There are many misconceptions business owners have about the online marketing practice. Here are five of the most dreaded statements a social media marketer can hear.
These represent common misconceptions, and include a solution to keep both parties on the same page.
“This should be so much cheaper than ‘regular’ advertising.”
No one quite knows where this mindset came from, especially considering the well-worn adage, “You get what you pay for.” Advertising online is not free, nor is the skill, experience, or time required to advertise successfully. A little known secret is that a well-funded, expertly run campaign may actually cost far less than the mistakes made by cutting corners in the advertising budget. Not only does advertising come at a cost, but promotional contests require worthwhile prizes to encourage participation.
Solution: Discuss budgeting options with your marketer during the campaign planning process. Keep in mind that some flexibility will be necessary, and communicate your expectations to your marketer.
“We’re on Facebook and Twitter — that should cover it.”
Never make the mistake of assuming an online presence means that you can stop trying in the real world. Are there lots of people on the Internet? Yes. Is your customer base online? Most likely, but not exclusively. Currently the most effective campaigns pair traditional and new media to cover the full scope of advertising options.
The benefits of New Media can serve to enhance the more familiar traditional media campaigns a business is already using.
Solution: Seek a marketer who operates in the middle ground (the kind of marketing that melds old-school techniques with new-school applications) or initiate an open dialog between your business’s real world marketer and your online marketer that allows them to craft campaigns that utilize various types of advertising.
“My son is pretty good with computers, so he’s handling our online stuff for now.”
Hopefully, you would never say, “My daughter is pretty good with a calculator, so she’s managing our taxes this year.” Having the ability to use a piece of equipment properly is not the same as using it to its fullest potential.
A good online marketer understands the nuances of the platforms and how to utilize them to influence a community. A bad marketer doesn’t know he’s bad, and protecting your company from hiring the wrong person requires research.
Solution: Keep in mind that while the platforms are informal, their impact is significant. The job position of online marketer should be given the same respect that an in-house marketer would have, i.e., no interns, no high-schoolers, no one who is inexperienced or unqualified.
“What can you promise me for ROI?” or “How soon can you promise results?”
Followers can be purchased. There are widgets and programs designed to “scrape” social platforms for followers, but this reduces your online marketing efforts to the same hail-Mary style tactics used in television and radio advertising.
To focus on the dollars-and-cents return on your online marketing effort is to overlook the real results of your advertising campaigns: raised interaction, increased awareness, a broadening of brand recognition, and a higher level of trust from the customers in the brand.
Solution: Communicate your goals to your marketer and discuss the realistic outcome of your campaign efforts. Expand your definition of “return on investment” to include non-monetary returns that will benefit your company overall.
“Pictures? But I hired you to do this!”
Your marketer will require materials and contact with a decision-maker within the company in order to craft the business’s online presence and run marketing campaigns. Too often, marketers are contracted to work and expected to, for example, run a video-based campaign without a video from the company.
Your marketer will be able to generate much of the content they need, but a refusal or inability to give priority to providing requested materials has ruined many campaigns, and wasted valuable time and resources of businesses.
Solution: Create a strategy calendar with your marketer that specifies what materials will be needed, and who is responsible for creating them. If your marketer proposes a strategy that requires involvement to which you cannot commit, it is imperative to let them know immediately in order to create an alternative plan.