationships and has developed as a dominant marketing tool globally. While it is very easy to use, it is not a magic ticket to success. It needs to be used strategically with realistic expectations, and you need to stay consistent using it; posting effective content daily, and working to build a community.
There are common misconceptions about social media and how to get amazing results. Lots of people think they can achieve amazing results overnight but in actuality, marketing on social media takes time, as you need to establish a presence and community before building up the trust and connection with your audience. On TikTok, it is possible to go viral overnight due to the special algorithm which allows users to have a higher chance of instant success, but on other platforms, this is not entirely possible.
When used correctly, social media can provide a steady flow of engagement and acquisition, and many businesses likely believe social media is wrong for them because they don’t know how to fully utilise it.
Here are five myths disproved to restore your faith in social media.
1. To use every platform
Myth: Many businesses assume they need to have an account on every social media platform.
Truth: The predominant reason why this statement is not true is that you will be wasting time creating content for platforms that your target audience isn’t using. For example, if your business is targeting Baby Boomers (born 1946 to 1964), you wouldn’t post on TikTok, which is largely Generation Z (born after 1997).
The second reason is that you should only use the platforms you can manage. If you have a presence on too many platforms, you risk the chance of developing authentic consumer relationships and a strong community on any platform, therefore minimising all results. To succeed as a business on social media, you need to engage with your followers. Replying to comments and messages is essential when building a B2C relationship.
2. Post the same post on every platform
Myth: To attempt to save time, businesses will create one piece of content to post across all social media platforms.
Truth: The reality is that each platform is different, with different guidelines and focuses. Businesses need to understand the difference between these platforms and how to use them to their full potential. LinkedIn is a platform designed for professionals to create business connections, whereas Instagram is used hugely by the Millennial and Gen Z generations and so the posts need to be tailored to the audiences. In contrast to this point, LinkedIn posts with images get 2x higher engagement than without, highlighting it’s the tone of voice that may differ not the actual visual.
3. A large following means you’re successful
Myth: Many businesses decipher their success by the number of followers and connections they have.
Truth: While the number of followers on your account can act as numerical proof, it does not prove you have a successful social media strategy. For example, you could have a small but very engaging and loyal follower base, and have created a tight-knit community that you can engage with individually and regularly. This aspect will naturally grow over time.
4. Big results will appear in one to two months
Myth: A lot of businesses expect to gain substantial results and followers within one to two months.
Truth: The truth is that developing a presence and following takes a lot of time and effort, along with consistency. It’s a slow process and you need to have realistic expectations of acquisition increase; a single follow or like should be celebrated. It can take up to a year, if not more, to attain the results expected from the start. Businesses with a budget for advertising may be able to speed up their growth by investing in their social media ads and campaigns. But while paid ads can speed up growth, you need to know about community management to ensure top-of-mind awareness.
5. Selling on social media is easy if I just pitch my product
Myth: Businesses are using social media to pitch their services and products and just expecting people to listen and purchase.
Truth: In reality, people don’t want to be hit with ads and sales pitches on their feed. People follow business accounts to be treated like they’re a valued customer, and not just hit with product ads. Before attempting to sell to your following, you need to create a loyal customer community and learn what they like and dislike so you can tailor your content.
Once the community value in your following has been achieved, you can move down your sales funnel; a marketing process where you have established a defined path to take your clients through some steps that will allow them to self-identify from prospect to repeat buyer. For many B2C companies, their consumers are tempted to engage with free samples or discount codes. After this, it is easy to see sales from product pitches.
When using social media as a business, it is important to remember that your consumers and followers want to be valued and engaged with. When creating your social media strategies and goals, make sure they are realistic and you can reevaluate at any point to ensure full consumer engagement.