We recently covered a list of misconceptions on social media marketing for businesses of all types, and right after we published it, we started thinking of more myths that people keep falling for.
So, without delay, here’s our list of five more social media marketing misconceptions.
#1 – Hashtags Are The Key To Success
Although Twitter includes hashtags as part of the 140-character count, Instagram doesn’t limit the use of hashtags on posts. The result is a slurry of hashtags that desperately try to catch every “Like” opportunity under the sun. Although getting extra Likes isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s where those Likes are coming from that matter more.
For example, let’s say you use the Instagram hashtag #dogsofinstagram on your post. Using the hashtag will probably land you a few extra Likes, but many of the people who browse these hashtags are businesses or people with their own agenda.
Do you really care if an account named Mike’s Dog Grooming has Liked your post? Or, even worse, when Mike’s Dog Grooming comments with, “Great Post! Check out our awesome pet pics!”—is this the type of traffic that helps your business?
The verdict is simple: The best accounts don’t use hashtags, or they use unique hashtags to categorize their own content. Of course, not every account can be one of the best, so your mileage will vary.
#2 – Lots of Followers Also Mean Success
In social media, the trend of “big numbers means success” is on its way out. Sadly, some businesses still hold numbers like Twitter followers and Facebook Page Likes as measures of success.
Unfortunately, in a digital world where followers and Likes can be bought and sold, big numbers just don’t mean anything.
At this point, Facebook Page Likes are practically worthless—popular content is passed around on Facebook from person to person, not from Page to person. If people think it’s good, they’ll share it with friends, and it’ll go viral.
The real trick with any social media is to check engagement levels. After all, if you have one million followers, you should get more than two or three Likes per post, right? People aren’t fooled so easily by these black-hat methods anymore.
#3 – Social Media Marketing Is Free
Free? Not quite.
Social media is free to post and share on, but, for example, on Facebook, most posts from your business Page won’t show up in front of more than 10% of your followers—and Facebook has even admitted to the decline of organic reach. Social media platforms expect you to boost posts and buy ads to get on people’s screens, and it’s not exactly free.
Most businesses need to devote time to social media, and time is money. For some businesses, that might mean hiring a social media coordinator, or working with a marketing company to make this possible.
Of course, if you do find the time while managing a business to create interesting, original content across a number of platforms that appeals to your target audience, then costs will likely stay down.*
*We’ll let you know if that ever happens.
#4 – You’ll Only Reach Millennials On Social Media
Even though the millennial demographic (people aged 16-24) is the largest on many social media platforms, millennials never account for more than 57% of users on any single channel, according to Smart Insights. In fact, in most cases, Millennials only make up between a quarter and a third of users on social media platforms.
Millennials may be the first ones on some platforms, but eventually, when something becomes big enough, a wide variety of people find their way onto it.
#5 – You Can Post Identical Content On Each Platform
This is a common mistake for many businesses. They cross-post to each platform via one source. It’s easy, it saves time, and some platforms make it really easy (we’re looking at you, Instagram!).
Sometimes cross-posting is the right move, but not for every single post. Your long Facebook post may not fit into Twitter’s 140-character limit, your friends’ Instagram handles won’t link in Facebook, and not everyone wants to see the same post on each platform.
Try to change things up and learn exactly what your audience is looking for on each platform. People browse Facebook to kill time, Twitter to quickly learn stuff, and Instagram to discover something new. Not all of your content will answer the call for each of these platforms, so take the time to tailor yours to each one.