Top 3 Social Media Misconceptions

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With the advent of social media and each year bringing new bells, whistles, apps or outlets to the table, what’s a person to do? Suddenly you’re reading and seeing the Do’s and Don’ts of posting, tweeting, Instagramming, or blogging. Here’s a few things we’ve learned to help cut through the social clutter and make some sense of this communication that’s the new way of staying connected.

 

Misconception # 1 – Quality vs. Quantity – “If I have 1,000’s of likes or followers, I’m appealing

to a wide audience!”It seems logical, but just because someone has clicked the “Like” button on your page doesn’t mean they are engaged. A real example—I was sitting in a meeting to review our outreach analytics. As we were going through the agenda, we were read a glowing report of our social media and how we had achieved over 6,750 likes on Facebook alone. While that may sound great, I felt these numbers clouded our judgment.

The strength and answers are in the numbers. My problem wasn’t with the 6,000+ Likes, it was the other corollary numbers of the page. On Facebook you can track the number of likes, then how many people have visited the page since. In our case, it showed that three people were engaged. Only three out of 6,750! That tells me that once people Liked the page, they weren’t involved in the dialogue or postings. A Facebook page should strive for at lease 8-10% engagement minimum, and in our case would be 675 people liking and commenting on the page each week.

What’s your percentile?fb likes

Insights and Analytics

When we work with clients in social media, these are the numbers to consider. I would much rather have 250 qualified, engaged likes on a Facebook page, than 2,000+ transient, disinterested parties. At least with the 250, I can build a substantial audience only adding to a sound social media foundation. One example of a successful Facebook page that we’ve worked with is The Florida Calendar. While it may not have thousands of likes (yet), we carefully chose demographics of age, sex, and areas of the country, as well as their interests such as recipes, snowbirds, beaches, cooking, Florida, and artwork. All of these criteria were carefully crafted to create a campaign via Facebook ads to build our starting audience of 650+. In a two-week campaign, there were over 600 qualified likes. The key word here is qualified=someone who may actually buy or recommend your products.

We’ll compare charts with the analytics of this week:

Business Client A                              Business Client B 
672 Total Page Likes                                    4,699 Total Page Likes
4  New Page Likes (organic)                       2 New Page Likes (organic)
695 Total Reach                                           787 Total Reach
92 People Engaged                                     80 People Engaged

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When you compare the two examples and analyze the information, you can see which is getting better interaction per capita of page likes. Something to strive for is increasing your engagement, sharing, and interactions to build your ultimate audience. Likewise on Twitter. Even though Twitter puts a cap on how many people or businesses you can follow in proportion to your own following, you can always tell the profiles that really are popular. When a profile has a very high number of followers but don’t follow as many themselves, it’s a signature of success. An example would be the travel writer for the New York Times; she follows a select few, but thousands follow her.

 

Misconception #2 – A “like” is a Like – whether it’s organic or not.

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There’s two types of likes in the Facebook world: Paid and Unpaid. Paid likes are the result of running an ad campaign that directly asks people who were unaware of your page to like it. The second type that are unpaid, and which I call the more golden likes, are the organic ones. These are likes that are obtained through your hard work of engaging audiences with interesting photos, tips, dialogue – or anything else related to your page. These are people that have either been directed to your page by a friend or a friend of a friend. To me, this is when you know your social media is resonating with your audience and spreading organically; new people like the page and engage.

Don’t get me wrong – likes obtained via advertising are great for building your audience. The optimum situation would be to have a mix of both and create your growing group from there.

 

Misconception #3 – Why isn’t my product selling on Twitter or Facebook?

Pushy-CarSalesman

Amazon and Ebay are for selling; your Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are not. How “social” is it when someone tries to hard sell you a product or service? Imagine being at a party, going to the punchbowl to get a drink, and then your friend pitches you a sale for a used car?? It’s not only a turnoff; it undermines the relaxed relationship building of social media.

I’ve seen varying opinions out about the ratio of dialogue in social media for engaging conversation vs. selling your product. The easiest metric for me is the 80/20 ratio: 80% social engagement with 20% of your time soft selling or promoting your product/service. Keep this in mind when providing content on your outlets. No one likes being sold, but we all are interested to buy.

I know of one instance where we managed a high-end jeweler’s social media, and a Facebook friend who had visited the store but had “liked” some of the jewelry that was shown on their page walked in and asked for the ring on their profile picture. Sold! The ring was over $2,000 dollars and the owner of the jewelry store was shocked when someone came directly from social media with no previous visits to the store.

The expectation that social media will be a direct sales funnel is a dangerous set up for disappointment. It can happen, but it is very rare.

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