Social media marketing is booming, but that’s not necessarily a good thing for small businesses trying to break into the field and grow their business. One of the pitfalls of social media’s newfound popularity is that the webosphere has become inundated with self-appointed experts, many of whom have very little understanding of business marketing in a broader sense. As a result, we’re sometimes left with conflicting directives on how to best pursue social media marketing, and as many as 68% of companies don’t know how or if social media is paying off.
There’s also no lack of misunderstanding about what the goals of social media marketing should be, how those goals can be measured, and how you should be using social media for your business. We’ve rounded up the top 3 social media myths in an attempt to debunk these revenue-cramping fallacies so that you can not only use social media effectively, but have a comprehensive understanding as to why you’re doing what you’re doing.
Myth #1: Social media outreach is all about joining the conversation.
It’s not. It’s time to draw the line between social media and social media marketing. When you check Facebook to communicate with your friends and family, or vent about your blind date frustrations on Twitter, or post links to articles you enjoy on Google+, you’re using social media. However, when you channel energy and resources through those same mediums for business purposes, we’re talking about social media marketing, and your goal should be either to raise the visibility of your company, generate leads, or make sales.
Does being a part of the conversation enable this? In part, yes. Social media platforms enable business-to-consumer interactivity, which can have a great impact on brand loyalty, a variable that shouldn’t be understated. But if you get lost in the “fun” of social media and fail to link your actions back to a measurable goal, you’re going to lose opportunities to increase your revenue.
When you create social media profiles for your brand or business, remember to use best SEO practices to optimize them. Social might be popular, but search results are the No. 1 generator of Web traffic, and without those SEO techniques, the odds of being found are significantly diminished.
Myth #2: Social media ROI cannot be measured.
It absolutely can! We’re not talking about the number of likes, followers, fans, RTs, or @replies you get. Before we get into the real business of social media marketing, it’s important to note that these values rarely matter in a quantitative sense.
Too often, companies are looking to “go viral” and are measuring their social media efficacy by the number of fans they have or the number of responses they receive to social media communiqués. While these are a decent enough measurement of who’s listening, it doesn’t track the impact of what those users are listening to. Last month, social media blogger Kristi Hines posted a great blog about how to measure goal conversion with Google Analytics, which is what we use here at We Do Web Content.
There are other tools out there that track social media analytics for you, but using Google Analytics allows you to bring it together with your Web traffic metrics so that you can see the overall impact social media marketing has inside the context of your overall marketing strategies. Remember: social media is one part of your marketing strategy, so you should ensure that you have a clear image of what role it plays in your broader campaign objectives.
If you’re having trouble establishing goals, here are some questions to get you started:
- Who’s handling your social media – and to what end?
- Is it being used for customer service or for sales?
- Is it being used to direct consumers or to glean information from them?
The potential uses of social media are expansive, and in this post at SearchEngineLand, Ciaran Norris lists 5 wildly creative uses of social marketing. Whatever your intentions are, one thing is certain – if you don’t have established goals, you won’t be able to measure them.
Myth #3: Social media is everything – if you can “go viral” then you’ll have a hit and won’t need to worry about a website or anything else.
Not quite (by that, we mean, not at all). Social media can augment a traditional website, but one of the most viral uses of social networks is to share content with other users.
A social media profile is only as powerful as the content behind it. If you’re constantly re-sharing other websites’ content or retweeting other people’s links, what reason do users have to treat you as an authority? None. If you don’t provide original, worthwhile, and organic Web content, your social media profile will be nothing more than a glorified RSS aggregator.
Despite the boom in social media marketing, content marketing is still king, and search results remain the No. 1 traffic driving factor in Internet marketing. Social media profiles are a conduit through which you should be sharing and highlighting your powerful content. Search and social are an exponentially powerful combination, and to ignore one for the sake of the other is a fatal error, no matter what way you dice it.
The takeaway for today:
- establish goals and track them in your analytics
- optimize your profiles with best SEO practices; and
- distribute your organic Web content via your social networking profiles.
Contact We Do Web Content
When your business is looking for quality, custom content for your website, newsletters, and social media marketing look no further than We Do Web Content. Having unique, organic web content is the leading way to increase search engine rankings and boost your Internet marketing. For affordable, quality content exclusive to YOUR website, blog and clients, contact us today! 1-888-521-3880.