Unfortunately, the term “social media guru” has taken on a negative connotation. We’ve created this list of 10 Myths of Social Media Marketing from those gurus that we’ve heard over the years. Like with any hot commodity, there are always those looking to take advantage of a boom, looking to position themselves as experts without having the real chops to do so. Who gets hurt most? While real social media experts would probably raise their hands here, it’s actually the businesses relying on the self-proclaimed gurus. For that reason, we’ll share the top ten myths of social media marketing that self-proclaimed gurus use to prey on businesses.
10 Myths of Social Media Marketing from Self-Proclaimed Gurus
1. “In today’s world, you have to leverage EVERY social media network.”
REALLY? But what if you’re a chemical manufacturer and a social media marketer recommends focusing on Instagram and Snapchat as much as LinkedIn? While visibility is a good thing, B2B social media is in a category all on its own, don’t let anyone tell you that your brand has to master the latest trends on Instagram and Snapchat. There’s a way to measure audience engagement and website referrals from social media channels, be sure to ask about the data before you spend time and resources on a new presence.
2. “Only target [insert social media channel].”
The flipside is that if a guru tells you only to focus on Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc., that doesn’t make much sense, either. Only experimentation will shed light on the most valuable channels, so ask about testing, tracking, and reporting.
3. “Email is dead.”
If a guru says this, run. Fast. There’s no reason why you can’t use social media marketing and email together to reach your sales goals. In fact, savvy businesses are already using the Messenger Bot feature on Facebook to grow their email subscriber list.
4. “Don’t worry, we can put everything on auto-pilot.”
Social media is about engagement, not automation. Showing humanity and being spontaneous will help you connect with followers. Automation has its place, but you can’t rely on it completely and be successful.
5. “Keep social media separate from other marketing departments.”
Social media can enhance other marketing campaigns, especially inbound marketing, SEO and LSEO services. Experienced social media marketers know they can benefit from the help of other departments and marketing team members, don’t let them isolate themselves.
This one usually comes on the heels of the auto-pilot suggestion. But once again, no one knows your business like you and your marketing team.
6. “Getting set up is the hardest part.”
Actually, getting set up is pretty easy. People and businesses set up pages and accounts all the time. Creating social media worthy content and building engagement takes the most time and energy.
7. “It’s too difficult to measure social media.”
With today’s software and analytical tools, you’ll have no problem determining how many clicks to your blog or site come from social media. Then you can dig even deeper to see how many of those visitors become leads. Beware of social media marketers who only want to focus on vanity metrics; they look impressive but rarely point to ROI.
8. “Social media sales is the most critical metric.”
For inbound marketers, revenue is always the most important metric. While fan growth or engagement can certainly affect how much traffic you’re driving to your site, focusing on sales metrics means you’re probably not giving enough attention to some of the others. The lesson here is to avoid having tunnel vision; if the number of website referrals from social media is growing every month but you can’t directly correlate sales to those visitors, that’s still a valuable metric.
9. “Actually, you don’t have to allow comments.”
Any blog post about social media is going to use the word “engagement” repeatedly. Engagement is a two-way street. If you shut down the oncoming lane from the very beginning, what’s the point? While you may feel like you’re protecting yourself from potential negativity, if people have negative comments they will find a forum for it, one way or another. Allowing comments at least gives you the opportunity to manage the conversation.
10. “You don’t want to show too much personality.”
We couldn’t disagree more. Potential and existing customers are already wary of marketing, with good reason. Social media is a place where you can show a sense of humanity—as well as a sense of humor—from time to time. People want to be talked with, not at. So if you’re only posting recycled, unoriginal content, prepare for crickets.
There are savvy social media gurus out there, and like us, they have serious experience and expertise. Be sure to vet accordingly. But now, when you hear some of the lines above, hopefully, you’ll do more than pause. You’ll walk away.
Do you have any social media myths to add to this list? We’d love to hear them.
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