Social media can be a powerful tool in your marketing and relationship building arsenal, however it's important to not see it simply as a magic bullet - it has to be used strategically and with realistic expectations about what it can and cannot accomplish.
Whatever your goals for social media, you need to plan to be in it for the long haul – showing up every day, providing great content, building and engaging with your community.
All too often I get contacted by companies that are doing a launch or an event in the next 30+ days, they’re panicking and they’ve decided that social media is what will fill their event or sell out their product/service. However, they have yet to build a loyal community on social media.
Yes, it is possible, but ONLY when you've built a community of people who know, like and trust you. You need to have earned this through long term and consistent efforts.
When done correctly social media can certainly provide you with a steady stream of leads and sales.
However, if your brand or business starts out with unrealistic expectations - and certainly when those expectations are not realized - your company can lose faith in the power of social media.
When faith is lost, less of a priority is put on social media or it may be scrapped altogether, which is a big mistake as it likely wasn't that it didn’t work, it’s that it was viewed as a magic bullet without any need to work at it.
It’s likely that for many people/businesses much of what's believed about social media is wrong. They are myths and it is time to debunk them once and for all.
1. I Need to Be On Every Social Media Platform
Myth:Many brands and businesses believe they need to have a presence on every social media platform available.
Sadly, many “social media experts” even proclaim this - I was listening to Gary Vaynerchuk speak at an event that I attended recently and he told the entire audience that they needto be on Snapchat. That's simply not true.
Reality: It's a false assumption that your business needs to be on every social media platform to be successful.
There are a number of reason this is neither true or wise.
Firstly, you'll be wasting your time using a social media platform if your ideal clients aren’t using it. This is why I disagree with Gary Vee’s statement - you only need to use Snapchat, for example, if your target audience is also using it.
Social media’s power is its ability to help you connect and build relationships with your ideal clients, why would you want to put time and effort on a platform where your community is not active or there at all?
Secondly, you should only use as many platforms as you manage effectively. Stretching yourself too thin over too many platforms can actually hinder your ability to build relationships and see results on any given platform.
Doing social well requires spending time creating great content and also engaging in conversations with your community. If you're not responding to comments, questions and generating engagement, that will do more damage in the long run.
Many brands also have the false notion that they need to chase every new shiny object.
You do not need to be early adopter on each new social media platform. Many businesses in fact, don't have the resources or skills to successfully be early adopters on new social media platforms, nor should they try. It can be smart to adopt a “wait and see” approach that can also prevent you from wasting a lot of time.
Early adopters have to be savvy enough to easily master new platforms as well as have the resources to spend time on a platform that may not be around for long. This is because many new platforms never gain mainstream adoption, and some disappear altogether - this happened recently with live streaming platformBlab.
2. I Can Publish the Same Post On All My Social Media Platforms
Myth:In an effort to save time, many brands and businesses will create a single social media post that they'll push out to all of their social media platforms.