Whilst we might have grown further apart as a species in a physical sense, in many ways we’ve never been more connected thanks to the global proliferation of social media. Social networking has changed not only the way we spend our free time but to an extent has changed the way in which many of us live our personal and professional lives. For content marketers, this means subtly altering practices that they might have been using for decades in order to fully exploit the potential of social media and social networking.
Even though social media has been a largely positive influence on the world of content marketing however, there is still a degree of reticence to be felt in certain circles. The reasons for this reticence however are generally based on false beliefs that have been backed up by popular social media myths. Here we’ll be examining a few of these myths, breaking them down and proving that in most cases, they are little more than rumours and (in some cases) outright lies that have somehow blossomed into ‘assumed fact’.
This is simply not true. Data collected from ‘Pew Internet’ last year shows that 72% of adults in the United States use social networking sites and that the majority of these adults use them on a daily basis. Even elderly adults (those over the age of 65) have cottoned on to the trend, with an estimated 43% of over 65 year olds using social media. So it is of course possible that a significant portion of your customers are not social media users, especially if your business caters primarily to an older clientele. But to write off social media entirely would be foolish.
Social Media Means The End Of Email
Quite the opposite actually. Remember that in order to sign up for an account with any of the major social media sites (including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) users need an active email address to verify their identity. Social media and email compliment each other in many ways, they don’t’ cancel each other out as many (frankly naive) marketers might believe. This is especially true now that so many of us are using programs that consolidate all of our messages (email, social media, text messaging and otherwise) into one ‘app’.
Negative Feedback From Social Media Sites Should Be Ignored
It would be easy to write off all the negative feedback on your social media page as ‘trolling’ but in most cases, people will only have access to your page if they have already expressed an interest in your company. This means that everyone who comments on your page will be either a past customer or a potential customer so you should take all of their feedback seriously, no matter how daft it might sound. Reply to every single comment (if possible) and try to steer clear of patronizing language. You’re representing your brand and want to come across as caring and thoughtful, not snotty and antagonistic.
Social Media Should Be Primarily Focused On New Customers
If you truly believe this then you really don’t understand how social networking operates. The majority of users who you’ll be reaching through a social media marketing campaign will already be fans of the company or former users of the brand so you should really gear your marketing as though you’re preaching to the converted. Of course that doesn’t mean you should be any less ambitious or aggressive with your marketing, it just means you should play it more as a means of keeping customers loyal than gaining new ones.
Social Media Impact On Sales Can’t Be Measured
Although there might not be a magic piece of software that allows you to track exactly how effective your social media campaign has been, you can get around it by creating something that actually is able to be measured. This could include anything from unified customer databases to Q&A boxes that customers are required to tick. If you’re worried about tracking the effectiveness of social media, think about television, radio or direct mailing. Is there any way to track their effectiveness either? People are generally only dubious of social media because it’s (relatively) new, and people will always be afraid of the new.
Social media is perhaps the most powerful potential marketing tool for marketers that many are not using or are using tentatively because they simply don’t understand it. Hopefully we’ve managed to disprove a few widely believed myths here though so you’ll be more willing to jump into the social media spotlight with open arms.
Philippa has written this article to show readers how not all ‘facts’ about social media and content marketing are true. Philippa is currently working on the ClicksureSupport site. Connect with Clicksure, here.