These days some people I meet online (especially on Twitter) claim to be social media experts, gurus or influencers simply because they happen to have bought a couple thousand fake followers or they are involved in one “follow back” scheme or another.
I’ve also come across a few business owners who also have their own opinion about social media marketing.
Find below some of the worst advice I’ve ever heard about social media marketing (in no particular order):
Don’t bother with Social media it is a waste of time
This often comes from business owners who’ve tasted the waters of social media in the past (without any real strategy) hoping to become overnight social media success stories. After spewing out a tonne of posts and tweets and spamming everyone they know (or don’t know) with their sales pitch and nothing happens they eventually become disillusioned and conclude that social media is a waste of time.
But, social media is not a waste of time. Neither is it a tool that you use without any clear cut strategy and then think you’ll automatically become an overnight success story. Real social media marketing requires a strategy and just like anything else takes time, effort and resources to yield positive results.
Not all businesses need social media
But, the truth is that these days all businesses need social media. But the strategy for each business is different. Social media marketing is not a one size fits all affair. Each business needs to develop its own unique strategy based on its individual business goals.
Each business should look to identify the key performance indicators that matter most to their brands. Businesses need to go beyond focusing on vain metrics like follower counts, likes and think of how to design unique customer experiences using social media marketing. They need to real 2-way communication with their target audience using social media marketing.
You don’t need a strategy just start posting
As mentioned already effective social media marketing needs a strategy. The social media marketing strategy for one business will be different from another based on factors such as the industry, target market, positioning of the brand, and so on.
Gone are the days when businesses had power. These days as a result of the internet and social media, power has shifted from the organisations to their customers. So for any social media marketing strategy to be successful it must focus on the customers.
Be active on all existing social media platforms
For the sake of branding purposes, it is advisable for brands to claim their brand names on as many social media platforms as possible. If they have the time and resources to be active on all existing social media platforms and can provide valuable content to their online communities, that’s great.
But for many small businesses it is often not practical due to their limited resources. So that is why they need a strategy that would help them highlight the relevant social media platforms which they should focus their time and resources on and the ones that would yield the highest return on investments.
Just promote your brand only all day long
This is totally wrong! Social media is about building communities of individuals who share common values and belief. So real social media marketing is not about promoting your brand only all day long rather it is about your brand engaging with members of the online communities to which the brand belongs.
Your social media communities do not belong to your brand. Your social media communities belong to the individuals that make up these communities. So your brand should serve them and not the other way round. You need to respect them, engage in meaningful conversations with them and provide content that would be of value to them. Social media marketing is not about your brand. It’s about your customers and others interested in your brand.
Focus on one Network only
As mentioned above already it might not be practicable for small businesses who have limited resources to focus on all social networks. Yet, this is not to say that they should focus on just one network either. It does not make any practical sense to put all your eggs into one basket.
You need to study your target audience and pick 2 or 3 networks where they’re most active and focus the bulk of your resources on these networks.
These are some of the worst advice I’ve ever heard about social media marketing. What’s the worst advice you’ve ever heard about social media marketing?