18th November 2015

Five common misconceptions about social media

Cartoon mobile phone with a megaphone coming out of it and hearts, profile icons and coins

The world of social media is constantly evolving with new updates, trends and even platforms being introduced all the time. It can be hard to keep up sometimes but the fundamentals of social media for business tend to remain the same. So why are there so many misconceptions out there regarding all things social?

Here are a few common mistakes made with social media that might make you change your mind about using the likes of Facebook and LinkedIn as a business marketing tool:

We should be on every social channel there is

One of the most common misconceptions in social media is the idea that every business must have a presence on every social channel. Whilst it’s great to be as present as possible, the fact remains that some platforms just aren’t suitable for some businesses; so why waste your time and budget? It’s better to have less channels that you’re consistently active on and engaging with than having five separate profiles that are redundant due to lack of content or time.

Thousands of likes = successful social

This is a misconception that we hear time and time again and needs to be nipped in the bud. Social success should not be rated by the number of followers one has but rather on the level of engagement that channel generates. For example, a page might have 5,000 likes or followers but if only 50 of those people are commenting, liking or sharing your content, this makes your activity somewhat redundant. The idea of social reach is also misleading; whilst your post or tweet might reach thousands of people, it doesn’t really make a difference if there are no active engagements with that content as well. Comments, shares and mentions are the big guns when it comes to what equals amazing results on social so one must be careful not to read the wrong data and overlook the important factors.

Social media will give me instant results

This is true to a certain extent. Once you put a status up on Facebook or update your LinkedIn page, engagement tends to be pretty instant as likes, follows and shares ensue. But in terms of actual, tangible results for your business objectives, this can take a little longer. Lets say you’re using social media to generate more enquiries through your website: before this can happen, you have to build both an audience and a reputation through social in order to then generate those enquiries which can take time. Likewise, few pages encourage thousands of likes in their first week (unless you’re Amazon of course who reportedly gained 1.2million Twitter followers in just two months). Social media is as much about patience as it is about diligence.

Our industry is too boring for social media

Whilst not every platform is right for certain brands and industries, there’s undoubtedly a social place for every type of business in some shape or form. Take the brand Dettol for example; a bog-standard, cleaning product that, let’s face it, no one would strike as being exciting. But their Facebook has over 263,000 likes and its content is highly engaging with a great mix of video and graphics that deliver handy tips to the end user whilst promoting their product.

Another good example is American Express; again, another “boring” brand in a “boring” industry that’s beaten the odds and taken Instagram by storm. With almost 100,000 followers and simply stunning photography, they’re the perfect example of subtle promotion and engagement through the social medium; it’s significant that they’ve done so on the most popular and fastest-growing platform too, demonstrating their quest to stay ‘on trend’. So if you’re feeling uninspired, take the lead from other “boring” brands and see how they’re making the most of social media.

Social media opens us up to criticism

Yes; social media does open the gateway to those who want to moan or criticise your product in a very public manner. But the likelihood is, they’d complain regardless of you being on social media or not. The benefit to you being on social means you can respond quickly and fairly which in turn, helps to build a picture of your business being productive with customer service. On the same token, however, it’s important to remember that responding to criticism or complaints badly is equally as public…something that Cineworld probably should have thought about before they embarked on their infamous Twitter argument a couple of years ago.

If you’re still boggled by Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or any other social media platform and want to find out how it could benefit your business, call us today on 01403 261491 or email our Social Media Manager on [email protected] and see how we can help.

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