When looking at a high level overview, the social media landscape and its uses for business, you are able to separate people into two separate categories and for the purpose of this blog we will label them as follows:
- The DIY’s – i.e.: Social Media is free and therefore I don’t need to pay for a professional to look after my business’ online presence … I can do it all myself.
- The Over Spenders – i.e.: I’ll put every extra cent I have into online advertising and pay exorbitant amounts of money for the retention of an agency to look after my online presence, after all, they use fancy words so they must be worth the money.
With the above categories in mind, let’s see if we can clarify a few general statements that the two categories above would share in common and in so doing; attempt to root out the common misconceptions about using the powerful world of social media for the betterment of your business’ bottom line.
Statement: Social media is free
Clarification: As a service, yes, many social networks and blogging sites are free, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t cost anything. For one, they take a lot of time, which for business owners means there is an element of cost, after all your time is precious and time equals money. Secondly, there are many situations, particularly with marketing, where you will need to make significant investment to ensure the right kind of success.
Statement: Anyone can run your business’s social media activities
Clarification: True, anyone can create a post/ tweet, but that doesn’t mean that they will get the best results and it also means that careless mistakes or the lack of knowledge when creating a post/ tweet could actually work against your online reputation. Further to this is that creating a few posts/ tweets every week is all good and well however, engagement is the key to success on any social media platform and if your posts/ tweets aren’t crafted in a way that makes your readers click the link, like, share or comment then unfortunately up until this point you have either wasted your time or your money, possibly both!
Statement: Metrics aren’t important – they are just there to confuse you
Scenario: You find yourself in conversation with a friend/ family member or a customer. You say “Did you see my latest Facebook post?” Their reply: “No sorry I didn’t”.
Sadly in most cases the truth is neither did anyone else. The fundamental concept that you, or your team have failed to grasp is to correctly analyse your metrics. And in so doing, you probably have no idea what your engagement rate is, you don’t know what your reach is and therefore you have no idea of how well or how poorly your posts/ tweets are doing, who is seeing them and why they are seeing and engaging with them, if they are at all.
Statement: You will need to hire someone to effectively market your business on social media
Clarification: Well in our view, yes, yes you would. What is almost always the case in many companies is that the social media responsibilities eventually get put on the shoulders of one person, be it an intern or a PA. In some instances this could be the right thing to do, granted the person whose job it is to run the online face of your business is trained and is able to handle both their normal work load as well as effectively manage, engage, report and act on the performance of your social media platforms ensuring it all goes smoothly and generates more income for your business.
In summary of the statements and scenarios above:
- Yes, social media is free “technically” but that doesn’t mean your time is.
- Yes, anyone can run your business’s social media activities, but training and flair is vital.
- Yes, metrics can be confusing but they are also critical to ensuring your money and time is being spent wisely and that your brand message is getting across to your target audience.
- Yes, in almost every case we have come across the business in question would be far better off hiring a team or retaining the services of an agency to effectively manage a business’s online presence.
We hope that we have given you some clarity about some of the more common misunderstandings surrounding the correct and most effective use of social media for your business. If you would like to share your thoughts we welcome you to join the conversation on any of our social media platforms below or, alternatively you can drop us an email anytime.