A career in social media marketing can be extremely frustrating, yet it can be fun as well. While technology changes day by day, social media marketing is often misunderstood due to the fact that it is still young. Many people assume that social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter are magic worlds that allow posts, videos, and images to go viral; however, this is not always true. With that being said, there are some things that people just get wrong about social media marketing. So, here are some things that you need to know regarding social media marketing:
1. It Is Definitely Not Magic.
It is often believed that you can share posts on social media and that you will immediately -- and magically -- begin to see business. Since this is a misconception, businesses often become frustrated because they understand the importance of staying active, yet they just aren't able to be successful. In the end, the truth of the matter is that obtaining success on social media takes time, budget and strategy. It's impossible to find success with just a few posts or tweets. If you want to drive results on social media, you have to be able to understand that you will only find success through consistency, commitment, and adaptation.
2. It Is Definitely Not Free.
Social media marketing is one of the most effective ways of getting content in front of an audience. However, it is not free and it is also not extremely cheap. This is something that must be taken into consideration when looking at the cost of marketing. There are some questions that you need to ask yourself, including:
- How long does it take you to develop quality content?
- How long does it take you to publish and also monitor the content?
- How long does it take you to execute advertisements that will promote the content?
Businesses put significant time as well as money into their search engine optimization strategies, yet they fail to put as much importance on their social media. You need to make sure that you focus on social media just as you would any of your other marketing campaigns. With the right marketing partner or employee, you will realize that your investment will help boost marketing KPIs across all of your marketing channels.
3. It Is Definitely the Future.
When social media entered our lives, it changed the way that we all communicate with one another. It doesn't seem that it is going anywhere anytime soon. With the amount of impressions and usage that social media outlets get, you could basically view them as major news outlets. So, think about this: would you miss the chance at getting your brand a prime spot on NBC, ABC, CBS or FOX?
If you have not been utilizing social media to your advantage, then you are doing your brand and business as a whole a disservice. It doesn't matter whether all of your current consumers or your direct target audience are power users of social media, there are plenty of up-and-coming people and consumers who are going to be using social media and can be converted into customers.
All you need to ask yourself is this: Where is your brand going to be in a few years if it doesn't have a presence on social media?
4. Strategy Is More Important Than Tactics.
One of the most exciting parts of social media marketing is the actual posting and tweeting. However, if you don't have strategy with your tactics, then you are wasting your time and money. A number of brands fail to determine why they are posting or tweeting and end up skipping right to what they are tweeting or posting about.
Do you understand the difference between tactics and strategy? Ultimately, strategy is your campaign plan and tactics are the actions that you will implement to achieve that campaign plan. Therefore, it will fail if you do not have both tactics and strategy.
When considering strategy, you need to think about the tactics that are most important and the tactics that are only nice to have. Begin with your goals. Next, determine your strategy. Then, determine how you are going to get there.
5. You Will Need to Re-Define Your Relationships.
As a general rule, social media marketers are classified into one of two categories: idealists and realists. Idealists tend to think that brands need to build on relationships with social media users in order to have success in marketing to those users. Realists understand the importance of relationships, but they also realize that no one person goes to a brand for any form of emotional support.
Overall, with social media, we all need to re-define relationships. If we can focus on providing more value to users on social media, rather than trying to just be their best friends, we can see how results can be driven by social media.
Of course, it is possible for brands to create marketing messages for social media users that will connect with those users on an emotional level. However, if you scale it over the number of social media users and brands that are utilizing social networks, you will see that it is unrealistic. Ultimately, most consumers do not look at a brand logo for a relationship; instead, they look at a brand logo for value. Therefore, brands need to start offering some type of lasting value to consumers rather than trying to make themselves appear as a best friend to their consumers.