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Social Media Marketing: These Lies will Kill you

*The original article can be found in ASPE’s ROI November/December Newsletter. Interested in more articles like this one? View the most current newsletter here.*

Social media is booming. Hundreds of millions of people around the globe use one or more social site every day, with some jumping from service to service to get their fill.

This alone should be enough to excite you about the future of social media marketing. If you take the right approach and are willing to tweak your strategy when necessary, the sky is the limit.

For a better idea of just how big social media has become, consider this information shared by Mediabistro earlier this year:

“Did you know that Twitter has 255 million active users who collectively send 500 million tweets each and every day?

What if I told you that there are more than 50 million Facebook Pages, that 20 billion photos have been uploaded to Instagram or that 5 percent of all selfies on social media are shared on Snapchat?”

Now that we have that out of the way, there is no reason for your business to ignore social media marketing any longer.

If you have come to the conclusion that now is the time to focus more time and resources on this part of your business, there are steps you should be taking. There are also things you should avoid at all costs.

Here are five common social media marketing lies that could kill your momentum before you ever get started:

1. More followers is always better. There is nothing wrong with wanting to increase your number of followers, as this will give you a solid sense of accomplishment.

But did you know that higher numbers do not always pay off when it comes to social media marketing? Your goal should not be to increase your follower count as quickly as possible. Instead, you should focus on those who are interested in engaging with your brand.

Think about it this way – you aren’t going to generate much interest from people who don’t care about you, your business, or what you have to say. On the flip side, there are people who are interested in your brand and the messages you promote. These are the types of followers you want and need.

2. Social media can generate traffic, but it does not convert well. This is one of the biggest lies circulating. It is also a lie that has sunk many social marketing campaigns over the years.

Do you think the biggest and most reputable brands in the world would be using social media if the traffic didn’t convert? Do you think Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn would be publicly traded companies if all these services were unable to provide high quality traffic?

This does not mean that every person who comes to your site from a social media service is going to convert into a buyer or client. What it does mean is that you can most definitely generate interest through social media. From there, once these people make their way to your site, you can use a targeted approach to increase conversions.

Not sure if this is true? Do this:  use Google Analytics to set up goals associated with your social media traffic. This can help you determine what you are getting out of traffic from each site.

3. Social media marketing is the right strategy for every company. There is no denying that this is a big lie. There are companies that can leverage social media time and time again, using it to generate traffic and increase profits. And then there are companies that have no chance of succeeding, either because of their industry or other constraints (such as a lack of time).

If your company does not typically generate income from the internet, there is a chance that social media will be a waste of time. Of course, you will never know for sure until you give it a try.

4. Daily participation is a must. One of the primary reasons people shy away from social media is because they are afraid of the time commitment. They don’t want to get started because they are scared of missing a day of updating their accounts.

If you have something unique to share every day, good for you. If you don’t, however, it is not a reason to avoid social media altogether.

Let’s put it this way:  it is better to share high quality information on a semi-regular basis than to push daily updates that don’t offer any real value.

Don’t feel pressured into updating your social media properties every day. If you have something to say, say it. If you don’t, there is nothing wrong with taking a step back for the time being. Just don’t let too much time pass between updates, as you don’t want to turn off your followers.

5. You shouldn’t take the time to interact with your audience. Whoever started this rumor was probably somebody who didn’t want to take the time to interact and converse with their followers.

If you are going to use social media, you should expect people to engage with you on a regular basis. There will be times when you are praised. There will also be times when you receive negative feedback. Either way, it is your job to respond. It may be more enjoyable to respond to positive feedback, but if somebody has something bad to say, or disputes your update, don’t be shy about stepping in.

Note:  some companies have dedicated Twitter accounts for customer care and support, such as Nike.

There is a lot of good that can come from social media marketing, but if you believe these lies to be true you could find your company missing the boat.

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