Social media is hardly a new agency discipline. Yet despite having proved itself as a valuable and enduring marketing medium, it remains one of the most commonly misunderstood aspects of our industry. Perhaps this is in part due to its jargon-filled nature (dark posts, regrams, UGC, algorithm, viral, viral, viral), or more likely still, the speed at which best practices, platforms du jour, and featured capabilities always seem to be changing.
Here to help you conquer the myths of the medium, our social department pros chimed in to shed some light on the most common misconceptions they encounter with clients, “traditional” agency folks, and everyone in between.
THE MYTH: “It’s best to just post... anything!”
Like any communications game plan, social media requires a strategic and carefully considered execution to be successful. Posting for the sake of it or on a capricious whim makes it hard to build a loyal, engaged following. Audiences resonate best with consistency and a clear, singular point of view.
THE MYTH: “The more platforms we’re on, the more exposure we’ll get. We need to be pushing ourselves to have a presence wherever people are.”
Every brand is unique—and therefore has unique digital needs. While some brands are very visual and fit naturally on platforms like Instagram, others might lack a tangible product, thus finding themselves more comfortable on channels like Facebook. Ultimately, careful targeting and contributing quality content is much more likely to build a loyal, active customer base than casting a wide net across as many platforms as you can find. Think deep, not wide.
THE MYTH: “We’ll definitely want to create a new hashtag for this.”
Hashtags should serve a purpose and have a specific utility. If you want your audience to use a hashtag, encourage them to use one that feels natural or that they are already using in association with your brand. Creating a new hashtag because it seems like a fun idea can confuse your audience or cannibalize the social conversation.
THE MYTH: “Well I don’t like it, so it probably won’t work.”
Content should always be rooted in demographic data and analytics. It needs to be tailored to meet your audience’s needs and interests, not necessarily your own.
THE MYTH: “We’ll just use the banner ad we created as a social post.”
Content needs to be created to accommodate for the nuances and best practices of their given medium. Because banner ads have a different purpose and functionality than social posts, they are made with a different set of creative and strategic considerations. Social content, too, needs to be created intentionally, and cannot serve as a convenient way to repurpose existing marketing assets.
THE MYTH: “All social media people are young and cool.”
Social media is an agency department like any other—no different to accounting in that regard. Anyone who takes the time to learn the platforms and master the field can work in social media—young and old, cool and lame. At HZ, we all just happen to be very cool, too.