There's a lot of myths and superstitions floating out there in the world about social media. In a field that is supposed to be about transparency and authenticity, it sometimes feels like it's all smoke and mirrors.
Everyone talks a big game, stating that they have grown their numbers to be THIS BIG but when you actually do your research, you realize that they lied. Or a brand claims to have revolutionized the social media space and guess what? They aren't doing it any better than you. You hear these big false claims all the time and more often than know, you don't even know it. Some are so obviously false that you can easily point them out of lineup and say “Yes, that one is so not true” Others are harder to pinpoint, and those are the ones that are actually more damaging because they look and sound real, but when you dig a little deeper, you end up with nothing.
To be a smarter consumer and a more well-rounded blogger, it's pretty important to know all the facts and debunk certain myths that can lead you astray. Understanding that these three social media tactics are actually superstitions in disguise will help you focus more on what really works, what can be beneficial for you and prevent you from putting your hopes into a something that just won't work.
Save a little time and effort and get to know these five social media superstitions:
You can just be “there” and not think.
This might be the biggest myth I've heard and frankly, it's one of the most harmful things I've heard too. Despite what people may say, social media requires thought, strategies and content development. You wouldn't just throw your business card into an epic-sized fishbowl and hope that someone finds it. So why would you do the same with your social media? Yes, being active on social media is important but to be considered an expert or a reader-resource, I highly suggest taking time to figure out your social media content and develop your content to fit your brand/blog.
Your readers care about you and your life.
This one sounds harsh, I know. But honestly your readers do not care about your life, your daily activities. You know what they care about? Themselves. I know, it sounds selfish but its true. So the less you think about yourself and the more you think about your follower/fan, the better your relationship will be with your fans and readers. Or balance out your content so its 60% for your followers, 40% personal. Think of it like a party – you wouldn't just show up and start telling everybody your life story and expect them all to care. Right?
You don't need to know about marketing to do social media right.
Despite what some may think, social media hasn't revolutionized the marketing world. Why? Because social media is another form of customer service, public relations, and online marketing all rolled into one big monster. In fact, the more you look at social media as a branch of marketing, the better off you will be. Marketing is all about understanding your consumer, knowing what they want before they even know what they want, and that is exactly what social media should be as well. Anticipating what your followers/fans want, solving their problems, and creating long-lasting relationships with them. These are some of the marketing tactics you should brush up and apply to your blog for true social media success.
Social media results in sales.
Not a day goes by when another brand announces that their social media program has boosted their sales by 100% and each time, I scour the article to see if there are true facts or research behind their claims. And guess what? They don't have any proof that what they are doing atually works. You know why? Because right now, there just isn't enough research that there is a real return-on-investment on social media. You can't measure the impact of exposure, engagement, virality in dollar signs. Many can assume that being more active with their followers and building a presence helps sales, and I agree. However, there just isn't enough research done to prove that social media engagement results in sales.
Social media is an extension of your blog.
The content you share on your blog should influence what you are sharing on social media, but it shouldn't be a direct copy of what your blogging about. You don't want to bore your readers or sound repetitive. Instead, tailor your content for each social media channel and understand that each social media platform has a different personality, a different reader. Your content should reflect those differences. Think of it like this: your blog is just an article while your social media is the actual magazine. Your posts fit into your brand, not vice versa.
Now that I've debunked a few social media superstitions, here's one truth about social media: it takes time. There are no overnight successes. But that doesn't mean your hard work won't pay off. This social media industry is about trial and error. You have to know what doesn't work in order to see what does work.
What other superstitions have you heard about social media? Are there big myths floating out there that need to be debunked? If you have any questions about social media or have thoughts on this article, share in the comments.