"Oh, I just told my friend to post on Facebook for her business. It's free." "OMG, I WISH my job were to play around on Instagram all day!" "How hard can it be to do Pinterest for my business?" I swear to holy Moses, if I had a dollar for every time I heard these seriously misinformed ideas on social media marketing, I'd be able to at least buy myself a really nice pair of shoes.
NEWS FLASH: social media marketing requires a LOT more work and strategy than just "playing around on Instagram all day." Five years ago, you could get away with quality posts on your Facebook and Instagram and not really worry about sales funnels and strategy, but NOT ANYMORE, my friends.
Today, I'm going to be playing a much cuter and more stylish version of those Mythbusters guys, as we break down the top Social Media Marketing Myths.
MYTH ONE: "Facebook is free. I don't need to worry about social media, I just need to post to Facebook once in a while."
FALSE. Oh boy, is this one false. Well, technically, it doesn't COST anything to post to Facebook on your business page, but you get what you pay for. Long story short: 1-2% of the people who "Like" your Facebook page actually SEE your post.
Up until about five years ago, Facebook was pretty good for businesses - you'd add a good post and you'd get a lot of organic (i.e. unpaid) likes and comments. Facebook then realized, "Hey, we have this huge IPO and actually need to make money now," and began really ramping up their ad program. They changed their algorithms so that your organic reach for your business page would be abysmally low, and you'd have to pay money in advertising to get people to see those posts. Nowadays, a very small percentage of people who like your page are seeing what you post. If you don't utilize a really smart ad strategy and sales funnel, very few people are going to see what you're posting.
So, no. If you want people to actually SEE what you're posting, Facebook is NOT free.
MYTH TWO: I need to be on every social media platform on the planet. More is better!
FALSE. Please don't do this. It'll drive you nuts. Pick the 2-3 platforms that are most beneficial for your business, and stick with them. It's better to do three platforms correctly than to have eight of them that are rarely updated. Quality over quantity!
I once got an email from someone who asked for a price quote for me to implement and manage, I kid you not, "Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, Twitter, Periscope, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and Google+ pages" for their business. I told them that for their business niche, they really only needed three of those, if that. This person INSISTED that they needed all of these platforms, and they were dead wrong. Listen: unless you're a huge multinational corporation like Pepsi, you DO NOT NEED every social media platform on the planet. If you have a ton of social media platforms for your business, you'll need at least one full-time person to create content and manage them. It's a ton of work, and most small businesses shouldn't open every social media account they can find.
I don't use Twitter for myself and haven't recommended it to any of my consulting clients yet. Pinterest is awesome, but not for everyone either. Pick the best platforms for YOU and do them well, and you'll reap the rewards.
MYTH THREE: Facebook is where it's at for the cool kids!
FALSE. As of writing this in early 2017, Facebook is NOT where it's at for the cool kids. Millennials use Facebook FAR less than they did ten years ago, and Generation Z (kids born in the mid-90s to the mid 2000s) rarely use it at all.
When you're working on social media strategy, choose the platforms where your target customer hangs out - don't waste your time marketing to teenagers on Facebook, or marketing to middle-aged moms on Snapchat!
MYTH FOUR: I ONLY need to post pictures of my product on Instagram. I sell my product, so that's what I want to post.
FALSE. One time, I was talking about #clientproblems with my uber-talented friend Julie, who runs Spaghetti Fettuccine & Veal. A client of mine ONLY wanted to post crappy photos of their product, when I was advising them to run their Instagram as more of a "splash page" with their product intermixed with inspiration posts that their target customer would enjoy.
Julie put it perfectly: "No one wants to see pictures of their inventory." Unless your product shots are beautifully staged and edited, you should intersperse your feed with other content that's in line with what your target customer wants to see.