Using Social Media to the Best of Your Abilities
Ah yes, we have all read many of these type of blog posts about misconceptions of social media but I have yet to write one…until now. So, I'm focusing what I think are seven of the biggest misconceptions in social media (in no particular order):
1. "Anyone can manage you brand's social media."
Sure, anyone who has a Facebook account or knows how to use social media can manage social media but it doesn't mean that they will do a good job. Managing social media isn't just about posting content here and there while responding to comments and tweets. Managing social media is about creating an online communications strategy and knowing what to say along with where and how to respond. Almost anyone can learn how to do this, but social media management is a lot of responsibility and does take a lot of time, which is why it's best to leave it up to the professionals.
2. "Scheduling all of your posts without having to check each account is acceptable."
Have you ever tried to have a conversation with someone (in person) and they ignore you? Most of us have and it's a horrible feeling. Well, when you schedule all of your social media posts but never check in to each account, this is a form of neglect. You don't want to ignore customer commendations or complaints so make sure to check each account daily.
3. "You can put the same content on all platforms."
It is okay to share the same content on every platform but only sometimes. If you are always sharing the same information on every platform then why would someone want to follow you everywhere? They won't! Make sure to define your goal for each account and create your content based on that goal.
4. "Social media is not measurable."
Yes, it is. There are many paid and unpaid tools that will help you measure your stats. You need to figure out what your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are first and select the correct tools to help you collect that data. If you are someone who uses tools like Hootsuite to post your content, you can track clicks on links. An alternative platform to track social media statistics for your accounts is SumAll.
5. "It's okay to ignore or delete negative feedback."
This is a false statement but with some exceptions. By having a social media account, you are exposing your brand accept feedback, both good and bad. It's important to have procedures in place to deal with negative comments and feedback. You need to define what is valid feedback and what is harassment or trolling. You want to come up with a procedure to acknowledge the user and their comment(s) and to take the conversation off of social media. This may look like an apology and a request to you email or call you or even a link to fill out a report about an incident/feedback. If you feel like it's online abuse you can try to block the user. Make sure you have your social media policy clearly defined and posted online so that the rules are clearly known and visible.
6. "You need to have as many followers/fans as possible."
This is an ongoing debate and there is no right or wrong answer. This may go back to how you are measuring your social media stats. Do you want high-quality followers or do you want a large number of followers? Maybe it's your goal to look very popular and have as many followers as possible or maybe you'd rather have authentic followers with a large engagement percentage? These are your terms to decide and should be clearly written out in your social media tactical plan.
7. "Hashtags belong in every post."
Please don't abuse the hashtag. You don't need to use multiple hashtags per post and not every post needs a hashtag. Often, hashtags can take away from the post and can distract from the message. Be strategic about which words you are using your hashtag on and spread them out throughout the day. If you are using a Hashtag in an image-sharing platform try using your hashtags in the comment section.
Social media is always evolving and growing and each platform has their own unique properties. You never know, one day there may be robots that manage all of our social media while growing each platform with quality followers while you are sitting on the beach sipping a Mojito. Until then, each brand needs a social media "person" or team to help tame the wild beast that can easily run away with your brand. If you don't have that you can always reach out to us because that is one of our specialties.