At this point, everyone reading this article knows about social media, has heard about Facebook struggling with legal assassination, and loves to stalk their friends and family and even our not-so-favorite coworker. With billions of users and constant connectivity, social media has changed our society, for better or for worse (debatable). What is not debatable is that social media has forever changed how businesses grow for the better. Due to the fact that setting up an account is free, and you can post as much as you like, everyone has a bat to swing and each post could be the home run that launches your business to industry notoriety. Yet, more than 50% of you reading this are either nonbelievers or are not blindly committed. The next few paragraphs will address your misconceptions on social media and why you should be unemotional about using it for your business (I don’t care that your granddaughter is on her phone all the time when you visit).
Misconception Number 1: “I’ve invested in social media before, it’s not worth it.”
There are many reasons why social media could not work: Mismanagement, lack of expertise, insufficient funds, poor strategy, lack of patience, etc. All of these reasons typically look at social media from an ROI perspective. Which ultimately does make sense considering it is a form of marketing. Discounting all of the other value having a good social presence brings (brand notoriety, referrals, professional image, etc.), the reality is that social media is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. The growth is up 9% from last year and nearly 3.5 billion people are on social media. Investing in social media now versus just 4 years ago is a completely
different investment due to the sustained growth of all of the platforms.
Social media at this point is a lot like real estate. There’s so much organic attention and opportunity out there, but one day it will be overpriced and oversaturated. Building out your social presence now is valuable in that is a land grab opportunity. The online real estate you gain now will afford you and your business opportunities that you otherwise would never have access to. Don’t believe me? The last major marketing shift before social media was Google AdWords. There was a small bookstore that was the largest purchaser of Google AdWords years ago when they were just a few cents a click (Now 1000x that). That bookstore was Amazon, ever heard of them?
Misconception Number 2: “Social media doesn’t work in my industry.”
This is a personal favorite and maybe the most common misconception. Most people believe that in order for you to market and sell your product using social, you have to have an attractive or sexy product or service. Well, let me debunk this theory by telling you a story about a conversation I had with a friend just a few weeks ago. He said, “social media doesn’t make sense for EVERY business,” to which I responded, “give me an example.” After some thought, Tommy said, “well what about a trash collecting company.” Now, this seemed like a good thought. On the list of sexy and attractive things, collecting trash is probably not too high for most people. “Can you name one?” I responded. He said, “Waste Management.” “Perfect, I bet you if you look up Waste Management on Instagram (the social media that’s made for selfies and swipe ups according to you), you’ll find that they have a solid social media presence that was clearly invested in.” Sure enough, he looked it up, and they have 20,000+ followers and good engagement. You can check that out here. This just goes to prove that yes, EVERY company, business, and brand can use social media. Some more than others, but just like books, podcasts, and Netflix shows, there’s one for everyone.
Misconception Number 3: “My (teenage) daughter manages my social media, she does a great job.”
Okay now, this one I have some empathy for. I do understand the thought of just putting someone younger in charge of that stuff because they #getit. The problem is, there was no school or class on social media analytics or how to decipher the optimal time post on Twitter. With that being said, your teenage daughter probably isn’t going to move the needle. Can she
post on all of the major platforms and be fun, of course! However, she probably can’t decipher how to come up with a winning advert on Facebook, she may not be able to properly convert traffic onto your website, and she probably doesn’t know that you can post videos on Instagram that are longer than one minute.
Do I think most people can do an “okay” job at running social media accounts, I do! Doing an “okay” job is not going to make your organic soap bar stand out. Thus, it may be worth it to invest in a person or an agency that keeps up with the DAILY trends of social media, that knows what translates online, that knows how to target, that knows how to get real likes
and followers and not fake ones, that knows how to move the needle. The best advice I could offer, as someone who has run my own social media and for countless other brands, is do it yourself first. Understand what goes into it, the time it takes, the knowledge it requires, and decide from there whether you want to automate your posting, hire someone to caption your posts, or outsource your social media entirely.
My goal is not to change your mind on social media or have you posting selfies every day (please don’t), but to challenge your thinking on this. The top marketers in the world, ones that post on every platform you’ve heard (and never) heard of multiple times each day admit that they aren’t utilizing social media enough. Where does that leave you?