3 Social Media Myths We Need to Squash in 2015

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3 Social Media Myths We Need to Squash in 2015

There’s a lot of social media advice floating around these days. I’m sure it would stretch to the moon and back several times, even if you wrote it all down in a teeny, tiny font.

Some of it’s useful, grounded in solid marketing and business strategy.

The rest of it? Meh.

Here are 3 social media myths in the latter category.

Social Media Myth #1: Your brand must be on Twitter

This myth isn’t just about Twitter—it can apply to any social media platform: Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, you name it. If you meet a social media expert who claims your brand MUST be on a particular social network, ask some pointed questions:

  • Are people here talking about my brand or the competition?
  • Who uses this social media platform and how?
  • What can my business hope to achieve by participating?
  • What goals do you recommend for measuring success?
  • How much time does our business need to invest to reach its goals?

If we continue to use Twitter as our example, we’ll discover that less than one-quarter of Canadians are actively tweeting.

According to research from Global Digital Statistics gathered by We Are Social Singapore, 46% of Canadians have a Twitter account but only 22% used it in the past month:

46% of Canadians have a Twitter account but less than one-quarter are actively tweeting

And those active tweeters? They tend to be folks who are influential in other places—authors, actors, singers, and A-list bloggers.

These facts make Twitter a good play if you plan to build relationships with influencers in your sector. It’s also appropriate if your customers take to Twitter to ask questions about your brand or to complain.

Depending on your goals, the way your brand uses Twitter—or another social media platform—varies. Connecting with influencers requires an active approach, while responding to customers is reactive.

Social Media Myth #2: Social media is not measurable

Social media is definitely measurable. In fact, there are so many metrics there’s a danger you’ll be overwhelmed by too much data. When picking your metrics it’s best to follow the adage “measure what matters.”

There are 2 types of metrics you can use to evaluate social media efforts: quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative metrics are follower count, engagement, click through rates—even conversion. Qualitative metrics include sentiment and influence.

Follower count is important since you need people following you in order to have engagement. But don’t get too hung up on your number of fans. It’s better to have 1,000 engaged fans than 10,000 indifferent ones.

Engagement includes likes, shares, retweets, @replies, comments, favourites, repins and more, depending on the channel.

Sentiment is the tone of social media mentions: positive, sarcastic, ironic and negative. Influence is what I call a “squishy” metric … one that is difficult to measure. It’s basically an attempt to measure how much influence people have who engage with your brand on social media.

If you’re new to social you may not understand what goals are suitable for your business. Try to get a basic understanding of how a platform can help before becoming active.

Social Media Myth #3: My audience doesn’t use social media

According to Global Digital Statistics, Canadians are a social bunch.

In fact, when it comes to social network penetration, Canada tops the world: 82% of online Canadians use a social network compared to 75% of Americans:

Social penetration by country

Facebook is the most popular social network—85% of Canadians have a profile while 57% used it in the past month:

Canadian's social media use

I’m not suggesting you start a Facebook business page because of this statistic, nor am I suggesting that every brand should be on social media. But don’t excuse yourself from participating because you think your audience isn’t there.

Chances are THEY ARE.

Remember business basics

If you’re on social media (or considering getting started), remember business basics: what are your objectives, how will you achieve them, and who is your audience?

If you keep these 3 questions top of mind and ask them when someone recommends a particular social media platform (or mutters some other sort of nonsense), you’ll stay on track to reach your business goals.

Photo Credit: Social Media Myth/shutterstock

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