Chances are you’ve been lied to. It’s time to put a stop to these social media lies that surround us, its becoming too dangerous. Dangerous because you’ll end up either wasting your time, damaging your online reputation, or you risk getting overtaken by the competition who isn’t buying into the lies.
Here are seven lies being told and the truth as I see it:
- Lie #1: “You need to be on all social media channels.
Truth: There are a LOT of websites that are now categorized as a social media channel. It would be very difficult to be effective on all of them. Not long ago, I was presenting a Facebook Marketing workshop and I noticed there were some bankers and accountants in the room. I asked the audience, “When was the last time you were looking for a banker or an accountant on Facebook?” No hands went up. Identify the top one or two social media channels that make the most sense for your business and spend your time mastering that channel. If you are in B2B sales, LinkedIn is probably your best place to start. Not Facebook.
- Lie #2: “A college kid can manage my social media marketing.”
Truth: Just because your college age son or daughter is great on social media, doesn’t mean they understand social media “marketing.” After all, just because they understand how to use a calculator, that doesn’t mean you’d put them in charge of your financial accounting. With little business or marketing experience, it can be dangerous putting your social media marketing plan in the hands of an inexperienced social media lover.
- Lie #3 “My customers aren’t on social media.”
Truth. Yes they are. Over a billion people are on Facebook. Over 500 Million are on Twitter. Over 250 million people are on LinkedIn. It would be naïve to think that your customer isn’t on social media – somewhere. The question is, what channel are they on where they might be thinking “business” or interested in what you have to say that might steer them to your business or product or service. Determining the best channel to reach them on, and what value could you provide them with, should be your focus.
- Lie #4: “Post your offers into LinkedIn groups.”
Truth: Spam is rampant in LinkedIn, particularly in groups when people use it as an advertising medium. You can stand out very quickly by sharing valuable content (blog posts, videos, podcasts) in your LinkedIn groups that provides calls-to-action that encourage users to further explore and engage with you and/or your product or service. Solve your customers problems in LinkedIn Groups.
- Lie #5: “If you build it, they will come.”
Truth: If you build your social media following, they may NOT come. You can post each day, week, month and year without converting any of that to real customers…if you aren’t strategic. Create great content that’s well optimized for the search engines but also meets the needs of your target customer and provides calls-to-action that encourage users to further explore and engage with your product or service.
- Lie #6: “Social media is better than email.”
Truth: A new study by Custora finds that email continues to trump social media channels for reaching online customers and markets. The study revealed customer acquisition via email has quadrupled over the last 4 years. 94% of people send or read email. It doesn’t matter how old they are, consumers overwhelmingly prefer to receive marketing messages via email and there’s no close second place channel. ExactTarget asked almost 1,500 US online consumers (age 15 and up) about how they prefer to get permission-based marketing messages and a whopping 77 percent said email — a number that dwarfs all other options in the survey. Use social media to build your email list.
- Lie #7: “Social Media is more important than SEO.”
Truth: They are two very different things. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is alive and well. Almost 134 million people in the U.S. use search engines on a regular basis to find information online, according to Marketing Sherpa. SEO at its core is the art and science of making high quality content easier to find on search engines. Indeed, social media gives you the platforms to share your content and help drive traffic to your website. Beyond that, modern SEO is about an ongoing effort to improve the performance of your website content to be found both by search engines and customers using well optimized content that is valuable to your readers.
What are some lies you’ve been told? Please comment below and let’s take them on together.