Within the last decade, attitudes towards social media marketing have transformed dramatically. Formerly met with varying degrees of skepticism, businesses —both of the business-to-consumer and business-to-business varieties — have largely adopted social media as one of the primary marketing tools. There is a better understanding of which marketing role each social network (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.) fills as more information is gathered every year on user activity.
Still, skepticism of social media and its marketing potential for businesses hasn’t been totally eliminated. Several businesses adopt social media halfheartedly without realizing its full potential or feel they must join the trend for fear of missing out. With this blog post, we debunk a series of social media marketing myths, which might encourage you to look at social media marketing in a different light.
Myth: Social media only really works for B2C companies.
Fact: Social media can work just as well or sometimes better for B2B.
Social media is more commonly associated with B2C companies, but this doesn’t mean social media marketing is exclusively effective for them. Social media platforms help B2B companies in multiple ways, including establishing thought leadership, hiring talent, building brand awareness, industry outreach, and, yes, even directly gaining leads. While followers on average won’t rival B2C companies, there are far more metrics for social media success than number of followers.
Myth: My business should take advantage of every social network.
Fact: Depending on your business, not every network will be relevant.
Just because you can join Instagram doesn’t mean it’s necessarily worth the effort or the right fit for your business. Social media is all about the content you promote and where your target audience lives. Through a combination of demographics and behaviors, you can more aptly determine if LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or all of the above are the proper platforms for your marketing.
Myth: I haven’t gained any traction in months, so there’s no point in trying.
Fact: Review the content you’re producing and how it’s promoted.
Again, social media is all about the content you create. Before you consider shutting the door on social media entirely, consider what you’re posting and how frequently. Check competitor social media accounts to see what’s resonating best with users. From there, you can either emulate your competitor or, ideally, improve upon what they’ve done. If you can’t keep up with frequent posting, or worse, can’t generate quality content (blogs, videos, infographics, podcasts, etc.), then you give yourself no chance at success.
Myth: What’s good for one platform is good for all of them.
Fact: Different audiences exist on different platforms (with some overlap).
While there is overlap, sometimes significantly so, the audiences for different platforms are fairly unique for each social network. Users of Facebook largely see the platform as a means of entertainment, news, and networking on a personal level. LinkedIn will be more thought-leadership centered and revolve primarily around business networking, not as a source of entertainment. Know your audience and the platforms you use to determine how to best promote your content.
Social Media and Inbound Marketing
Social media is a core component of inbound marketing and allows this marketing methodology’s best asset (content) to be properly promoted. Through content promotion, current customers and prospective customers both become more informed and engaged with the company.