By Carrie Tylawsky Social Media has become that marketing outlet that’s a bit of a wild card for most companies. For some industries (food & beverage, e-commerce, fashion, etc.), it has been nothing short of the holy grail when it comes to generating awareness and sales. For others, namely those in more standardized industries (enter, business and technology), it is a tricky pill to swallow. Navigating the social media waters can be difficult when you’re making a case for your boss for WHY social is essential. While you’re preparing, here are some major myths that need to be debunked for EVERYONE.
1. Your company targets CEOs, COOs, Presidents, high level Managers…these people aren’t ON social media.
False. There are one billion people on Facebook. ONE BILLION! I don’t care if your title is Executive Assistant for a local coffee shop, or CEO & President of the #1 Fortune 500 company. You’re on Facebook, at least, and you’re likely checking out other networks too (namely LinkedIn). The difference is, if your target consumer is on Facebook and they’re not wearing their work hat, your marketing needs to reflect that and capture their interests in the day-to-day vs. the way you market to them in accounting magazines or at conferences.
2. If you have too much of a presence on social media, that will take away from your SEO campaign because search is cannibalized by the popular social sites.
The thing that’s inherently wrong with this thought process is that if you DO have people searching for your company, and they find you on social, that’s oftentimes even better than finding your website. Why? Because once they click “like” or they follow you on LinkedIn, they are now well ensconced in your circle. Meaning you can target them with amazing content and have them think about you every day. The more impressions you can make on your target consumer, the better. And they’ll still go to your website, but this time, it will be as an engaged and ready to buy customer.
3. In order to stay relevant you need to have a company blog that is updated every day.
Unless your social media department consists of the wittiest and most nimble thought leaders in history, writing a blog every day for a business/technology company is a waste of resources – unless you have the numbers to prove that people are actually reading. Blogs can be terrific sources of content, but they also require the reader to commit to at least five minutes, and they have to stay engaged the WHOLE time, or they’re not coming back. What’s so great about social media is you’re limited in what you can say anyway, so all that amazing content has to be boiled down to the one line that will really grab the attention of your consumer.
4. If we’re in social media, we have to be in ALL the way, and be on every social network.
At this point and time, there are so many social networks that have such niche audiences that this is actually the last thing I would recommend. If you’re going to be on a social network, you should do your community justice and actively engage, post, have a conversation, etc. You should not be on a million networks just because they’re new and entertaining. When something new comes up, give yourself a little time to see who exactly the demographic is, what they’re using the network for, and how you can best use it to service your company. Sorry to say, but most business and technology companies won’t need an Instagram page unless their core products are tied to the demographic on that network.
5. Social media takes away from face-to-face networking, therefore losing that human element.
There’s nothing that can replace a face-to-face interaction. There is something comforting about being able to see the person’s reactions, play off of their pauses and quips, and overall just engage in a different way. However, that’s one interaction. You might be able to make twenty of these at an average conference. Maybe more, maybe less. Online, you have the ability to start the conversation with thousands or hundreds of thousands of people. Once you have established that connection, bring it offline. Take the webinars your company has been doing for the past twelve months and host your own conference – everyone who attended those webinars gets 20% off tickets. Do something to actually activate that community. Once you get in front of them, they will already trust you that much more because they know you from being around online.
What myths have you heard around the social space? Share in the comments below!