Fake news has overrun social media sites, but falsehoods and fabrications have consumed social media marketing, as well.
Here are three common misconceptions about online communications—and quick tips for getting to the truth:
1. Social media “likes” drive sales. “Simply liking a brand on social media doesn’t mean you’ll buy from them,” says measurement expert Katie Paine.
A recent Harvard Business Review experiment supports that assertion. It studied 18,000 Facebook followers over four years and concluded that “the mere act of endorsing a brand doesn’t affect a customer’s behavior or lead to increased purchasing.”
What the study did find is that people are more inclined to “like” you on social media after they’ve already bought from you.
“It turns out that we’ve had the correlation wrong,” Paine says. “It’s not that social media changes purchasing behavior; it’s the other way around.”
That doesn’t mean a “like” isn’t valuable. It just means communicators should be more realistic about their online objectives.