Social Media: it started with Mark Zuckerberg’s brainchild Facebook in 2009 and has expanded and exploded into multitude platforms, each with a slightly different purpose, but with the common goal of turning the world into ‘a large global community.’ Social media is still very new, and is evolving rapidly, so much so that many social media gurus and companies have emerged offering a multitude of tips, advice, and ideas to companies desperate to market themselves on various social media platforms in order to raise greater awareness about them and their brands, and capture new markets. However, some of the tips, advice, and ideas floated by those claiming to be experts in social media are incorrect. This article explores five such myths.
- Email communication is now ‘dead’ :
While it is true that all social media platforms, regardless of their purpose, have given people new ways to connect and communicate with people in far-flung corners of the world who they otherwise would never encounter, it is a myth that social media communication is replacing email messages. Social media is a by-product of the Internet and the digital age. It is for this reason that many companies are relying on digital marketing to sell their goods and services to those in their target markets. They are finding that they need to communicate by email more than ever to do this! Indeed a well-written email message which clearly and concisely conveys a particular message is much more effective than a whole bunch of posts and short tweets are!
This is combined with the fact that social media platforms have changed their rules of engagement in recent years. This means that any post or tweet is now reaching and engaging far fewer people than it did in the past! According to many Facebook users, this number is as low as 6% – that is not nearly enough to create a vast fan following which will generate leads and customers for companies! Email messages that are well crafted and professional, on the other hand, have an engagement of at least 20%. This means that far more people in any businesses’ target markets are much more responsive through email than through the many social media platforms that they may feel they are being inundated with.
2. B2B social media marketing and B2C social media marketing are not the same
The algorithms for both types of marketing are the same. In the end, the company needs to ensure that their social media posts contain information that satiates their followers and viewers. It is only then that its social media marketing campaigns, be they B2B or B2C will be a success!
3. Only those posts with high engagement are being noticed by the masses
This notion is complete nonsense because many users of social media platforms may be enthralled by a particular post and may be motivated to take a call-to-action even if they don’t like it, respond to it, or comment on it. This is because people are busy and are often times bogged down by the nonsense posts that they may see on various social media platforms. This can make them less likely to respond to business posts relaying important information and urging them to take a call-to-action.
Another thing that businesses doing marketing on social media platforms must remember is that because of the nature of social media – it is a more casual and informal method of communication – meaningful engagement and responses on various social media platforms may take months, and sometimes even years.
4. Only the younger people in my target markets use social media! :
While it may be true that ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,’ in that older people take much longer to adapt to and use various social media platforms, it is simply not true that older people completely avoid social media because they did not grow up with this type of casual and informal type of communication!
In developing nations, as the large demographic segment (commonly referred to as ‘the baby boomers’) ages, they are becoming the single largest demographic group to use social media, and their numbers are growing by the day. Their age ranges from 73-54, so they are NOT young users! This trend is repeating itself in developing nations rapidly as well! The reason for this is because, like the Internet, social media is all-pervasive and is completely transforming the ways in which people live, do business, and communicate with others. Given this reality, it is only natural that older people are embracing social media platforms en-masse, and are using them extensively and intensively!
5. Social media is only used by companies in hot and emerging industries :
Many people assume that because social media platforms and the Internet that supports them are new and constantly evolving, they are sexy modes of communication that only those companies in hot and emerging industries – those that use this type of technical communication the most need to use it. But this is not true because social media is all about reaching out to the larger and disparate global community with a message. This means that people in traditional industries like plumbing and mechanics can use social media for advertising, marketing, and communication to ‘get their messages across!’ In fact, social media is designed for a business who succeed by telling compelling stories about their brands and services – any business can do that. Indeed, those businesses who use social media extensively tend to find that they have greater conversion rates faster, and this is true for businesses in any industry!
Social media is changing the way the world works and is part of the information revolution because it puts a great deal of information which was once the reserve of traditional media channels with a limited reach in the hands of people around the world. As people are struggling to figure out how to use this new medium of communication and engagement, many myths about it are emerging. Five of the most popularly believed myths have been debunked in this article!