For my next batch of blog posts, I’ve decided to start looking at those myths which exist in social media that, if your business believes them, are actually quite harmful to your ability to engage with your audience in the space.
These myths are common, prevalent and impact on businesses regardless of their industry. They spread through the media, social media consultants or well-meaning, but ultimately misguided, professionals.
Hopefully by helping to bust them, they’ll show your business that there are new ways of looking at social media that will help you improve your chances of success.
Myth #1: you HAVE to post in social media every day.
I’ve been working with clients in the social media space for more than a decade now and if I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard this one, I’d be sitting on an island drinking Pina Coladas … and it would be my island.
There’s a school of thought that says you HAVE to post in social media every day. I’ve even heard it explained this way: “you need to post in Facebook every day, otherwise you might as well not bother.” What rubbish.
Here’s the thing: while I agree with the concept of regular posting to social media – in fact, it’s the lifeblood of engagement with your customers – if you focus on posting for posting’s sake, you’ll end up with a social media program which focusses on the wrong things:
Quantity over quality
If you are focussing on the strategy of posting every day because you were told to, you will inevitably end up putting out a volume of work, rather than targetted work. Your posting/tweeting/whatever will be fulfilling an objective of publishing rather than engagement. You’ll produce quantity, not quality.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that your customers sit at home (or the office), hitting refresh on their computers waiting for your post. They’re not. Instead, they’re looking for the value, discount, interest or advice that your post contains. Yes, it’s important to be regular so you stay top-of-mind with the community but you need to focus as much on the WHY you’re posting as much as the WHEN.
And that says nothing of the fact you’ve taken your eye off the ball in terms of what the social media platforms want from you in terms of content … and what they’ll punish you for if you’re not playing ball according to their rules.
Your time over their time
One of the keys to social media connection is to parachute your messages into an audience group when THEY are ready to absorb it, not when YOU are ready to publish it. The timing of your social media is important in terms of ensuring it arrives when people are looking – if it doesn’t, it will slip down their feed and not even be noticed.
The whole ‘daily’ myth also doesn’t help you post to fit into your customers’ natural information gathering processes – or even your own sales processes. I’m working with a retailer right now who is posting three times a week – Tuesday, then Friday and Saturday. Why? Because he knows his audience is thinking about his product more later in the week and on the weekend, which is when they come into his showroom. We know, from talking to his customers, that Mondays are pointless and Wednesdays are also low-interest days. When they see this retailer’s name on a Monday, they don’t register any interest. So we therefore post when the customers are in the right headspace. Myth busted.
So while I would always encourage people to post regularly in social media, focussing on the ‘daily’ myth can be counter-productive. Instead of publishing for publishing’s sake, why not focus on how you can regularly engage with audiences with information they care about?
What other myths are out there that you’ve seen, believed or simply drive you nuts? Let me know and I’ll cover it in a future blog post.