6 Social Media Marketing Myths To Ignore
When it comes to marketing your business there’s so much information that it’s difficult to separate the BS social media marketing myths from solid tactics.
For those of us who make social media part of our everyday lives, it’s hard to believe there are people out there who still believe social media is a fad that’s eventually going to fade away. Yet they are out there, and there are actually quite a few of them, especially in the more traditional sectors of the business world. Much of this is a direct result of social media marketing myths that spread online at a viral pace.
When you take a look at social media closely, it’s pretty easy to see how some people draw this conclusion, especially when you focus on the platforms themselves. It seems like every day there’s some hot, new social media platform that “everyone” is talking about. Despite this, we have yet to see a social media platform that has truly proven that it’s here to stay.
But what is it about the social media platform market that makes it so volatile and therefor so “faddish” to some? There are very few markets in which companies rise and fall so quickly. The source of this the volatility comes from several characteristics of the social media market.
There are a huge number of misconceptions floating around about the nature, functionality, and effectiveness of social media marketing. We wanted to take a moment to dispel six of the most inaccurate and prevalent falsities regarding SSM for you.
1. Social media is only effective at targeting young kids.
80% of regular Facebook users are over the age of 18, and 55% are over the age of 25. Approximately 60% of Twitter users are over 30 years old. Social media demographics continue to skew older every year.
2. Social media marketing has a lower ROI than other forms of marketing/advertising.
Because social media’s primary function is not directly driving sales, it can be more difficult to calculate the ROI of a social media campaign, however this does not mean ROI for SSM is lower than other forms of marketing. Traditional advertising requires you to continually shovel thousands of dollars into campaigns in order to see continued results. Once you’ve built a healthy, active social network around your business, only a relatively small amount of maintenance is required to continually generate brand-awareness and goodwill.
While continually spamming your social network with promotions and offers is a bad idea, a healthily maintained social network can easily support the occasional promotional campaign. Unlike an advertising campaign, a social media campaign is free, and far more targeted than even the most strategically crafted traditional advertising campaign.
Once advertising dollars are spent, they’re gone. Building a social network grants you a retainable asset with real value, that’s yours for as long as you maintain it.
3. Social media marketing is for ecommerce, not brick-and-mortar business.
Many people assume that, because social media is based online, it’s more suited to companies that conduct their business online. This could not be further from the truth. Social media is not about directly driving web-traffic and sales. While it certainly can do this, its primary function is to build relationships, develop loyal customers, and ultimately drive repeat business. Ecommerce companies can typically pull customers from all over the world, since location is largely irrelevant. Brick-and-mortar business, however, have a much smaller pool of potential customer to pull from, so loyal customers and repeat business are far more important. Brick-and-mortar business must maintain relationships, and social media is the most effective way to do so.
4. Social media is only for “cool” industries, not more traditional business sectors.
Some believe that social media is only for business in high-publicity industries such as entertainment, sports, etc. While we would agree that social media marketing for high-publicity industries is often easier, maintaining a social media presence is just as important for doctors, lawyers, accountants, dentists, architects, contractors, and everyone else conducting business in the real world.
Developing content that’s entertaining and encourages participation is undoubtedly more difficult when you’re not in the entertainment business, but it is still very doable, and just as important. As Google and Facebook continue to war, we are going to continue to see the line between social media site and search engine blur. When a consumer is in need of a new product or service, instead of looking in the phonebook, or even conducting a Google search, they’re increasingly turning to social networks in order to find businesses recommended by their friends and family. We expect this trend to grow over time. It’s becoming increasingly important that every professional services business maintains a social media presence.
5. Social media is a fad.
While certain social media platforms could certainly be considered fads, the concept of mass, two-way communication in marketing is revolutionary, and not going anywhere for a long time. Check out this blog post for a more in-depth look regarding the belief that social media is a fad.
6. Social media marketing is not “real” marketing.
Social media marketing is “real” marketing, but with an asterisk.
Over the past few years, there has been a massive advent of “social media experts” hawking their services all over the internet. Many of these so-called marketers have never taken a marketing course in their life; they believe that since they know how to work Facebook, they are a qualified marketer.
This has led to the belief that social media marketing is not real marketing, but rather a sort of scam.
Social media is not marketing. Marketing is marketing, and social media is a tool: an extremely powerful tool, but only if one knows how to work the concepts behind it. Being able to swing a hammer does not make one a carpenter. Knowing how to swing a baseball bat does not make one Babe Ruth. Knowing how to use Facebook does not make one a marketer.
Is social media marketing real marketing? Yes: if the services are provided by a real marketer. Always make sure to ask for the qualifications of anyone you hire, and confirm them if you’re skeptical.