Wise up to social media and stop being fooled by these myths!
Myth #1: likes = success
This is a myth that’s been around forever, and it’s one of the hardest ones to break. You see, we’ve become conditioned to love likes. We thrive on likes.
We pretend we don’t care, but there’s that tiny surge of panic when our Instagram photo is hovering on nine likes. Two more, and the names change to numbers. It’s a stressful few minutes. Phew. You did it. We made it. We’re in the safe zone. All likes beyond this are an added bonus.
Likes give us validation, a sense of popularity, support, and justification.
But at the end of the day, a like’s just a like. A follower is just a follower.
Would you rather have 1000 people throwing round likes but who will never actually take the next step and visit your website, or 100 people who are genuinely interested in you, have bought from you before, or are considering your product?
On the other hand, likes do give our brands and us a sort of social proof. So they’re kind of important. But they’re not the be-all and end-all of success. There’s more to Facebook than likes!
Growing likes organically
Growing likes organically is hard. And takes a long time. Many pages have struggled to grow likes organically, especially since the Facebook Like Purge of March 2015. Which conveniently leads us into the next point…
A like is just a like, right?
Myth #2: I don’t need to spend money on social media
No you don’t have to. But you should be. And that doesn’t mean dropping $100 per week on haphazard ads begging for likes, follows and clicks.
The landscape of social media changed a solid two years ago. Back in the day, organic reach was a given. We’d post at 4pm and reach hundreds of fans (and non-fans!) It was a simpler time.
But then Facebook (and the other networks) thought, “Hey, hang on a minute. We need to make some money here too!”
And from that day forward, organic reach was never the same.
In fact, it’s been dropping ever since. Now, you’re lucky to reach a paltry 2% of your fan base.
Just how small is 2%? Here are some examples…
- A page with 100 likes: 2% of 100 = 2!
- A page with 500 likes likes would reach, on average, 10 people per post
- A post on a page with 5000 likes would reach 100 people
- A page with 50,000 likes would reach 1000 people organically
And while that’s annoying at first, you must understand that Facebook’s a business, too. And they want to prioritise friends and families in users’ News Feeds, rather than your product (Sorry to be so frank.)
Myth #3: it's free (time is money)
Even if you refuse to pay for social media advertising, you’re still spending time on Facebook. Besides the monetary contribution, you’re investing time into:
- Creating posts
- Curating posts
- Actually posting (or scheduling)
Myth #4: the more likes or followers I have, the more successful I am!
Quite the contrary – a recent study has found Instagram influencers with fewer followers actually have a better engagement rate on the platform.
- Instagram users with fewer than 1000 followers have a like rate of 8%
- Users with between 1000 and 10,000 followers have a like rate of 4%
- Users with 10,000 to 100,000 followers have a like rate of 2.4%
- Users with 1 million to 10 million followers see a large drop in engagement rates: 1.7%
What does this tell us? That followers are not the be-all and end-all of social media success.
And thanks to new algorithms that filter out and reorder content from brands, it’s now more important than ever to concentrate on posting quality content rather than 5+ posts a day with the hope of increasing your brand’s organic reach.
Myth #5: I should be on every social network
This is where I’ve really changed my tune over the past few years.
Even as little as two years ago, I’d visit websites and see more than half a dozen social network links at the top of their page. Now, it’s more common that I see two or three. Businesses have realised that it is hard work to maintain a presence on so many social networks, and more importantly, they understand where their ideal target markets hang out.
They’re getting rid of the social networks that are wasting their time and concentrating on the places where people engage with their content and are referred to their website. Smart move.
Final thoughts: social media marketing fulfils various sub-goals
The end-goal for most brands using social media (and other marketing tactics) is ultimately more sales and revenue.
However, a small business that offers home services (for example, a plumber) relies on reactive – rather than proactive – clients. That means that I can like a local business, genuinely enjoy their Facebook posts, and sign up to receive a newsletter when they publish a new blog post…
BUT: until I need them, I will never call them or give them any of my money.
What we do on social media (and through content and SEO) all leads to the moment when someone does need you. And how will they find you? If they remember you, they might go directly to your website or type your business name into Google. If they don’t, they’ll use certain keywords to find you (e.g.: they knew you were a party supplier in Richmond, but couldn't quite remember your name... so naturally, they type in "party shop Richmond" with the hopes of finding you.)
But there are other goals social media fulfils; ones that can’t be quantified:
- Brand perception
You can’t put a number on these things, but they all help when it comes to a lead that is searching for a service or product. (Bonus points: Google likes to see you sharing quality content on social media.)
Is social media for new or existing customers?
Further, Jay Baer makes a really interesting point: he says that people who “like” your page are likely already your customers. He goes on to explain:
“Recognise that in social you are primarily preaching to the choir. And to me, that makes social primarily a loyalty and retention play, not a straight customer acquisition play.”
A truly valid point! (Read the full blog post here.)