You either love it, or you hate it.
Whether you’re using social media personally or professionally, there’s no question it’s one of the great time-suckers of the 21st century.
At CorComm Creative, I’ve managed pages for several different clients. This management has included both full-time page management or as-needed campaign management. Over the years, while talking with existing or prospective clients about the everyday maintenance and overall benefits of social media, I’ve noticed that a few myths continue to pop up in conversations.
Many of these myths could be keeping organizations from achieving social media success, so let’s dispel them today.
6 Common Social Media Myths
- “It’s better to outsource my social media.” This isn’t necessarily true. While it may surprise you to hear this from an employee of an agency that offers social media management as a service, the truth is no one knows the inner workings of your organization better than you do. However, if you’re adamant that you don’t have time to commit to it, a good agency will dedicate the time it takes to getting to know your organization and its culture, helping you find the proper voice for your brand and pinpointing the proper content to showcase on your social media profiles.
- “I’m outsourcing our social media, so I don’t have to be involved.” This is probably the biggest misconception that I notice among clients. They assume their job is done once an agency has been assigned to manage their social presences, but the client himself is still the industry expert. I see the most successful engagement with organizations’ audiences when I’m able to post original, educational content the organization has created (like blogs, presentations or videos) and photos or videos that show its culture (like photos of a company training event, a holiday party or a special milestone moment). While I can research and write on an industry topic for a blog post, I still put high value on having a pro within the organization review and approve the blog drafts. I also urge those pros to provide important industry or company updates and send culturally relevant photos or videos. So, even when outsourcing, there’s still work to be done by both parties, and it’s important for clients to be aware of this necessary partnership from the beginning.
- “Our intern’s young and active on social. Let’s let him manage our business page.” Social-media management is not something to take lightly. Today, more than 1 billion people use Facebook alone. Research shows that 78 percent of consumers say that companies’ social media posts impact their buying decisions. Your social media business pages are every bit as important as your website — maybe more so. It’s not only a place people can visit to get updates on your organization; it’s also a place where they can ask questions, post comments and leave good and bad reviews. Leaving an inexperienced intern or volunteer in charge of your business page is a risky decision. When an angry consumer leaves a negative message, will the intern know how to respond professionally? If a consumer asks a question at 9 p.m. on a Saturday, will the intern be dedicated enough to respond during non-traditional office hours? Maybe. Maybe not.
- “I want a presence on social media, so sign me up for [insert list of multiple social media channels here]!” Don’t try to be everywhere. Spreading yourself too thin, especially when you’re just starting out, is a mistake. Do your research first. What is the age range and gender of most of your clients? What social media platforms do your existing clients visit regularly (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, blogs…the list goes on)? What platforms do your competitors use, and how is their engagement? By doing your research first, you can choose the platforms that best meet those demographics.
- “We’ll focus on promoting our services to attract more customers!” Beware of being too salesy in your social media posts. New and existing consumers will begin to tune you out, or worse, unfollow you altogether, if you talk about yourself too much. Instead, focus on offering educational content that will solve a problem for them. Or take time to offer some fun opportunities for your followers. For example, one of CorComm Creative's most successful posts was a holiday giftcard giveaway contest.
- “I’ll advertise on Facebook by boosting posts.” Boosting a random post here and there is not an effective way to use your advertising dollars. The best approach is to identify your main goal and develop a strategic campaign to meet it. Develop some helpful content that can be promoted via a series of posts with a specific call-to-action. Create different versions of these content posts; test and evaluate them; and schedule ads to run over a specified time range. Don’t forget to incorporate this campaign’s message into other elements of your organization’s tools, like your website, on-hold messaging, e-newsletter, email signatures, etc. Analytic data on this kind of campaign will provide concrete results that you can evaluate after a specified time range.