The sort of social media we’re used to seeing today started way back in 2003, with the launch of LinkedIn. Fifteen years on, we’re up to our eyeballs in platforms, hashtags and livestreams. Social media has evolved beyond what most of us could ever have imagined, but there are still some myths surrounding how brands & marketers can use it. Here, we’ll bust some of them for you:
Myth: Social media can replace your website.
Reality: There are plenty of very small businesses who run entirely through social media, but the reality is that you should have complete control over the look of your business. You should be able to direct potential clients and customers from social media to a customised, purpose-built website where they can get more information, get in touch with you and explore your brand. This becomes even more important if you offer e-commerce- many users will be scared off from making purchases exclusively through social media, so it’s even more important to have a secure website where users can make safe purchases with the knowledge their data will not be misused. It also means that you can promote your business in more than one way. Social media is a fantastic tool, but a good strategy should never just focus on one way of generating leads. That’s why we always take a multi-disciplinary approach to our digital strategies.
Myth: Social Media is only for young people.
Reality: Traditionally thought of as the millennial’s addiction, some of the audience stats on social media might surprise you…
• 36% of Facebook’s active users are over the age of 35 (source)
• The “Over 50” audience is the second largest audience and fastest growing audience across multiple social media platforms (source)
In fact, the larger the social network, the more likely that older audiences are likely to form a significant portion of the userbase. Further, some studies show that, depending on the network, older users are far more likely to engage with a brand on social media, showing that these platforms are a great place to find them.
Myth: My customers/clients aren’t on social media.
Reality: Actually, they are. Facebook has 2.23 billion monthly active users as of June 2018- nearly one in three people on the planet. The confusion comes in because brands- especially B2B brands- often don’t see users post about their products. For example, there aren’t a lot of organic posts on Facebook concerning industrial valves, but people who work in the valve industry are just as active on Facebook as people who work in any other industry; and since they are able to be targeted by their job title, location, company, and more, they can still be reached on Facebook even if they aren’t posting about the content your brand is looking for. Seeing an ad that could have an impact on their career or personal life could convert them directly, or they may take it to their colleague, partner or boss to recommend it. So yes, your customers or clients are on social media, it’s just important to identify when they’re on it, how they’re using it and the best way to target them on it.
Myth: You can post any time of day.
Reality: If you want your posts to do well, then you can’t just post at any time of day. Social media posting requires a strong strategy that considers the audience you want to target and the sector your company falls into. There are guideline best practices on the days that are likely to get more reach and engagement, but these will be different for every industry and, indeed, for every organisation. Our Elastic approach means that each client has their own social media strategy tailored to their audience, so we can make sure we reach your target at exactly the right times for optimum results.
Myth: Hashtag your posts #ToTheMax.
Reality: Hashtags on social media platforms are great! Users can search for a particular hashtag and millions of posts are immediately filtered so they can find what they really want to read, meaning they find the brands they really want to follow or engage with. But when a brand uses up the majority of their character count with hashtags? Big no-no. It looks spammy, it’s visually difficult to read and it’s not professional. Depending on the platform, posts can accept up to thirty hashtags, but it doesn’t mean you should use them. A good rule of thumb is to use a mix of niche tags and widely-used tags so that you reach both in-market users and those who may not know your brand yet. Pick a couple that you really want to include and which reflect well on your brand, and never use more hashtags than words in your post.
Myth: You can’t measure ROI on social media.
Reality: You can measure ROI on any sort of digital media activity as long as you’re tracking properly. Data analysis forms a huge part of any strategy we write here at Elastic because we want to be able to show you how well your social media promotion is performing and what kind of ROI you’re getting for your money. Take a look at how we helped The Carnegie Club achieve an ROI of 1:7.
Want to find out how social media could work for your business? Get in touch to find out about our Elastic approach and how it could propel your business forward.
Looking for more information about marketing? Check out our Digital Marketing Mythbusting post!