Social Media definitely has it’s pros and cons, especially when it comes to business. Certain channels can prove to be very beneficial for some businesses while those same ones are a waste of time – and possibly harmful – for others.
For example, TASTY is a company taking the social media world hostage with their amazingly delicious-looking recipe pictures and videos. Their videos are just under a minute long – ideal for the attention span of most viewers. By actually showing their audience how to make the recipe, their viewer engagement is off the charts! This type of marketing campaign is perfect for picture and video platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube. However, utilizing another social media platform such as LinkedIn, could prove disastrous for their ROI. Some businesses view campaigning across all social sites as a best practice. But that strategy isn’t as constructive as one may visualize. Let’s look at a few other misconceptions people have about social media marketing.
1. It’s for the younger crowd. Social media numbers have nowhere to go but up. User statistics continue climbing each year. These numbers don’t just include users under 30. According to www.pewinternet.org, “….usage among those 65 and older has more than tripled since 2010 when 11% used social media. Today, 35% of all those 65 and older report using social media, compared with just 2% in 2005”. Still think your audience is “too old” to be on social media?
2. It’s recreational, not a serious business marketing tool. I know, when you see the news feed on most social sites it can seem like a barrage of ‘look what I had for breakfast’, ‘check out my cat’s new outfit’ or ‘hey, come see the gun show in my gym selfie’. But there are many well known brands out there who are figuring out how to make their mark in the social media world. Not sure how your brand fits in? What about toilet paper or feminine napkins? Hard to even begin to imagine where either of those products would find an audience on social media? Check out Charmin doing big things here along with some other famous brands. Hey, if a feminine napkin can inspire an empowerment movement via social media, imagine what your can brand inspire!
3. You don’t have time – You must make the time. Truly, you can put as much or as little time into it as you want. There are also various services that will help you schedule hours or even weeks in advance. Using services like Onlywire and Hootsuite to schedule posts to various social media accounts all at once at specified times is such a time saver! Need me to one up the wow factor? Hootsuite is free! And Onlywire is pretty inexpensive as well and they offer various options to best suit your needs.
4. It’s expensive – it’s free!! – except for time (and possibly salary) spent on a person setting up and maintaining the page(s). Most social media sites are completely free to setup, join, and well, be social with others. From posting informative fact sheets, helpful tips and tricks, to fun, comical, heart-warming videos, the ways to interact with your customers and prospects are virtually endless. All it takes to get interactive with your audience is a few minutes a day.
5. It’s free – Yes, I’m going to contradict my last point. If you really want to see some good ROI, advertisements are a great way to really pin point your target audience and get your posts seen. Yes, this will cost you a small amount, however -if done properly- it will be well worth the sacrifice. Facebook, for instance, allows you the ability to define your target audience in such great detail. You can refine your reach to groups in a particular geographic location, annual income, even by certain interests such as horseback riding. You can’t get that specific of an audience through any other marketing channel. Ads are beneficial, but don’t neglect some good old fashioned status updates and pictures. Still free and many businesses find great results without any paid ads.
Do a bit of research on what benefits each channel provides and determine which ones are right for your campaign, and your business’s overall goals. Don’t put anything out there or use a platform that could tarnish your reputation or twart your objectives, but don’t be afraid to take risks either. And, just because I really like you, I’m throwing in a BONUS TIP. When on social media, be SOCIAL!! Social media is your business’s chance to talk and interact with your clients and get them to like you. Let your audience see your true personality. Even if your service/product is on the serious side, find ways to connect with people using humor and/or emotion evoking tactics.
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