Social media is a great tactic for marketing. However, there are and have been several myths going around about social media, that if believed, can do harm to your marketing strategy.
Myth #1: Social media can be handled by an intern or any young member of your team
For many businesses, particularly those starting out, social media managers are an after-thought. The work of curating and posting content is often left to an intern or the youngest member of the team because they "know" how to use social media. Why is this wrong? Social media marketing is strategy heavy and should feed into the company goals. A seasoned marketer is crucial for managing your brand perception, educating and inspiring your audience.
Myth #2: Build it and they will come
Creating a social media account/page is only the first part. Followers and fans just don't jump on board immediately after that. You have to work at it with good, relevant and engaging content, as well as a solid social Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) strategy.
Myth #3: Facebook is dead
Facebook is the highest ranked social media network in Kenya. It is the 6th most visited website, and the most visited social network site in Kenya. It has 2.6 billion active users, with over 7 million active users in Kenya alone, and growing. Your target audience is very likely still using Facebook!
Myth #4: Everyone is on Facebook
Different audiences are on different social media networks. While Facebook is the top, it is not the only one. Depending on the type/profile of audience you are targeting, you may need to be on different social networking platforms - like Snapchat, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest etc. Find out where your audience is and engage with them where they are.
Myth #5: Third party apps reduce engagement
Some people say that using third party apps to schedule posts as opposed to using the native social media page will reduce engagement levels. This a myth! Studies show that the engagement levels are not affected by posting through such apps. The real issue here is scheduling with no two-way engagement. Always remember to keep the conversations going after scheduling.
Myth #6: Social media is only a sales tool
The social media content you share should inspire and educate your audience. Pushing sales all the time can likely to reduce the engagement levels of your audience and put them off your brand.
Myth #7: You can post as many times as you like any time you like
Content is no longer shared chronologically on most social networks. Therefore, be sure to critically review your social media analytics to know the times your audience is online. Also, be sure not to flood your audience or page with content. Find the optimal time of day to post with the right number of posts scheduled per day or week.
Myth #8: Always use a corporate voice when posting as a brand
Professionalism is important, but humanising your brand is even more important. Social media is about building online communities and advocates. Let your brand personality shine through your communication. Be genuine and authentic.
Myth #9: Social media success is the number of followers you have
The number of followers may easily be a vanity metric. What counts is whether you are achieving your Return on Investment (ROI). Go deeper into the marketing funnel; go beyond just brand awareness, and see whether you are getting solid conversions from your large following.
Myth #10: Social media is free
This is linked to the myth that 'if you build it, they will come'. Signing up and creating a social account is the free part. Beyond that, you will need to pay for better and targeted reach, for content, for resources, for detailed analytics, for SEO and much more. Your marketing budget should have an allocation for social media marketing.
Myth #11: Social media can substitute a website.
Social media pages are always a good idea, but a website is certainly of importance too. Websites are the home of all information on your brand that you want your audience to see. Your website will do all your heavy lifting with no character limitations.
Myth #12: Social media can be your only marketing channel
Social media should be supported by an integrated marketing strategy that leverages multiple channels of engagement with your audience. Do not put all your eggs in one basket.