There are a lot of so-called “social media experts” out there. Dishing out advice, sometimes based on limited experiences, and sometimes based on nothing at all. Even the true social media experts sometimes share some misguided advice based on their beliefs and experiences. So with all this bad advice floating around the web, how do you distinguish between what you should — and shouldn’t — believe?
Have no fear! We’re here to share some of the worst pieces of social media advice we’ve seen to debunk all those misguided “best practices” and steer you in the right direction toward social media marketing truth and justice.
1) You need to be on every single social network.
Especially if you have limited time and resources, don’t spread yourself too thin by trying to maintain an active presence on every single social media site. Research and learn about the makeup of the audience that populates each social network so you can figure out where you should focus. If your audience isn’t there, don’t waste your time. And as new social networks pop up (as they do all the time), feel free to experiment with them, but be ready to let them go if they don’t work for you, and let your analytics be your guide. At HubSpot, we’ve tried pretty much every social network that’s popped up, but some have fallen by the wayside, and we’ve focused our efforts on the networks that continue to generate results for our marketing. Not sure where to start? LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are safe bets. They have huge audiences that span many demographics and industries.
2) Focus on Facebook …
… or LinkedIn … or Twitter … or social network XYZ. Yes, you should want to focus your social media marketing efforts, but at the same time, no single social media site is the Holy Grail. Experiment with a few sites, determine where your audience hangs out, and focus on the few that are the best fit for your company.
3) You don’t need email.
The day Oprah signed up for Twitter and user registration skyrocketed, we didn’t all cancel our email accounts. I’ve been using Twitter for 5 years, Facebook and LinkedIn for even longer, and I live in my email. Social media didn’t make email marketing extinct; it just added another integrated channel to make email even stronger. Remember: One of the first steps in signing up for a social media account is usually to provide your email address. And communicating via social media, in some cases, is the same as communicating via email. For example, a LinkedIn Group message gets emailed to the group members via LinkedIn. On top of that, many people still prefer email for communications, or prefer different types of content via email vs. social posts.
4) Social media is the new SEO.
If we’re talking buzz words, then yes, social media is the new SEO. But social media, in terms of function and strategy, does not replace SEO. In fact, it’s just another case of two marketing strategies working better when they’re together. Social media posts now show in search results, social media engagement influences search rankings, and SEO can drive more people to your social profiles and posts. Once again, social media is an additional channel — not one that replaces existing efforts like SEO. Billions of searches are conducted every single day, and you don’t want to miss out on that traffic.
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