The Internet is flush with hype and that can be fun - but not when you need to create a social media strategy that works. In this case you don't need buzz - you just want straight forward guidance.
Of course, once your strategy is in place and your Contests, Tweets, Posts and interactions start flowing, social media can turn into an all-hands-on-deck-wild-lamp-shade-wearing-door-blowing-extravaganza. That is when the buzz starts. But, let us not get carried away, just yet. In this 2-part series, we share 14 Social Media Myths to help steer your efforts in the right direction.
1. You don't need a social media strategy - "I'm a genius. I'll just wing it!"
Without a strategy in mind, you are simply flailing from one hopeful notion to the next. However, working with your goals in mind, following a clear plan of action, you will succeed. Consider your funnel and the goals of each stage, and tailor your social media strategy accordingly.
2. You only need social media accounts - "I got my Facebook - where's the party?"
While you need the accounts, the real work only starts once you have set up your profiles. You then need to connect with people in order to gain value and start seeing results from your social marketing efforts. Consider your target audience and set up your strategy so that your messages will appeal to your market.
3. Social media can be outsourced - "I will clone myself and become a Social Media King!"
Social media allows you, the entrepreneur to connect and communicate with your audience. It must be your voice and it must showcase your authority in the industry. A social media freelancer cannot speak to your audience with the same level of authority that you can, based on your direct involvement. It is best to handle your own social media to ensure a consistent message goes out to your audience.
4. You don't need social media, because your prospects aren't on there - "A billion Facebook users? Whatever. It's overrated."
Let's face it - EVERYONE is using social media. Research has shown that nearly 70% of adults use social media. Social networks offer targeted advertising platforms to place your solutions in front of your prospects, allowing you to connect with influencers. Check out social media platforms and their advertising options to see how you can target your audience directly.
5. You can hire an intern - "Interns are cheap and I can mold them into a mini-me!"
An intern with no real-world work experience may know how to set up social accounts and post as often as you direct her to - but doesn't yet have the industry experience to speak in the voice your business needs.
It's important to understand the value of your social media marketing campaign and its goals. Your company social media profile is the public face of the business and you should consider whether the intern can successfully portray your business persona and handle critical, direct communication with your prospects and clients.
6. Choose only one social network - "I will dominate Twitter like no one before!"
Different social media platforms attract different people, but that doesn't mean you must use only one networking site. It is best to experiment with a few different sites to find out where your audience is found. In addition, you need to appeal to your audience's needs based on the characteristics of the network. While Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr are highly visual, Twitter is meant for short highlights and Youtube for enticing videos.
7. Be on every social network - "I have 50 social accounts and I do not sleep."
Unless you have a lot of time to waste, don't spread your efforts thing by trying to be actively present on every single social networking platform. It's best to experiment and use your analytics as a key to see whether it brings the desired results. Go where your audience is.
Bonus Strategy!! Ban your employees from social media? - "No fun for you!"
You can do what you like, but trying to ban them from using social media will only damage your relationship with your employees. Rather use it to your advantage by providing best practices, helping them portray your business in a good light to their extended networks.
Social media marketing can be a fantastic way to boost your company's brand image and help you capture more leads. However, it is important to use it correctly in order to zone in on your prospects and to use your funnel effectively beyond conclusion of the deal to after-sales service.
Look out for our next amazing post, 14 Social Media Strategies to NOT follow in 2014: Part 2.