In 2013, more businesses jumped on the Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, etc. bandwagon. Many of these businesses did so without much knowledge on the topic of social media. No worries, we are here to bust the myths that may have plagued the industry in the past.
Social Media is FREE
Yes, it is free to sign up for an account on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all other social media networks; however, it is not free to market on these networks. Many businesses forget to factor in the time commitment and monetary costs associated with populating the networks with relevant content for their users. There are three common costs businesses often do not know to consider:
This is the cost of the business owner sitting down and generating content and answering comments for all their social networks day after day. The business owner has to ask herself if it is worth her time to manage a Facebook account 24/7. If the business owner could be making more money practicing their given trade such as dentistry or managing a salon, then it is not a good idea for the business owner to manage her own networks and a social media manager should be hired.
The social media networks have been set up but now how do you get people to see your content? First, you will probably have to run ads in order to entice users to LIKE or follow you. Next, if you are on Facebook, you will have to pay to boost your content and this cost can run you between $5-50 per post. According to Ignite Social Media, as of December 1, 2013, branded pages on Facebook now only reach about 3% of their fans organically through the news feed. Unless your users are extremely enthralled by your page’s topic, spending money boosting posts is a must.
Social Media Manager Cost
Typically small business owners will start out managing their own social networks and quickly realize they don’t have the time or the advanced skills to properly manage their audience. This is when a social media manager is called in. This is a new cost for the business and one that the business owner probably didn’t include in their yearly marketing budget.
An Intern/Receptionist Can Manage Your Social Networks
This is probably the most common myth we see. In theory we would all love to believe this because it would lower costs. In reality, interns and/or receptionists have not yet been trained in this specialized field. Social media managers need to have at least a basic knowledge of html and graphic design. We can’t tell you how many times we have seen Facebook profile pictures that are not the right size. This makes the business look much less competent.
On top of the need for technical knowledge, receptionists probably don’t have time between answering calls and booking appointments to keep up with the ever-changing industry. Awareness of platform changes is extremely important because if you aren’t managing your networks under the ever changing guidelines you can be banned from the network.
Finally, social media has morphed into a customer service platform. Do your interns know how to properly handle a customer’s complaint? Do they have the authority to offer an annoyed customer a refund? These questions are important to consider when giving an intern the great responsibility of managing a social network. Our suggestion is that if you have to hire an intern to manage the networks, then all content is pre-approved using a social media calendar and a meeting with the company’s marketing manager.
Social Media is Just A Place to Share Stories
FALSE! Social media is a place to generate leads, new business, and promote brand awareness. In the same way that a website is a company’s online business card, social networks perpetuate credibility for a business. It is critical to create a social identity. This means becoming known for posting a certain type of content. For example, if you are a spa you’ll want your posts to emphasize the fact that you create a serene environment for your customers. This step in the marketing process is often an oversight. Your audience needs to know that they will be getting consistent, engaging content in order to get them to commit to your brand.
Thanks for reading. We hope we have stamped out some of the common myths associated with social media. We encourage you to share your thoughts on these myths at https://www.facebook.com/WorldlyStrategies/posts/721382454546435.
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