Over all the years working in digital marketing and social media, we’ve heard too many ridiculous myths and mistruths to count. Originally, Social media was a strange new beast that was only understood and embraced by a few companies and a whole bunch of users (who mostly migrated from other somewhat similar platforms). As it slowly elbowed its way into organizations, there were no real guidelines or “Social 101” courses to get people up to speed and so these misguided initial conceptions proliferated.
With that said, we’re here once again to set the record straight on some of the most common things we hear about social that, well, just ain’t true.
1. “I need to be everywhere!”
This is one of the easiest myths to debunk. Does a rapper need to be on Pinterest? Does a podcast need to be on LinkedIn? Does a YouTuber need to be on Anchor?
When brands first set up their social profiles, there’s a tendency to hit up every network “just in case” when in reality your brand can take a much more streamlined approach. Go where your potential followers are. Podcasters are best to focus on SoundCloud, MixCloud, Stitcher or iTunes rather than put audio videos on Vimeo. Someone selling handmade crafts would optimally have an Etsy store and support that with Twitter, Facebook and Instagram profiles where they can visually present their wares. Makeup artists would be best focusing on Instagram, sharing handy boards on Pinterest and building a YouTube following where they can share practical tips with their followers.
Don’t waste your time trying to build a home in a village where your followers don’t live. Go to them.
2. “I just post the same thing everywhere”
We’ve had numerous clients ask why we don’t just post the same content on every network, and on the surface, it’s a valid question. It seems easier and more straightforward, and it would create some sort of consistency, right? Right?
Think about it like this. If your followers checked out all of your social profiles and they were all exactly the same, what motivation would they have to follow you on more than one network? More importantly, every platform works differently. They each have their own codes, rules and ways of presenting and receiving information that just wouldn’t translate if a brand was to take a blanket approach.
Twitter has shorter captions, benefits greatly from hashtag use and the lifespan of a tweet is around 18 minutes. Facebook tends to require a more personal approach with less posts, while hashtags appear to hurt your organic reach. Instagram is best utilized with super high resolution images that work both individually and as a collage on your feed, with shorter, sharper comments. YouTube loves regular uploads with content that needs to be engaging, useful and shareable.
Cater to your audience on each platform and you’ll be greatly rewarded for that extra attention to detail.
3. “All I’m after is followers”
Contrary to popular belief, a high follower count isn’t everything. Sure, it looks great but those who really know will judge your account on your engagement, not the followers. If you have 50,000 followers but get 15 likes on every post, something ain’t quite right.
This current culture of buying followers/likes/comments/views seems to be coming to an end as people get more and more aware of the scams. Amassing a bunch of followers is definitely helpful, particularly for social proof, but at the end of the day it’s better to have 1000 followers and get 500 likes per post than 10,000 followers and 5 likes per post.
Build your audience, engage with them, regularly provide value and keep them coming back. Your bottom line will thank you.
4. “I Only Take Care Of Social Media At Work”
Like most occupations involved with technology, social media is most certainly not a Monday to Friday, 9 to 5 gig. You need to be on damn near 24/7, which sucks for those working for a company and probably sucks even more for those running their own business. It’s like it never stops, but it’s great for your business. Marketing legend's Gary Vaynerchuck's reply to our founders Tiffany and Craig (shown above) at midnight is a great example of this. If he can find time to reply, so can you.
You don’t have to reply to people the moment they contact you, but it would go a long way in the user's eyes, especially for a smaller brand. There are tools like Hootsuite and Buffer, along with Facebook’s internal scheduler, that help you ensure you have posts set up for all hours of the day and evening so you don’t always have to post in real time, however it’s the responses and engagement with your followers that will make a real difference to your cash flow.
5. “But social media doesn’t put money in my pocket”
It most certainly can. We’ve had multiple examples of this happening for our clients, and it can happen for you, too. Proving ROI on social is one of the hardest tasks in digital marketing because there’s not always a direct, measurable sales funnel, especially if your business doesn’t have an online store. But examples like Lost Craft show that posting regularly, creating great content, engaging with your followers and, of course, having a solid product will directly result in sales and money in the bank.
Think of social media as a community that you built. A whole group of potential customers who you either share an interest with or who just like and support your brand. If you continue to engage them and provide value, it’s highly likely you’ll turn them into customers sooner or later. Start building.
6. “I’ll just get the receptionist to do it”
In our experience, the worst thing a business can do is get someone untrained in social media to run their profiles. We’ve seen it time and time again, and it never works out. Why? Because it’s not the simple, relatively straightforward world it once was. Entire brands can be built and ruined in the same day via social media. The person or company handling your accounts essentially is your mouthpiece to the world, and you don’t want that power to go to just anybody.
There’s strategy, research, planning, competitor analysis, brand reviews, writing posts, finding great content, scheduling, on the spot pivoting, user engagement and page growth, not to mention the reporting, more strategy, more analysis, more pivoting, more engagement, client communication and even more research. It’s a little more than the salesperson can handle when it’s quiet on the sales floor.
Get a professional to do it or you’re risking your entire brand.