5 Social Media Myths: Busted
If content is king, then social media is the kingdom. Underestimating the power of social media creates the risk of exiling an integral portion of your potential base. In order to get ahead of the constant evolution of social media and use it to your advantage to push out your message and platform, we have set out to debunk five common myths. It’s time to start owning your social presence and ruling your virtual kingdom.
Myth #1: “Only the younger generations use social media.”
According to the Pew Research Center, 75% of Gen Xers and 57% of Baby Boomers are active users of social media. Targeting only Millennials and Gen Z’ers can lead you to ignore a population that can become your biggest brand advocates, especially on Facebook.
With our client California Wellness Foundation’s campaign Upspoken Women, we use a multigenerational content strategy to uplift women of all ages to share their empowering experiences on the topics of love, relationships, and sex. Unsurprisingly, older women make up some of the most engaged and vocal supporters of Upspoken’s Facebook community.
Myth #2: “Everyone is on Instagram/ Facebook/ LinkedIn/ Twitter/ Pinterest/ Snapchat, so we should be too!”
Social media without a targeted strategy is just aimless noise. Figure out who your target audience is and where they are spending the most amount of time online in order to pick the most effective platforms to build your brand presence.
To give you a few examples: Facebook typically skews older, which is great for organizations looking for donors or activists, while Instagram Stories typically skews younger, which is great for organizations looking to interact with followers. Having a presence on relevant (not every) social media channels is the key to success. This will deliver your message to the right person at the right place, generating the most return for your efforts.
Myth #3: “Never engage with negative comments.”
Negative comments are inevitable in the world of social media. Stay calm and don’t take it personally when you see one. Misguided or constructive negative comments can be worth responding to when you can use it as a way to start a dialogue and bring reasoning to the table. Replying respectfully and with facts can not only reinforce your messaging and brand values, but also show that you aren’t hiding from your critics. Platform algorithms favoring comments and elevating posts that have comments is just another plus.
A word of caution: be careful not to feed the trolls. Bringing in an experienced social media manager who can help you determine when to stay silent and when to engage is the best way to avoid them.
Myth #4: “As Facebook/Instagram focuses news feeds on friends and family, the platforms are no longer useful for my brand.”
Since Facebook announced last year that its algorithm will prioritize “meaningful interactions” from friends and family over branded content, it has become trickier to get the screen time you deserve on the biggest social media network out there. It still remains as the champion of link referrals on the Internet, growing your email lists by the thousands and raising dollars by the millions. If your digital strategy is implemented effectively, a valuable return on investment in the form of loyal supporters can be yielded over time.
RALLY client GoFundMe, along with the platform’s users, are often able to use social media to turn their community of followers into donors by highlighting the value of the support and building deep relationships through engagement. A great example of this in action is the Time’s Up legal defense fund, which has been able to raise over $24 million with the help of social referral (shared 23K+ times on Facebook).
Myth #5: “Build great content and then they will come.”
With only about 6.5% of your followers on Facebook actually seeing your organic posts, social media marketing is becoming an increasingly pay-to-play environment. To enhance your reach and grow followers, you will have to put a budget behind promoting compelling content that connects with your target audience and holds their interest.
RALLY works closely with our clients to develop comprehensive paid advertising strategies that allow us to target audiences on specific networks through demographic information. An effective paid strategy is now the cornerstone of successful social media marketing. As two thirds of the U.S. population use at least one social media site, it’s essential to adapt to the pay-to-play environment in order to raise awareness, change hearts and minds, and drive action.
Keeping up with the key facts and tackling the common myths that haunt your niche will help you master the state of today’s social media. We haven’t let these myths dictate how we run our clients’ social media kingdoms and you shouldn’t either.