Note: Updated Feb 5, 2021
… that social media marketing is easy is an utterly common misconception.
Why this social media marketing misconception?
I think that…
… perhaps this common misconception has something to do with being on these social media tools is being confused with doing social media marketing.
… and perhaps it may be because the entry barrier in social media is low, thus people think that social media marketing is easy.
It might mean creating a Facebook page is easy. Thus, social media is easy. In fact, you can create several pages for your name. Yes, it is THAT easy.
What social media marketing is | The Reality
As a social media marketing specialist for over a decade, I find social media is not as easy as it’s cut out to be.
Sales & customer service expertise in the real corporate world
Social media marketing includes knowledge in marketing and understanding of consumer biases and skill in leveraging and understanding the use of each social media platform to market products and services.
If you don’t have working experience and knowledge on that, you can fast track that by committing yourself to be an avid learner. Go to school. Volunteer. Get a social media teacher. Read a lot of books covering topics like social media, sales, neuromarketing, behavioral economics, and more.
Relationship building tied to business goal
The part where you have to build a relationship with people or other brands, have people visit your page or profile, and engage with your page requires experience, skill, and plenty (yes, plenty) of time to get your desired results.
Pruning the [time] suckers
There is also the part where you need to determine which activities are producers and which are the ones that drain your time – and other limited resources.
Posting sales pitch after sales pitch is not the norm, nor do posting GIFs and cat memes. There is a balance to be practiced between just gabbing and really doing social media marketing for your company.
It includes getting to know your audience and their social habits and biases. And experimenting with those.
Sales pitch without being sales-y
There’s the matter of making them buy your product or service without driving them away. That would require some wordsmith-ing skills.
Managing social media platforms, ideally, requires someone with skills in sales, including customer service and retention. That is why it is not recommended that you leave your business marketing to a teenager alone.
Social media marketing is more about your “followers” or “friends,” and less about you. And that is about having the RIGHT followers that do not drain your time.
Social media optimization
Now, since Google can index social media posts, have at least have a basic understanding of what social media optimization is and how it works. A lot of reading and learning is needed here, too.
Visual images, anyone? There is no doubt that images get a lot of engagement in social media, and you want that.
There are tools to create these images, but what I find is that creating visual content requires some creativity, too. Having a set of sushi knives doesn’t make one a sushi chef.
Then, there’s copywriting….
9 B2B social media tips: “doing” not “being”
Here are some things you can to do for your social success:
- Post relevant content that you own. Content that is useful for your community or the target audience that you want to notice you. It can be news, or how-to’s, etc. In other words, content should be value-based.
- Use social media management tools to make your time efficient. There are many tools that you can use to streamline posting. Some are free; some aren’t. In fact, what you’d find is that not all social media tools have all the features you need. Before you go shopping for one, list first the features that you are looking for in a tool and what matters most to you. There are so many out there. Take advantage of the trial plan before spending your money on anything.
- Learn where to find content to curate. There are many sources where you can find content to use for posting, like Google News and content curation sites. Also, don’t forget the content posted by the people you are following and with whom you are trying to build a relationship with. They may have content relevant to your community. Remember, it’s not all about you.
- Know when to post. Yes, there is such a thing as “timing.” Find out the best time when people in your target segment or geography are active online. Should you follow those “best time to post” suggestions produced out there? If you have none to gauge, yes, you may but to know the best time to post for your audience, really have to get to know when your audience are most likely on the social media platform you are on and what kind of post they like. How do we find out about that? By experimentation – and by using and understanding the data that are available for you out there.
- Harness the power of your data. Data, when understood and used well, can use it to your advantage. Use Google Analytics, surveys, Facebook Insights, Pinterest Analytics, Twitters and Instagram. All these that I mentioned are free.
- Understand the value of hyper-niche posts to understand what keeps people coming back. This is a moving target; hence, this has to be tracked regularly.
- Review social media platforms’ policies on using it and on advertising. Social media platforms have policies. Be on their safe side. Read and comply.
- Hire experts that can augment what need. You can’t possibly do all on social media, but there are experts that can complement your required needs, including advertising and training.
- Never stop learning social media marketing. Get the fundamentals right and keep that in place. Tactics change often. What you were doing years ago may no longer be effective these days.
What is social media engagement?
Scheduling your posts on social media is not social media engagement.
When posting to your social media platforms, you can automate it.
Also, you can cross-post.
You can even auto-engage. You can even create a method to respond automatically to your audience given certain scenario, like the IFTTT recipes.
The fact is, you can automate posts but not relationships that you gain from authentic social media engagement.
Engagement on social media is being in the moment. And that can take time.
Social media engagement is the beginning of building a relationship and trust with your clients or prospective customers.
It is also an excellent way to find your brand advocates.
7 ways to keep engagement going on social media
- Ask questions.
- Be human. Share tidbits about your company that your followers can relate to.
- Converse with other business pages or people. Don’t be afraid to jump in on a conversation.
- Avoid the temptation of selling too often!
- Go “around” and visit your “digital neighbors.” What I mean by that is visit other pages, or say hello on Twitter. Not all of them will respond, but some will.
- Share other company’s post.
- Easy on engagement baiting by tagging way too many people in your post.
It’s a Wrap
All the above requires relentless consistency and your precious time.
Because social media takes time.
Contact an experienced social media specialist if you need guidance. The longer you wait, the farther that you are being left behind by your competitor.