To be or not to be on social media?
Anyone living in 2018 knows the obvious: there’s no escaping social media. Facebook and Twitter are now household names, with platforms like Instagram and Snapchat following suit. And while it might feel like everyone—particularly millennials— considers themselves an expert, there is still a lot brands can learn on how and when to leverage social media for tangible results.
This feat isn’t helped by some of the questionable misconceptions you hear floating around meetings and offices, so here to set the record straight are a few of those social media myths, debunked:
You don’t really need social media
“Social media is great for e-commerce, but we’re selling services, not goods!”
This was recently said to me by someone who works in an attorney’s office. And I see where he’s coming from; it’s easier to see the value of social media when clicks can translate directly into concrete sales. That being said, having a solid social media presence is still useful, if only to reinforce your organization’s tone, mission, and values. It also gives companies a good way to showcase culture, which you might not get to convey through other channels, and can be great insight for potential employees.
Customers don’t appreciate social media
Think of it this way: If your website is your 24/7 store-front, the same can be said for social media profiles! While your business might not operate past 5 p.m., your customers are still trying to reach you, so why not give them a way to do so? In fact, a study by Sprout Social found that social media was the preferred way for clients to get customer service—ahead of even the website. So when it comes to choosing between you and a competitor, a good social media presence just might be the thing that tips the scale.
Metrics are hard and need a full-time position to really make a difference
Yes and no. Metrics are an essential aspect of good social media practices (why post something when it hasn’t performed well in the past?) and while they can be tricky, there are plenty of existing tools to help you find your way without having to opt for a specialist. For instance, analytics from the platform itself, such as Instagram or Facebook Insights, can help you determine what type of content performs best and when to post it based on your target audience’s preferences. This article also gives a great overview of the best times to post on each platform according to 20+ studies.
You need to be everywhere
On the flip side, too often do organizations and brands fall into the trap of thinking they need to ‘do it all.’ But while it’s easy to start an account, maintaining one with enough shareable, quality content is another thing altogether—especially since social media platforms that haven’t been touched in a while are more likely to paint a negative or confusing picture of your brand.
Do your homework. Determine which platforms your target audiences are spending time on and start there. Starting off strong with two to three accounts will always be better than haphazardly managing six different ones.
By Vanessa Pearce