Social media has become a massive and powerful channel used by about 3.2 billion people worldwide. So, whether you’re starting your business or already established in your industry, it’s essential that you use social media to advertise your offerings. However, just like a lot of other things in life, social media is surrounded by doubts and misconceptions. But knowing and avoiding these will help you successfully plan out your strategies. To help you understand and see past these fallacies, here are 10 social media myths we need to debunk — and the truths behind them.
10 Social Media Myths That Need to Go
1. You Should Be on Every Single Platform
Social media presence is important in your business’s success. However, being present doesn’t mean you have to be on every single platform. In contrast, you just have to use channels that you can effectively manage and where your target audience spends most of their time.
Each social network has its own purpose and capabilities, some more effective than others in certain aspects. Knowing your goals for using social media will help identify which platforms will work best and help you achieve these. You must also understand who your intended clients are so you can determine which channels they frequently use.
Essentially, being present on the platforms that matter most to your brand and audience will put your time, effort, and resources to good use. This will allow you to create great content and engage with your community, so you can build relationships and see results on your chosen channels. Avoid spreading yourself too thin and using your time, money, and resources inefficiently.
2. Follower Count is Everything
Having hundreds of thousands of followers may look good, but you can also have a small social media community and still be extremely successful in your strategies and campaigns. If you have a substantial number of relevant followers, you’ll be able to directly connect with them and turn them into loyal followers or brand advocates. What’s critical to your business’s success on social is not the size of your following, but your ability to engage and provide value to your community.
Similarly, it’s not true that all accounts that you follow will automatically hit that “follow back” button. People will only follow you if they see that you’re significant to their needs and interests. Once they see that your posts are actually relevant to them, that’s when they’ll follow back or even head to your website to know more about your brand.
To save time and effort, it’s best to only follow users who already seem interested in your content. Avoid randomly following everyone for the sake of getting your name out there as this will not benefit you in the long run.
3. It’s Okay to Auto-Post the Same Thing Across All Platforms
Many brands believe that they’re working efficiently if they create a single post and publish this on all their platforms. However, this is not a wise social media strategy, and it’s one of many social media myths that just won’t die.
Again, every social channel is unique and has different requirements, a unique focus, and a specific user base. LinkedIn is a professional platform where B2B businesses can find their ideal clients. Instagram is heavily used by millennials and where brands mostly use captivating images or videos. Facebook is primarily to connect with family and friends or to send messages and updates, while Pinterest is where people can discover recipes, home ideas, and style inspirations.
It’s essential to know and understand the differences between all social platforms so you can curate your posts to appeal to each network’s user base and use these to your benefit.
4. It Only Takes A Short Time to See Big Results
A lot of companies want instant gratification and expect to see significant results from their social media activities in just a month or two. It’s understandable. After all, that’s exactly what social media does for its users: It provides instant gratification.
Unfortunately, that’s not how effective and long-lasting strategies work.
Building a strong social media presence, following, and credibility takes a lot of time and consistent effort. You might work on community building for about six months to a year before you can see valuable results. You should be willing to explore, experiment, and learn for a long period to carefully determine which online strategies actually work best for your brand.
Remember: All good things take time!
5. Content Marketing Should Only Be About Products and Services
People don’t want to be blasted with marketing and sales pitches, so posts that consistently prompt them to purchase or take advantage of promos turn them off. What they really want is to be heard and valued.
This is why it’s important that you mix up your content type. Determine who your specific target audiences are and find out what their needs and challenges might be, so you can create and regularly post pieces that have relevance to them. Find the right balance between sales-focused, inspirational, educational, and entertaining contents so you don’t overwhelm your audience with hard-selling reminders.
Always remember that your posts should be related to your business, but not all about your business.
6. The More, the Merrier
Of course, you’ll want to consistently remind people of your business. However, this doesn’t mean that you should post every hour of every day. In fact, aggressive posting annoys people and may actually get you unfollowed. That’s why you should limit your posts to a decent time frame and only publish substantial pieces.
Social media platforms — and specific industries — have different times of day when users are active. To determine the best time to post per channel, use data from your previous campaigns and see when most people were online or when engagement rates were highest. eClincher will help you by showing you the best times of day to post.
If you want to publish different posts from a few content pieces and with less time, here are two methods you can implement:
- Content Curation – Share your followers’ posts related to your brand on your social channels or where you connect with your audience. Doing this will add diversity to your messaging, make your fans feel appreciated, and can turn your feed into an industry resource.
- Content Repurposing – Turn one post into multiple pieces and repurpose these depending on the channels you’re publishing on. This will help maximize your social media budget and ensure that your followers see and engage accordingly.
The same goes for using hashtags. Yes, they’re important to start and sustain conversations around your brand. However, too many of these become unsightly. Instead of filling your description or comment sections with generic tags, narrow down to industry- or brand-specific hashtags to make sure you’re attracting the right audiences. Once again, eClincher will help here by telling you the hashtags that will get the most engagement for you.
7. Don’t Get Personal
People love brands that they can actually connect with and relate to, so don’t be afraid to show off your personality through your content. Make it as interesting and relevant as possible to cultivate interaction with your followers. Whether it’s sharing behind-the-scenes pictures, posting videos of your management and employees, or publishing honest blog posts, always be authentic and inclusive to encourage significant conversations and boost customer trust.
Likewise, you should never leave any message unread or unanswered. Show your followers that you’re actually paying attention to them by responding politely and promptly. This will make them feel like you genuinely care for what they have to say. And this is essential in growing your brand’s loyal community.
8. Social Media Marketing is Free
All of these social media myths are dangerous, and this one’s no different.
Yes, it’s free to join and to create an account. And yes, it’s generally cheaper compared to other forms of marketing. However, it’s still an investment to grow and sustain your social channels. You need to allocate substantial time, effort, and resources to get things going and to keep up with the ever-changing space.
You will need a dedicated team who can ensure that everything runs smoothly and accordingly. You need to invest in the right tools to bolster your people’s productivity and efficiency. You have to do research and data analysis to make sure that you stay on top (or at par) of your competitors and industry. These investments may cost you a fair fee but will help ensure your online channels and business are successful.
Keep in mind that you’ll also need to invest in content marketing and community management to sustain your brand awareness and audience engagement.
9. Social Media is Only for the Young
Some brands think that if their target audience is on the older side, social media is not the right marketing strategy for them. That’s definitely not the case. In fact, more and more people above 50 years old are joining different social media platforms.
Based on a survey done by eMarketer, 77.5% of US internet users are Gen X (born between 1965 and 1980) and 48.2% are Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964). More likely using their phones and tablets, these generations are bridging their gap with technology and becoming increasingly familiar with social media networks.
So, if you think social media is not for your brand just because your intended audience is aged 55-65, please think again!
10. It’s Okay to Get Started Without a Plan
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” And this is very true when handling social media marketing. Begin with your social media goals in mind to make sure that all your efforts are aligned with your purpose of being on social media.
Determine who your target markets are, what they value and care about, what they pay attention to, and what social channel(s) they’re on. Knowing the answers to these simple questions will help you identify which platforms use and what kind of content will help you achieve your social media goals.
When setting goals, make sure that you look into your business and your audiences. Some brands choose to follow successful strategies of other companies, only to find out that these didn’t bring the same positive results as they expected. This is because businesses have different objectives, followers, needs, and values. What may be effective for others may not be for you and vice versa, so it’s best to focus on what’s important for your company and customers.
Avoid These Social Media Myths!
Setting effective social media goals and implementing result-driving strategies are not easy tasks. These take a lot of time to research and guts to experiment with what will most likely bring out the best results. What’s important is that you’ll be able to establish relationships with your followers while achieving your business goals.
Now that we’ve debunked these social media myths and know the truths behind each of them, you should have a better understanding of how social media can actually work and benefit your campaigns and company as a whole.
If you need more help with your social media management concerns, contact eClincher today to learn more or start your free trial.