Despite being a powerful tool that can make or break a business, social media still perplexes many people.
Just think about it.
Some shoppers still believe that everything ever posted on Facebook is absolute truth. And several public figures still haven’t mastered the art of turning on their filters before clicking the “post” button.
Yet, despite all of its drawbacks, social media marketing offers exceptional opportunities to businesses looking to establish their brands, reach their audience, boost conversion rates, or nurture customer loyalty.
However, for brands to accomplish any of these goals, there’s one thing they must learn how to do: stop listening to universal, one-size-fits-all, or outright poor social media marketing advice.
So, what now?
If you’re ready to take your social presence to the next level, these are the social media marketing myths you need to leave behind in 2022 and a few tips on what to do instead.
Table of Contents
Myth #1: You Must Have a Presence on Every Social Platform Ever Invented
This is one of the biggest social media marketing myths out there, which is why it’s the one we need to debunk right away.
Yes. Maintaining a diverse online presence makes a positive difference when trying to reach your target audience. But if you’re working with limited resources, should you be producing content for Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, AND Tumblr?
So, instead of wasting your time and money doing EVERYTHING, focus your energy on the platforms that promise a high ROI.
Consult your business strategy to define your target audience, research the networks your prospects are most likely to use, and create content for those.
Does this mean you should disregard every other network out there?
Feel free to experiment with new platforms and communication methods and invest in them if you feel the returns are good enough.
But don’t waste your precious marketing budget on Pinterest if your Analytics account clearly shows you’ve never had a single web visitor coming to your site from that platform.
Myth #2: Social Media Is Only Good for B2C or Youth-Oriented Brands
One of the most common misconceptions is that B2B organizations or brands catering to older consumers shouldn’t waste their resources on social networks.
Before we state why we think this is nonsense, we must acknowledge that social media users are predominantly young individuals living in urban environments.
But research and practice show that Millennials and Gen Z’s are not the only groups worth reaching with a well-thought-out social media marketing strategy.
For instance, if you look at the PEW chart above, you’ll find that 50% of people over 65 use Facebook and YouTube. So, it’s only natural that brands targeting this demographic want a strong presence on these channels.
A business like Allen Edmonds, which is loved by gentlemen who appreciate quality craftsmanship, is more likely to attract an audience on Facebook than on TikTok. This is why the business doesn’t waste its time producing short-form video content for the latter platform but concentrates on building a community on the networks that work better for its needs.
Similarly, B2B organizations may not see much engagement on networks like Instagram (with a few exceptions, of course). But, if they create valuable content and share it on platforms like Twitter or LinkedIn — both widely used by professionals — they’re guaranteed to appeal to their target audience.
Check out how SellerPlex fares on Instagram vs. LinkedIn.
While on the former network, the brand has a mere 250 followers, the latter platform is proving more fruitful, attracting over 5k engaged fans who find the brand’s content relevant and valuable.
Myth #3: More = Better
How often should you post on social media to get the best results?
One of the most common social media marketing myths is that brands that post multiple daily posts outperform those who only click “publish” a few times per week.
Admittedly, this is true in some cases.
But, more often than not, publishing multiple posts daily only leads to burnout and a waste of resources.
So, how often should you post on social networks to achieve optimal performance?
Well, the best way to determine your ideal posting frequency is to do two things:
- Regularly consult the research surrounding social media frequency. This guide from CoSchedule is a great start with lots of tips and resources you can use to boost your social media marketing strategy.
- Study your audience’s online behavior and adjust accordingly. Something as simple as knowing when your followers are online will inform you how often you should post and will even tell you the best times to publish your content so that it has the highest chance of reaching your audience.
Of course, none of this means you should prioritize posting frequency over content value.
In fact, if your brand reputation depends on you delivering unique and valuable content to your audience, it’s more than OK to publish new content less frequently while ensuring that every single post solves your audience’s pain points.
Just check out how successfully PresetLove employs this approach on Pinterest, where it shares new presets every couple of weeks, presenting its 12k+ followers with filters they’d be happy to wait a little bit for.
Myth #4: The Way to Measure Success Is to Look at Followers’ Numbers
Another widespread social media marketing myth is that an impressive number of followers means a brand is doing something right.
And yes, it is true that, in some cases, having more followers makes social media marketing easier. However, if you’re looking to use social networks to grow your business, there are far more important KPIs you need to focus your attention on.
For example, instead of obsessing over how many followers you have, why not check out how well you’re reaching non-followers?
If your posts are performing well with people not following your brand, you’re either creating content people love to share or the algorithm has picked you up.
Another KPI that will tell you whether you’re doing social media right is your engagement rate.
If you’re publishing content your audience simply isn’t engaging with, that’s a good sign you need to switch up your strategy.
However, if you’re getting engagement rates above the average in your industry — check out Oatly on Instagram if you want to see what this looks like in practice — that’s a much better indicator of success than merely looking at followers numbers.
Finally, don’t think that social media is a self-sufficient world.
Ultimately, having a social media presence is to reach and engage your audience, then encourage them to convert.
Unless you’ve jumped on the social commerce trend (which you definitely should), those conversions are most likely to happen on your website. So, ensure you’re also tracking click-through rates for links you post to your website, landing pages, blog posts, and product pages.
Myth #5: It’s Not OK to Promote Your Products on Social Media
Sometimes, social media marketing myths start from well-intended advice — like the recommendation that you shouldn’t post promotional content on your profile.
But this doesn’t mean you should stop posting about your products or services altogether.
Yes, 45% of consumers would indeed unfollow a brand due to too much self-promotion. But it’s also true that 27.9% of people go on social networks to find inspiration for things to do and buy, 26.5% to discover products to purchase, and 23% to see content from their favorite brands.
In other words, the best way to successfully use social media to grow your brand is to strive for balance. Find ways to entertain your audience when promoting your products.
For a great example, look at how Scott’s Cheap Flights does it on Instagram.
Or, you can share a mix of educational and self-promotional content, encouraging people to visit your website and try out your services — as Moz does on Twitter.
Myth #6: You Must Collaborate With Influencers
Considering the power of social proof, it’s no surprise that many business owners (and even some experienced marketers) still buy into the myth that working with influencers is the best way to reach consumers.
Yes, influencer marketing can be highly effective. But research also shows that people aren’t as ready to follow the advice of social media celebrities as they were a few years ago.
In fact, Aspire’s 2022 State of Influencer Marketing report shows that nano-influencers consistently outperform those with 200k+ followers, with a 3.69% average engagement rate.
This is entirely in line with Edelman’s research stating that 61% of consumers are most comfortable accepting buying advice from people like themselves rather than celebrities.
So, does this mean your brand shouldn’t work with influencers at all?
Instead, it demonstrates that selecting collaborators based on follower numbers is a practice that belongs in the past.
To see success, choose to collaborate with people whose audience, style, voice, and values align with those of your brand so that you can rest assured your social media marketing budget is being spent on the right tactics.
For inspiration, check out how Toast bases its Instagram presence on artist collaborations. Aiming to build a community of engaged followers, this brand regularly introduces its audience to different artists and points of view, knowing they will be well-received and appreciated by its target audience.
Myth #7: You Should Only Post Content Once
Lastly, as we explore social marketing myths that belong in the past, let’s not forget the (outright wrong) idea that every piece of content you produce is only appropriate for one single share.
This is an entirely misguided premise.
For starters, avoiding re-posting is an expensive marketing strategy to employ. But more importantly, research suggests that re-sharing could be the key to getting more people to see and engage with your content and, consequently, to visit your website and convert.
Now, this doesn’t mean you can simply schedule the same tweet to go out daily, inviting followers to read the same blog post.
Instead, it means that to get more people to notice your content, you could experiment with captions and thumbnails to help more followers recognize the value offered by your content.
It’s what Clockwise does on Twitter, consistently finding new ways its followers might find value from its original research reports.
If you want to take things a step further and do more than just re-posting your content, don’t forget that re-purposing can be just as good of a strategy to grab your audience’s attention.
Brands like MarketBeat implement this tactic spectacularly well by transforming articles, blog posts, and reports into easily consumable podcasts their audience can watch or listen to on the go without having to read through pages of financial news.
An excellent tool to make scheduling easier is SocialPilot, which allows you to publish on all major platforms.
It’s a powerful weapon in your social media marketing arsenal, not just due to its advanced customization features.
But more importantly, it gives you insightful data about what you’ve accomplished with your content, making it super-easy to adjust your re-posting and scheduling strategy to yield the best possible results.
There you have it, seven widespread social media marketing myths you must leave behind if you want to succeed in 2023 and beyond.
Want to make sure you’re making the best decisions to promote your business on social networks?
In that case, you need to stop following advice blindly.
Instead, make sure you’re choosing and implementing strategies that align with your goals (and budget) and that you’re not afraid to change your direction when you see that a particular approach isn’t working out.
Will this type of system necessitate a bit more involvement?
But, if it’s next-level results you’re after, you’ll have to do the work anyways. So, why not start right from the beginning?
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I differentiate between social media marketing myths and genuinely helpful advice?
Knowing what advice to listen to can be tough — especially when you're just getting started with your brand's social media presence. However, if you've received (or read) a piece of advice you're not entirely sure is true, the best thing you can do is look up the research surrounding that recommendation. That will be a great start in telling you whether a specific strategy can help your brand or if it's just a misconception that somehow grew into a universally-accepted fact.
What's the best way to make social media marketing strategy decisions without making mistakes?
In truth, there's no single approach to social media that will work for everyone. This is why businesses must try things out and use analytics software, so they can see how particular approaches work for them. Generally, once you've given a tactic a go, you can decide whether it's worth pursuing or if the ROI isn't worth the effort.
Where to look for solid social media marketing advice?
The best way to get true and tested advice regarding your social media marketing efforts is to look toward established authorities in the marketing world. The Social Media Marketing homepage is an excellent start for keeping up with the latest news.