by on November 15, 2022

2020 saw rates of social media use soar among all demographics.

The shift towards social media has become ever more pronounced over the pandemic with a reported 43% increase in time spent on social media over the past 12 months.

Source: Global Web Index Report

When it comes to using social media for marketing purposes, this shift is welcome news. Social media has enormous potential to boost your business’ success.

The key to success lies in using social media strategically and avoiding some of the most prevalent myths and misunderstandings that still persist when it comes to marketing online.

In this article, learn how to counter the most prevalent myths with my 10 myth-busting tips.

Myth 1: Social Media Is Just a Sales Tool

Fact: Being overly promotional on social media is a sure-fire way to turn people off.

There’s a misconception that social media is essentially a giant sounding board for you to pitch your products and services. If you think about your own use of social media you don’t log on so you can read ads. You go there to socialize and find interesting content.

Sprout Social surveyed more than 1,000 Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram users to determine what annoys them about brands on social media, what drives them to unfollow, and which industries are on the right side of the line. Respondents indicated that the most annoying thing brands do on social media is over-promote.

Try this myth-busting tip

Aim for a healthy mix of content by following the 80/20 rule: 80% non-promotional content and 20% posts with calls to action. Experiment with posting quality content from others. To quickly find great relevant content on Facebook, use the Pages to Watch feature in Facebook Page Insights.

Myth 2: Everyone Is on Facebook, so We Should Be Too!

Fact: Social media without a strategy is just noise.

I hear this myth quite often when I ask clients why they want to use social media. Many reply: “We have to be on Facebook because everyone else is there.” So they set up a Facebook account (or establish a presence on some other popular platform everyone is on) and then have no idea what to do beyond posting a few initial updates.

Thinking you have to be on social media because your boss, friends, and competitors say they should is not a tactic.

Try this myth-busting tip

What business goals do you want to achieve using social media over the coming year? Write down your top three to five objectives over the next 3, 6, and 12-month periods. Make them SMART — SpecificMeasurableAttainable, and Realistic, as well as Time-based.

Myth 3: You Need a Presence on All Platforms

Fact: Not all social media is created equal.

It’s important, especially if your resources are limited, that you’re focusing your social media efforts in places that will generate the most return for your efforts. Different platforms attract different audiences. There’s no point spending your time on a particular social network if your audience isn’t there.

Try this myth-busting tip

Before becoming active on a platform, make sure to do the proper research. Ask yourself who am I trying to reach? Is our audience active on this platform? Match your audience demographics to their social use. There are publicly available reports, such as The Global Web Index, which can help you determine where your audience is. Then pick one network to focus on before adding in more channels to the mix.

Myth 4: Build It and They Will Come

Fact: Followers won’t automatically flock to you just because you are on social media.

Simply creating a social account or writing a blog is not enough to get people to follow you or read your content. You have to work at it every day to gain and retain followers and readers. To achieve results and credibility you have to be prepared to devote time regularly to producing and promoting content and engaging with your audience.

Try this myth-busting tip

You need to determine how you will connect your content with the right audience at the right time. Rand Fishkin, the co-author of “The Art of SEO”, goes so far as to say:

“Before you ever create content, I urge you to ask the critical question: Who will help amplify this and why? If you don’t have a great answer, a specific list of people, don’t create it.”

Myth 5: Hashtag the Heck Out of Everything You Post

Fact: Too much hashtagging can make you look amateurish.

While hashtags are a neat tool to allow people to filter through millions of posts every day, sprinkling your posts with too many is a digital faux pas. The practice of over-hashtagging looks spammy and is a rapid turn-off.

Furthermore, while hashtags on all social networks have the same fundamental purpose of content tagging and discovery, the use of hashtags varies by network. Whereas you can use up to 30 hashtags on Instagram (although just because you can, doesn’t mean you should), research shows tweets that use more than two hashtags on Twitter see a 17% drop in engagement.

Try this myth-busting tip

The golden rule is never to have more hashtags than words in your post. Take the time to discover the most popular and most relevant hashtags that your followers are using for each network.

Myth 6: Success Depends on the Number of Followers You Have

Fact: The quality of your engagement matters more than the number of your followers.

Often people will judge their social media success by the number of followers they have. While the size of your account can provide a level of social proof, it matters more that the followers you have are engaging with you.

Try this myth-busting tip

Get to know your audience really well. What topics are they most interested in? How can you become the go-to resource for your industry or niche? When you create and share relevant and useful information, you will attract more followers who are interested in what you have to say.

Myth 7: Social Media Is Free

Fact: The perception that social media is free is misguided.

While it’s true, you don’t have to pay to sign up for a social media profile on most platforms — these days, the organic reach of most Facebook posts is less than 3%. Running a social presence now requires an investment of resources. You may need to buy-in services such as SEO (search engine optimization), analytics software, content, or creative support. Time is also a cost factor.

Try this myth-busting tip

What takes you the most time to do? Can you spend money to make these processes more efficient?

Myth 8: Social Media Can Replace Your Website

Fact: You can’t rely on social media alone to drive traffic and leads.

While you certainly can’t ignore social media, don’t make it your number one strategy for traffic and leads. The bottom line is that you want to build your business on your platform, not someone else’s. You don’t have to build a fancy website — focus on creating a simple, easy-to-navigate website or blog to act as your home-base.

Try this myth-busting tip

Encourage visitors to your website or blog to sign-up for a mailing list. Email marketing is one of the powerful tools you can add to your marketing strategy. Check out these ideas to grow your email list.

Myth 9: An Intern Can Handle Social Media

Fact: Creating a successful social media marketing campaign requires a strategist and team, not an unpaid intern.

Don’t hand your social media strategy off to an intern because they’re cheap to employ and/or young enough to get it. Hiring a cheap intern who knows how to tweet, snap, and stream a live video is not going to fix your brand perception problems or inspire your customers to engage in a relationship with you. That’s not to say you shouldn’t employ an intern, but don’t expect that person to lead a strategic approach to social media marketing.

Try this myth-busting tip

Clearly define the roles and outline the responsibilities of this position. Some of the tasks an intern might perform include, performing a competitive audit, creating content calendars, and running social media accounts.

Myth 10: Social Media Is a Stand-Alone Tool

Fact: Social media should be part of an integrated marketing strategy.

Social media shouldn’t exist in a digital vacuum. It performs best in conjunction with other, interrelated strategies like content marketing, SEO, and influencer marketing.

Try this myth-busting tip

Create an integrated strategy that includes linking through to all your digital assets — social profiles, websites, emails, and paid search advertising campaigns.


Posted in: Business
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