Myth #1: You need to have a lot of followers to get noticed.
Believing that you need to have a large number of followers in order to be successful is one of the top social media myths. Don’t think that you need to have the following of a celebrity in order to get your content seen online. That couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s actually much more important to have quality followers than it is to have a quantity of followers.
I’ve seen Twitter accounts with over 10,000 followers, but their tweets aren’t receiving any engagement. No favorites. No retweets. No replies. So, are those 10k+ followers doing any good? Not at all! If they aren’t listening to you, they’ll never read your blog posts and they’ll never buy from you. I’m far from hitting that 10k mark, but the followers I do have are interacting with my content. That’s key! In fact, my Twitter followers share my blog content more than I do, which is pretty crazy.
Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t strive to earn more followers. You should. They just need to be the right followers. The right followers are the ones in your target market. Find them by participating in Twitter chats, searching hashtags and interacting with people, joining Facebook groups, and joining group boards on Pinterest. Once you figure out where they’re hanging out online, you’ll have a better chance of reaching them.
Myth #2: You need to be on every platform.
Not true at all! You don’t need to be active on every social media platform there is. After all, there are a lot of them and even more being released every year. To make social media work for you, you need to figure out where your target market hangs out. Invest the time and energy into those platforms instead of spreading yourself too thin by trying to be everywhere. It’s much better to do two social media platforms really well than it is to do four of them poorly.
With that said, don’t be afraid to try new platforms when they’re launched. But if they don’t work for you, don’t force it. For example, Periscope is a fantastic platform that allows you to connect with your audience on a whole other level, but not everyone is a live video superstar. If you just don’t click with a certain platform, don’t feel obligated to use it.
Myth #3: The more you post, the better.
You’ve heard the saying that sometimes, “Less is more.” The same is true for social media. Just because social media never stops, it doesn’t mean you need to be online and posting nearly 24/7. (Your followers just might get sick of you.) Instead, commit to just a few updates on each platform per day. Here are a few tips:
When it comes to Twitter, tweets have a short lifespan. People typically don’t go scrolling through their Twitter feeds to catch up on all the updates they’ve missed. They’d actually have to seek out your profile if they were really interested in seeing everything you’ve posted on a given day. Set up a Twitter schedule that has tweets going out in the morning, afternoon, and night so you can hit multiple crowds. I recommend the same for Facebook.
On Instagram, strive to post one or two photos per day. You don’t want to flood the feeds of your followers, but you want to be active there and give them some gorgeous eye candy to look at. For Pinterest, step-up your presence there by pinning 10-20 items per day. Any excuse to procrastinate on Pinterest, right?
To make social media easier, there are a lot of tools available right at our fingertips. Check out my post: Social Media Tools You Need to Try. These tools will help you find the best times to post to receive maximum engagement and get all of your content scheduled (including a game-changing service for Pinterest). These are the exact tools I rely on to find success on social media.
Myth #4: Hashtag everything.
To put it simply, do not go crazy with the hashtags. Hashtags are great because they allow your content to be seen by more people. Whenever someone clicks on or searches a hashtag you’ve used, they’ll find your content. But there are a few hashtag “rules” you should follow.
Limit the amount of hashtags you use on Twitter and Facebook. Ideally, you want to use two or three hashtags per tweet or Facebook post. Any more than that is just overkill. And Pinterest? Well, their algorithm actually doesn’t favor hashtags, so I’d recommend not using them at all. Studies on Pinterest have shown they just don’t have any benefit. If you click on a Pinterest hashtag, you will likely see a lot of unrelated content come up in your results.
Instagram, however, allows you to get a little crazy with the hashtags. Posts that have 11 hashtags see the most engagement. You just want to make sure that you’re using the hashtags that will get you noticed by your audience. Also, don’t use incredibly generic hashtags like “#fashion” because your content will get lost quickly since they’re so widely used. Another tip: When including hashtags on Instagram, do not include them in the caption of your photo. Instead, post them in a separate comment. It looks better and those hashtags won’t show up when you cross-post your images to a platform like Twitter.
Myth #5: It’s all about you.
Nope. This is one of those social media myths that absolutely needs to be busted. Social media is not all about you. Do not fall into the trap of only posting promotional content for your own blog or business. If you only share links to your blog posts all day, every day, you’re going to lose followers fast. You need to create a mix of valuable content for your followers to consume. Mix your promotional content with content from other people, tips, and questions. Get your audience to engage with your posts so you can start developing a relationship with them.