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One of your greatest foes as an entrepreneur is misinformation. There is a lot of erroneous advice online, especially when it comes to social media marketing. Unfortunately, much of this guidance seems reasonable on paper. Without the right research or knowledge, you may end up unwittingly endangering the future of your business. Here are seven common social media marketing myths you need to watch out for.
1. Negative feedback can be safely ignored
Social media marketing isn't just about promoting the positive parts of your brand. It also involves managing any and all negative feedback directed at your business. Ignore those snipes and jabs and they will fester online, convincing consumers to ignore your brand at a time when you need every single customer to help your company grow. When you find negative feedback, answer it — strategically. Respond to all comments quickly. Not only can you tamp down on negative feedback before it gains any ground, but quick responses will show that you listen and respond to customer concerns, even if they are negative.
Matt Broussard, content creator and chef at Spiceology in Spokane, commands more than three million followers on TikTok, and as he shares, “All feedback, both positive and negative, has merit. As a chef, that’s what I live on: how a dish is, what it needs, how I can improve it, etc. I don’t push off negative comments, because that helps fuel how I iterate my recipes.”
2. Email is no longer relevant
Social media marketing should not be considered a replacement for other methods, but rather a tool to augment your customer reach. Email still has a role to play in your marketing campaigns, so keep those recipient lists and e-marketing campaigns around. They are still worth your time.
3. All content represents thought leadership
Content marketing is an integral part of social media marketing. The social platform is what you use to efficiently distribute content to your users, and the content itself is responsible for perpetuating and developing your brand. However, many entrepreneurs falsely equate all content with thought leadership.
Your best content is what will likely give you that kind of authority over your audience. Some of it will revolve around answering questions or giving the market exactly what they asked for. This is less about thought leadership than appealing to your audience directly. The distinction is important, because without it, you may create content that doesn't reinforce your brand's authority and trustworthiness.
4. Social media and content marketing are two different campaigns
This is another notion that is simply untrue. Social media marketing gives you a platform from which you can more easily distribute your content. One does not work well without the other, and understanding this is critical.
5. Content topics must be limited to protect your secrets
Small businesses and startups are inherently starting off on the back foot. No matter how good your idea is, no matter what industry you are in, you are fighting to gain attention in a world filled with larger, more established footprints and personalities. You might be advised to limit the information your content contains in an effort to protect your secrets, but you shouldn’t.
First, much of what you privilege is already known by the competition or can easily be reverse-engineered from your product. Second, knowledge is not enough for someone to defeat or overcome your own presence. If knowledge was all it took, book readers would rule every field. Do not hesitate to share what you know with your audience and trust in your ability to execute. Your readers will love you for your openness and confidence.
6. Social media marketing is primarily for generating new customers
Sure, social media can give you new customers, but that should never be its primary purpose. Research has revealed that followers of corporate social media accounts were fans before they joined. They were not converted by the existence of the profile, making social media marketing closer to “preaching to the choir” rather than a recruitment strategy. Social media marketing is better used as a way to retain your current market, not as simply an expansion strategy. Understanding this can help you drive a relevant strategy to your growing audience.
7. Social media metrics cannot be measured
If you are looking for a singular number to track that tells you how effective the campaign is, you will not find one. However, there is much to measure, from clicks to customer behavior. All that information can tell you if your current campaign is profitable or if you need to switch gears. You just need to identify which metrics generated by your campaign are most important to your goals.
As Spiceology's Broussard notes, “Metrics can absolutely be measured via the form of ongoing awareness, especially when it comes to brand partnerships. Long-term consumer awareness is inevitable and comes with undeniable value, even if it’s sometimes harder to quantify.”
Social media marketing is effective, but only if you do it right. The myriad myths you face can keep you from achieving the kind of success that can help your startup thrive. Cut through the lies to ensure you have the right social strategy to persevere.