Unfortunately, not everything you read on the internet is true. “Best practices” on one social media platform may be different for your target market. Don’t take everything at face value.
Do. Your. Own. Research.
Find out where your people are, find out when they’re there, and find out what they want. These things happen with research. Look at the analytics on your social pages, figure out which keywords and hashtags are most beneficial for your company. At the end of the day, listen to your people. If you listen hard enough, they are pretty good at telling you what they want.
Myth 1: My company must be on every social media platform
Reality: Just because “everyone” is on Tik Tok, does not mean you have to be. If your target market isn’t using a specific social platform, don’t waste your time. “Build it and they will come” doesn’t apply to digital and social media marketing. The goal of social media for businesses is to connect with consumers where they are.
That being said, if your target market is on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter but you only have a marketing team of 1, some decisions need to be made about where to spend your time. Rather than giving each platform 25% of your time, choose the two platforms that will give you the opportunity to connect best with your customers. You can take the guesswork out by taking a look at your analytics. Each platform has robust data tracking and analytic reporting options. Compare apples to apples and see where you’re getting the most traffic and the highest engagement. Don’t be afraid to let go of platforms that aren’t right for your business or that aren’t working for you.
Myth 2: Social media is a great tool to find new Customers
Reality: While there is potential to find new customers on social media, it is far more likely that you will use the platforms to engage with existing customers. Through the platform tools we are able to engage in two-way communication by starting conversations, answering questions etc. Of course we want to obtain new followers who aren’t customers yet, but it is imperative that we focus on the quality of communication and relationship development with the people who have already committed to us.
Myth 3: I can publish the same post on all of my social media platforms
Reality: You may think you’re a genius and saving time, but in reality it is likely hurting your brand. Your target marketing is likely different on each platform, which means they respond to content in different ways. While they may enjoy the same type of content, it is important to remember that framing is everything. Set up your social media posts in a way that the platform’s user will be most likely to engage with.
Myth 4: A large number of followers means I am successful
Reality: Although it may look good, having 50K followers doesn’t always mean more traffic and more sales. The rise of nano and micro influencers has shown that smaller followings can be just as, if not more, successful and beneficial to your bottom line. No matter how many followers you have, the point of social is still to be social. If you have 50K followers, congratulations! That’s awesome! But do you engage with them? Have you taken the time to provide value to your followers and made them feel like part of your community? These are the questions you should be asking yourself.
Myth 5: Hashtags are key
Reality: Yes, hashtags are a great way to get connected and included into specific conversations and trends. Unfortunately, hashtags are like hairspray in the 80’s. There is such a thing as ‘too much’ and some people just don’t know when to stop. Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better. Rather than shoving 50 hashtags into a post caption, do some research and choose 5 that are meaningful and beneficial to your post and organization. If you create more meaningful connections, hashtags will go a lot further. Remember: keep it simple and make it relevant.
Myth 6: The more you post, the better
Reality: As with the above statement about hashtags, bigger isn’t better. Quality will always reign over quantity. Instead of posting a decent photo every single day, try posting one amazing photo each week. Taking the time to prepare and ensure your posting is working for your overall marketing strategy can be the different between 50 likes or 50 unfollows. There is such a thing as ‘post overwhelm’ where your customers can get sick of seeing your content every 3 minutes. Limit your content, be strategic and be consistent.
Myth 7: There is no strategy behind the timing of your posts
Reality: This is all kinds of wrong. Each platform has publicly released when it experiences peak hours. Read. These. Posts. But remember to take it with a grain of salt! Once again, take a look at your analytics to see when your specific customers are online. For example: Think of a store for children’s clothing. Of course it would make sense for your company to be on Instagram, as the product is very visual. If you look at best practices and when to post on Instagram, the website says anywhere between 5am and 4pm. For the typical Instagram user, that’s likely true. But. If you know any new mothers, you know that they have no time to be on social media during the day. The only “free” time they get is once the child has gone to sleep. In this example, the best time to post on Instagram would likely be after 7pm.
At the end of the day, it comes down to data and analytics. Take the time to peruse this information before creating a social media strategy. Your time will be better spent and your efforts will be more efficient.