Last June, I joined the team at True Voice Media. I had previously worked at a marketing agency, so I thought I already understood the role of social media and all its capabilities. I spent a lot of my time writing posts for various social channels and scheduling them into content calendars. After posts were published, I would document how many likes, shares, and comments each one got, as well as read through the hundreds of comments to analyze the consumers’ sentiment.
The process of managing social media became pretty mundane. I often look back and wonder why on earth I continued to pursue a career in it…
But I’m so glad that I did continue because, in just a few months of working at True Voice Media, I’ve learned what comes next: The really cool things!
Most importantly, I’ve learned how to help companies apply a social-first digital strategy to achieve real, attainable business goals…or in other words, how to become a social business.
I get asked a lot of questions about my job and the kind of work we do; e.g.
From my family;
“What exactly is it that you do again?”
From my friends;
“Do you just sit on Facebook all day?”
Even some of our clients, in the beginning, are at a loss with how the role of social media will play into its business. I get it, most people who do not work in the industry just don’t know what can be done on social media beyond organic posting. But it gets pretty exhausting having to explain myself again and again.
So for those who don’t quite understand what it’s like to work in the industry, I’ve listed the most common social media misconceptions and cleared them up for you.
The Top 3 Social Media Misconceptions
Misconception #1: Posting organically to social media is enough to generate sales.
What I now know:
Simply posting to Facebook and Twitter everyday will not guarantee that your intended audience will see you. Neither will it suddenly cause your business to double its sales. Organic social media management is a must for businesses to do if they want to have clear, consistent messaging. But in today’s age of saturated content and news feed algorithms, it’s hard to make a real impact in a short amount through organic social media.
There’s also no science behind posting to social media. People like to speculate about how many times is best to post to each platform and what times of the day have the most traffic. But to be blunt, it really doesn’t matter. No one is going to notice if you forget to post one day, or if you post more than usual one day.
The only way to ensure that your content is getting in front of the right people is to use paid social campaigns. You have the ability to chose your audience (based on any demographic you can imagine) and hit them with content as aggressively as your budget will allow. The benefits are that your ads are guaranteed to be shown to your intended audience without getting lost in news feed algorithms. This way you can generate big results in a specific amount of time, no matter if your goal is for awareness, traffic, or conversions.
Misconception #2: You must be using all the latest social tools.
What I now know:
The tools you use are not the goal. Of course it’s important to stay on top of all the latest trends, especially in an industry where they are constantly changing. All savvy social media strategists should know what tools and resources are available to him and which ones will benefit his clients the most.
However, many clients get too hung up over the specific tools they think they should be using, rather than the end goal. Tools are meant to make people’s lives easier. Just that. So if a tool isn’t making your life easier, than it’s not the right tool for you.
Social media is simply a tool.
Therefore it is the means, not the end. It is not a catchall solution to achieving your business goals; it will only assist your business in achieving its goals.
By looking at social media as a tool, rather than a solution, companies will be able to use it more effectively. The question that companies should ask is not, “What are our goals for social media?” But rather, “What are our company’s goals for the next 6 months…and how can we implement social strategies help us achieve them?”
Once that question is answered, you can devise a strategy for how you can incorporate social media.
Misconception #3: Social media is only used for marketing initiatives.
What I now know:
Social media can be used in all aspects of a business plan. Though, for whatever reason it only seems to be placed under the umbrella of marketing. But, social media is also a great tool for HR, business development, customer service, and even internal processes, such as communication and research.
For example, imagine your client wants to launch a thought leadership campaign. You and your team are not just going to create a bunch of content about what you assume the target audience wants to know. You have to conduct the research first. Where are you going to do that? The very place that real people are holding real conversations – social media. Using appropriate search terms on different groups and forums on social media, you can discover what questions people are actually asking within the industry, what information they need more of, and who the top key influencers are. This research is 100% authentic and 100x better than relying on outside resources.
Other ways to incorporate social media into non-marketing departments include recruiting efforts, reaching out to sales leads, communicating with customers, and creating communities for your employees. The possibilities are countless as long as the right amount of creativity and determination are there..
I’ve faced all three of these social media misconceptions during my time at True Voice Media. We constantly fight them everyday, and it takes time and patience to help people understand the realities of them. But when a client is able to see past them, it becomes clear that the role of social media is much greater than perceived. When we’re able to implement social media to its fullest potential, we can help our clients become social businesses, and therefore achieve real business goals, not just social media goals.
That is the reason why I am glad to work in social media – specifically at a social-first digital strategy agency. I find joy and satisfaction in knowing that the work I do has the power to impact the wellbeing of an entire business.
Best of all, not one single day has been mundane.