5 Myths of Social Media Marketing

1. I can't generate leads or sales

Social media is best known for boosting brand awareness and increasing customer loyalty, but it is also a powerful sales tool.

According to figures from Hubspot, 70% of businesses are actively using social media to generate leads, with 34% able to generate quality leads at low cost. Importantly, these results exceeded the performance of advertising (PPC) and direct mail in the same study. If you needed any more convincing, social media was found to have double the lead-to-sale rate when compared to outbound marketing.

Anastasia Kononova (social lead at Unplag), says that “social media is one of the first places checked out by potential customers. Here they learn about your brand, its features and read commentaries left by other customers.

To ensure quality lead generation, you just need to apply correct targeting settings. You can choose your audience by interests, age groups, income, etc. To keep holding their interest, craft compelling content and you will achieve the desired aim.”

Social media is also a valuable way to nurture leads during the mid-sales phase. 25% of B2B technology purchasers say they use social media when comparing companies and purchase options. Gleanster research found that about half of leads aren't ready to buy after an initial conversation. Strong social media accounts can help get sales over the line, providing that final push by putting you ahead of the competition.

2. Social Media is Free

Time is money. While it doesn't cost any money to set up an account or post content, no serious entrepreneur or business can disregard their time input. That's why one of our key goals at Spring Social is to minimise time spent on social media by our clients - they can focus on posting great content and interacting with their customers, while we take care of exposure and growth, which if done by them manually would take hundreds of hours per month.

3. Social Media is only for B2C Companies

Yes, social media applies to B2B. It's easy to look at B2C companies on social media and think, 'those tactics won't work for my B2B company', and you would be right. That's because there are differences between optimal tactics for B2C and B2B campaigns.

B2B players need to know what their customers want and respond to on social media. A study by Eccolo Media found that case studies, success stories, guides, white papers, blog articles and infographics (content marketing) were the most desired by potential B2B buyers on social media. Give the people what they want!

Social media is ultimately a way of reaching and communicating with people. If there are potential customers to communicate with in any place, then there is an opportunity in that place. Research by Marketing Think found that 80% of B2B decision makers visit social networks and blogs when making purchasing decisions.

If we're getting into soft values. According to LinkedIn Pulse, Potential B2B buyers who feel a “high brand connection” are 60% more likely to consider, purchase and even pay a premium than “low brand connection” competitors - and social media is one of the best places to do that.

Here are a few B2B brands that are doing awesomely on social media.

4. A big audience will come virally/naturally

All too often you'll hear advice in marketing circles 'create great material and the rest will take care of itself'. Yes, amazing content can rise to the top, but this generally doesn't happen fast enough or often enough to seriously support your business, it's not a bet worth staking your time or money on. Why leave your growth in the hands of others? It's up to you to give it a push and generate exposure.

5. Social media attracts youth only

This myth surely must be rooted in Facebook's history; rising to prominence as a university student social networking site. It's broadly true that all major social networks started out with youth-dominated userbases, but those days are long gone.

The statistics leave absolutely no doubt that social media in not just used by younger generations, adoption has spread to people of all ages.