Anybody can have a platform in the democratized content-driven world we live in today. This allows us to learn from people all over the world, and share our own expertise to educate and entertain. However, this also means that it’s easier for someone that may be miss.
Let’s address some of the worst social media advice I’ve ever heard, and don’t worry, I’ll explain why this guidance has no place in your social media marketing activities.
- You shouldn’t sell on social media. This has a smidgen of truth, which makes it very dangerous. You shouldn’t use your social channels to ONLY sell, you should provide value and build relationship and community, which help you sell. Social media is a marketing tool – and the goal of a marketing tool is to introduce your products and services for sales. If you have a plan for how you’re using social media to sell, you’re wasting your time.
- You need to be on all the social networks; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Periscope, Snapchat, Pinterest, WhatsApp, YouTube, Linkedin, Google +, etc. This advice should be ignored because your audience probably isn’t spending time on every one of these platforms. If the people you’re looking to attract aren’t on these platforms, you don’t need to be there.
- Fans and followers are the most important aspect of a page/profile. This, my friends, is a very common belief. It is also incorrect because fans and followers cannot be exchanged for cash to pay bills. The account with 10 million followers amounts to nothing if there is no engagement and sales. The numbers are nice, but they’re not the focus. Pay more attention to creating a space for users to be educated and entertained, and the number of fans and followers will take care of itself.
- You should automate and/or schedule everything on social media. As a die-hard automation-scheduler, I disagree with this advice because platforms like Facebook penalize pages that use 3rd-party tools to post, the reach on those updates are deliberately stifled by the algorithm. Secondly, if you’re automating everything you miss opportunities to be social “in real life” and engage directly with your audience.
- Business owners can just use a young person (a relative, perhaps) to handle their business’ social media accounts. The risks of taking this advice is damaging the brand and negatively affecting the bottom line. The process of hiring someone to coordinate and manage your social media is difficult and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Anybody can’t do it. We’ve heard and read about recent stories of large corporations coming under fire for content that’s been posted on the Twitter account or uploaded on their Facebook page. Be sure that the person(s) representing your business online is well-versed in your company culture and voice, and knows the rules of engagement for your neck of the social media woods.
It’s hard to separate the good from the bad when it comes to social media. My advice: don’t commit to ANYTHING simply because you heard it from an “expert”, develop a habit of experimentation and you’ll be able to determine whether the advice is true (for you) or not.
Then you can go be Great!