Social media marketing myths: this is where you’re going wrong

It’s easy to think that because you have personal social media accounts, you can successfully use social media as a marketing platform. But the two practices can be very different, and increasingly complicated. And because there are now three billion users worldwide – it’s crucial to get your strategy right. Here, we dispel a few myths that could actually be doing more damage than good to your business’ page.

Myth #1 - The more you post, the better

You might be thinking that the more posts you put out, the more people will see and engage with them. But this isn’t necessarily the case.

Research has actually found optimum posting frequencies for each key social platform. It can depend on your number of followers – but generally, less is more.

Posting too frequently can annoy followers and come across as spammy – and potentially drive consumers away. Algorithm updates also mean platforms are now favouring meaningful content with genuine engagement (more on this later) – and it’s clear that focusing on fewer posts with carefully created, insightful content is the best tactic. Adopting a “just post anything” mindset is likely to be detrimental. Just because your next-door neighbour posts anything and everything on Facebook, doesn’t mean you should too.

 

  • If your Facebook page has fewer than 10,000 followers, post once a day. At most. HubSpot found that posting any more frequently than this led to a clear decrease in the number of clicks per post. Pages with over 10,000 followers may benefit from posting once or twice a day. Research showed the number of clicks peaked at this frequency – and posting any more didn’t show a significant difference in total engagement.
  • Social Bakers found that posting three times a day on Twitter was optimum to maximise engagement – and that engagement began to drop after the third tweet. Track Social’s research found that posting between 2-5 times a day incurred more engagement overall than a single tweet, and tweeting 6+ times. In fact, there wasn’t actually much difference in total engagement when accounts tweeted 4-5 times, and 11-15 times a day.
  • There isn’t as much Instagram data in this field as there is for other networks. But Union Metrics found that the top-performing brands on Instagram post, on average, 1.5 times a day.
  • LinkedIn has actually shared data to show that posting once per working day is optimum for reach. They suggest that posting 20 times a month enables your posts to reach at least 60% of your audience – even more so if you post when your network is typically most active.

Myth #2 - Set up an account on all platforms

While social media is often a key component to any marketing strategy, having a profile on every network might not actually be necessary. The profiles you’ll need are very much dependant on your product, customer base, and overall branding.

For example, if you’re a legal company aiming at a B2B audience, Instagram or Snapchat aren’t for you. Your audience probably isn’t there, and it’s likely your most effective content isn’t optimised for these platforms. LinkedIn or Twitter could be better options.

Our top tip: learn where your customers are and where your content is best suited. Invest time into the relevant social media platforms to drive meaningful engagement from a true audience.

Many companies often use a small selection of platforms, each for slightly different purposes ie:

  1. Facebook for marketing to customers
  2. Twitter for engaging in industry conversation
  3. LinkedIn for establishing and maintaining industry connections, outsourcing new employees, and engaging with current staff

Tailoring posts to suit each platform is a great way to use them effectively. Where possible, avoid automatic cross-posting between platforms – this will show in feeds as a link to the original platform. It not only looks messy, but you could actually be pushing away potential customers if they don’t use the original platform. Plus, if you don’t care about the post enough to tailor it to the network, why should your audience?

Myth #3 - All of my followers see my posts

Thanks to algorithms put in place by social platforms, you’ll be lucky if even 10% of your followers see your posts. Algorithms arrange the order of posts on a user’s feed. They prioritise content into what a user will most likely want to see.

You don’t need to know the full ins-and-outs of every process. But having a general awareness of the current algorithms can help ensure your content is more visible to your followers. Plus, they can help you understand why certain posts aren’t performing as well.

By default, platforms display posts in orders dictated by algorithms. However, Twitter users can choose to remove the ‘best tweets first’ setting, and display tweets in reverse-chronological order. To appear in these feeds, timing is crucial – learn when your audience is most active and tweet at these times.

Across most key social platforms, algorithms now prioritise:

  • Content that receives meaningful interaction. People replying to comments on your post, or posts that are frequently shared in direct messages, for example. But you’ll likely be punished for directly asking for engagement eg “like this post for…” – these will appear lower in feeds.
  • Native content – ie content specifically created for and posted only on one single platform. If your post requires the user to move to another site or platform, it is likely to appear lower. For example, a video posted directly to Facebook or LinkedIn will probably be more visible – and perform better – than a video linked to or embedded from YouTube. Platforms want their users to stay put.
  • Posts from accounts or categories (fitness, food, cars etc) individual users engage with more frequently. Become a member of a community and interact with others to get posts seen. Posting consistently can also help to improve your account’s priority.

Myth #4 - Any video is fine

Videos are becoming increasingly more popular across social platforms. So much so that by 2022, online video viewing is expected to make up over 82% of consumer internet traffic. That’s 15 times higher than in 2017. To stand out, your video content will need to be as effective and engaging as possible – here’s how.

Did you know that 85% of Facebook users watch videos without the sound? As do a lot of Instagram story viewers. So while a voice-over or backing track might add a bit of ‘wow’ factor – most won’t even hear it. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you should remove sound completely. Include closed captions and your engagement can improve by up to 12%. And they’ll ensure the message is received by all viewers.

Social media users favour short videos over long videos. On average, viewers start to drop off after two minutes – but even this is considered long on some platforms. Optimum video lengths on Facebook and Twitter are under 60 seconds. And under 30 seconds on Instagram – with a 60 second limit. Just because some platforms allow you to upload long videos, doesn’t mean you should. Short and sweet is best.

For more information on this, check out our blog post on using video as part of a wider marketing strategy.

Know the myths. Learn from mistakes

Understanding these myths can help you on your way to a more engaging social presence. In short, you need to:

  1. Plan social media as part of a wider marketing strategy.
  2. Evaluate the optimum social media platforms for your business based on your audience, your brand, and your content.
  3. Create and post fewer pieces of valuable and meaningful content.
  4. Ensure video is optimised for a social audience – shorter videos where the message is put across without needing sound.
  5. Engage with your followers and establish yourself within an online community.

Want more information, advice, or inspiration? Call us on 0161 956 8963 to talk all things social, content, and strategy.

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