You’d think we would know everything about social media by now, wouldn’t you? I mean, you cannot move for digital marketing blogs on the subject. There’s advice for every industry about every channel possible. Yet, it still feels that there is a lot that nobody tells you about social media.
Not every social media manager has the benefit of a marketing degree. Some, like myself, might be educated in other fields. Others have been learning on the job. Experience is often the best teacher of all.
Which means they are probably relying a lot on our blog posts and white papers.
It is interesting that we can regurgitate the same information and only marginal improvements are being made to our statistics. We can perform every bit of advice given, including that which I have written myself, and still struggle to make an impact for our businesses on social media.
That is because of one important and indisputable fact.
Theory and experience are two very different things.
So, what is nobody telling us about social media?
LinkedIn is all about the influencer
Without a doubt, the most common thing you will hear about LinkedIn, is that it is the place to be for B2B businesses. The idea is that your entire target audience are there. It would be nice to think that people are sitting there waiting for you to approach them with your whizz-popping service or product. The truth is, if you treat LinkedIn the same way you would Facebook, you are going to struggle to market to anyone.
What nobody tells you about LinkedIn, is that it is all about the influencer. And, pretty much every individual who posts on there is a potential influencer.
There is this cliché that people trust people. Not brands. Nowhere is this more relevant than on LinkedIn.
Building your page up is more difficult if your own personal profile isn’t well connected. If a social media manager is to be successful on LinkedIn, then they should first focus on their own profile. People are more likely to consume content from an individual than they would a company.
So, the onus is on you to take time to manage your own account.
It’s not as glamourous as it all sounds
For most people, social media is frivolous commodity. A condiment to season their day with. They take glamourous pictures of themselves looking windswept and exotic whilst on their coffee breaks. When someone has a “woke”, philosophical or otherwise deep thought, the crack out their phones and share their wisdom.
What nobody tells you about social media, is that it can be mind-sandingly tedious.
If you think it is about slinging cute pictures online with a whimsical line, then don’t turn up for your first day. Because it is about analysing. It is about creating reports. Reconfiguring. Scheduling. Editing. You can sit there an entire day planning the next weeks social media, and finally getting it scheduled.
Social media management is really about concentration. It’s about planning. And, you can’t avoid the maths either. It is far from sitting in coffee-shops taking pictures of your heart-shaped lattés and loving life.
Be prepared to graft.
Nobody tells you to be suspicious of numbers
Do you want to hear a little story?
There were two social media managers sitting in a pub talking about their accounts. After a while, in the way that it always does with social media divas trying to become influencers, it gets a little braggy. Before you know it, they have begun a pointless appendage measuring contest. So, the numbers start flying around the bar.
In one week, Boastopher McBoasterson managed to get 50,000 followers on Instagram. But that’s OK because Gloatrude O’Gloatsberry got 50,000 likes on Facebook. And the numbers keep coming. But the context doesn’t.
By that I mean the fact that Boastopher paid someone to get them these followers. Of course, he didn’t mention that in the argument. And so, when you look at his photos, there is a grand total of 30 likes per post. Gloatrude ran ads to get the likes, and yet her organic posts are showing next to no engagement.
They have missed the point of social media entirely. They are playing in the pay to play arena.
Be honest, you would much rather have 200 engaged followers that are likely to buy from you, than 50,000 followers that just aren’t engaged.
Unfortunately, you are going to have go back to working hard.
People share without reading
What was that deep clunking sound? Was that you suddenly understanding some of your friends on Facebook? Why a seemingly intelligent person, suddenly shares something asinine has hitherto this moment been a mystery.,
It’s another good reason not to trust the statistics on your social media management tool. What nobody tells you about social media is that shares don’t quite equate to engagement. In fact, those who read half an article are less likely to share than visitors who just happened to see your pretty picture on their news-feed.
This has been used to devastating effect in the past. Britain First used to share articles with click-bait headlines. People wouldn’t read the articles, or even check the source and share the article unaware.
Instagram is probably the most dishonest platform
Monique Courtney dropped all those #nofilter influencers in the soup with her article Behind the Gram. Shock horror, those no filter images have all been edited before being loaded up on to Instagram.
And those photos that look like they have just been taken on a whim are all pre planned. In fact if you want to an influencer on Instagram, then you have to do a lot of research and sourcing the ideal environment for you to be photographed with that oh-so-spontaneous smile of yours.
And that probably wasn’t the first photo they took either.
What nobody tells you about Instagram is that to become successful you need business acumen and a propensity for complete nonsense.
Wrapping up: What nobody tells you about social media
Before you sat down in front of your social media management tool, what did you expect? Were you prepared? Did you become disillusioned at all?
I bet you didn’t realise that it was going to be hard work, though did you?
This is why I always suggest outsourcing to any small business. There is enough to be doing in a day without sifting through a handful of social accounts, all needing different content, using different hashtags with different image dimensions. Honestly, you are better getting someone to manage it for you.
What everybody tells you about social media, is that it should be a key part of your marketing strategy. In turn, what nobody tells you about social media, is that it’s like nailing jelly to a tree.
The social media management industry is so thoroughly saturated, that a small business owner wading in and scheduling posts when they remember to, is likely to do more harm than good.
If there is anything you wish to add to the discussion, or any question that you would like to ask, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment.