Social media marketing can seem to be deceptively simple to individuals who view it from the outside. All you need is an awesome service or product and your audience will find you.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if that were true? But unfortunately, it’s not. In fact, social media is a real challenge for small businesses – and can prove tricky even to those who spend lots of time as well as energy managing their social media accounts.

The main reason? There are some popular misconceptions about social media marketing and a few secrets that you simply won’t know about unless somebody tells you.

1. The Size of Your Social Media Following May Not Make a difference

One of the leading misconceptions about social media marketing is always that “Page Likes” equal achievements. That’s generally far from the truth. You could make an entertaining account that pulls new followers and never see any change in your bottom line.

In the event that occurs, you’re basically whistling in the wind. The amount of time as well as energy you spend on managing your social media pages isn’t getting you anything at all in exchange. A better choice is to concentrate on bringing in highly qualified and driven followers that are likely to turn into customers and promote your posts with their good friends.

2. Overnight success doesn’t exist

To quote the cliché, social media marketing isn’t a sprint, it’s actually a marathon. It takes considerable time, commitment, and persistence to entice a following and discover results from your social media marketing efforts.

In lots of ways, this belief relates to the first one above. A large following doesn’t always equal good results. You may invest a lot of cash improving your page and attract a lot of followers. However, if those followers don’t purchase from you, the money may have been wasted.

Put simply, social media marketing demands a continuing commitment to quality. You’ll have to work hard to create valuable and entertaining content – and be willing to tweak your methods to get the results you want.

3. Follower engagement is as important as your actual content

You might generate amazing content regularly, but if you aren’t also putting aside time to build relationships with your readers, you might as well not bother.

Many businesses make the mistake of neglecting the “social” in social media marketing. It’s your task to keep track of your content, respond to comments, answer questions, and usually make your followers believe that they’re important to you.

Engagement is often time-consuming, and it’s one of the reasons that a lot of small business owners don’t do well on social media. You may need to employ someone to keep track of your mentions, comments, direct messages and questions to make sure that nothing is being lost.

4. Consider working with a Creative Team

Your social media marketing objectives may be simple or huge, but in either case, it’s important to understand that you might not be able to do everything you have to do without having help.

Creativity is a plus with regards to social media marketing. If all you do is share information from other individuals or Tweet out information about your products or services, you’re not going to appeal to the enthusiastic following you need.

The trick is to grant your social media manager the creative support they require. That could mean employing a creative group to work with them. Or, it might be as easy as providing them with a budget that they may use to employ freelancer writers or bloggers, photographers, and designers to give your social media a much needed lift.

5. Make sure you analyse your results and work

Analyzing the final results of your social media marketing is vital if you want to grow your business. It’s not enough only to eyeball your Likes and other obvious analytics. You’re going to need to dig deep to perfect your strategy.

The good news is, most platforms provide basic analytics that you can use to begin with. In case you pay for a social media management tool, you most likely can access additional reporting and analysis. Either way, it’s important to use the data you have to test, improve, and re-test your posts and strategy.

6. Forget about predicting what will be successful

The Ultimate goal of social media marketing is the viral post. Whether it’s a video, a meme, an image, or a blog post, every social media marketer hopes for creating The One – the exclusive post that will reach millions of followers and sends their company into orbit.

We’d love to be able to give you a system to help you create that perfect post. Sadly, there isn’t one. The best you can do is produce the most entertaining, valuable, appropriate content you can – and trust that your followers will share it and that it will catch on.

Needless to say, there are certain things that will help your chances of going viral. Humorous content does well, and so does material that’s helpful to various groups of people. Instead of concentrating on virality, spend your time getting creative – and the rest will, ideally, follow.

7. Everything changes – nothing stays the same

On the list of the hardest areas of social media marketing is the fact that change is normal. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram are constantly adjusting their formulas – and you’ll have to remain top of the changes they make if you want to flourish.

For instance, Facebook not too long ago changed its algorithm to prioritize posts from personal connections over those from businesses. As a result, businesses had to rethink their approaches, work harder to get organic and natural engagement, and increase their Facebook marketing budgets to ensure that their posts reach their followers.

Monitoring your effort and engagement can help you in this regard. However, it’s necessary to be aware of changes and also to adapt your strategy appropriately so you’re not wasting your time and money.

Social media marketing isn’t as simple as it appears to be. But taking into consideration the various points that we’ve discussed here, you may find that managing a successful social media marketing campaign is just that bit easier for you.