Unless you’re a marketing expert, social media can be tough to navigate. There are countless ways to do it and everyone has their own opinion on which way is right. For example, bikini pictures- sultry or sleazy? And how about photos of your lunchtime sandwich- lame or…lame. Ya, those are lame. For those who don’t know much about the popular marketing strategy, their judgment can easily be clouded by the common misconceptions floating around. We’re here to debunk the funk and spread the good word of marketing on social media. Keep reading for the 6 biggest misconceptions to be aware of.

  1. You should be on every social channel

There are a ton of social media platforms and not all of them are necessarily right for your brand. Spreading yourself too thin by trying to be on multiple networks can actually work against your marketing goals. Each social media network caters to specific audiences and is conducive to certain kinds of content. For example, creative brands and influencers are better suited to visual platforms like YouTube and Instagram.

As businesses typically have a set budget for marketing, it’s important to spend that time and money wisely. Choosing the appropriate channel that’ll best reach your target market and applying your resources there is better than trying to be Mr. (or Mrs.) Popular everywhere. In short, it’s much better to post quality content on a consistent basis on one channel and building your following there than trying to do it all. When or if your resources eventually allow, you can begin adding more networks.

  1. Social media is only for the young

Many marketers and brands believe that social media should only be used for products/services that are geared toward young people. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. While we’re not saying a diaper company for seniors would thrive with a social media campaign, the median age of social media users is higher than most would think.

According to a Hootsuite report on social media demographics, 30% of people aged 30-49 and 11% of people aged 50-64 are on Instagram. That is a huge chunk of the population that is being under-capitalized if you’re not including social media in your brand’s marketing strategy.

  1. Social media is always free

Though it’s certainly free to create a social media account, the time and resources needed to run these accounts is often substantial. Additionally, most social media platforms have the option of placing ads which aren’t cheap. Though the ROI on these ads is a lot higher than that of traditional marketing methods, there is a nice little price tag attached.

The best way to make the most of your social media accounts is to invest the time and money into them. With such a solid and proven return on investment, it’s a no brainer to shift your marketing spend from elsewhere into social media marketing. Marketing dollars spent on social media will work harder for you than almost any other method.

  1. It’s impossible to calculate the ROI of social media marketing

Though measuring your results from social media marketing was pretty difficult in the beginning, the industry has evolved and improved. Today, most social networks provide analytics tools to individual and/or business accounts. Besides these in-platform tools, there are also external software programs like Buffer and Hootsuite that can gather useful data for your brand. These external analytics are also a great way to see which social platforms your website traffic is coming from.

  1. More hashtags will result in more likes

Hashtags on Instagram is a finicky, finicky thing. Too little and you’re missing out on reach and visibility. Too many and you look desperate. One huge misconception is that the more hashtags you use, the better your content will perform. Overdoing it and captioning your post with irrelevant and needy hashtags (i.e. #likeforlike #followforfollow) is enough to not only annoy your followers but make your brand look weak.

The purpose of hashtags is to enter your post into groupings of similar content for an audience that is interested in that topic. If you’re hash-tagging #followback under a photo of a clay mask you’re trying to sell, you’re not gaining access to the right audience. The audience that #followback will get you is the one that is obsessed with increasing their follower and like count. They’re useless to you. A good rule of thumb is to keep relevant hashtags to a maximum of 10 per post.

  1. Posting is about quantity over quality

No. No, no, no. Your social media audience isn’t interested in who’s posting the most often, they’re interested in who can offer them value. This means that posting quality content less is much more important than posting a lot of nothing. Creating content just for the sake of having something to post will result in a mundane feed with little engagement. If your content is irrelevant or useless to your audience, it’ll fall flat and you’ll lose followers. If you’re not sure what resonates best with your audience just yet, use each post as a mini study. Do more of what your followers respond well to and cut out the rest. With that being said, it’s important to be active on your social media accounts. Your followers will lose interest if you’re not consistent with posting engaging content.

 

Knowing as much as possible about your platform of choice is imperative to being a successful social media marketer. Knowing the ins and outs and seeing through the common myths surrounding the industry is incredibly useful to making the most of this marketing strategy. Do your research, adapt your social media strategy to your brand, and the proof will be in the pudding.