I’ve received plenty of bad advice throughout my life: “Just glue it back together. Your parents will never know.” “Try this! It’s purple.” “You should definitely chop off all your hair.”
Bad advice happens to everyone. You move on, learn your lesson and avoid looking in mirrors for awhile. But, when it comes to your social media marketing, you can’t afford to listen to bad advice—not when so many of your prospects and customers are active on these websites.
With 2.8 billion people currently on social media (equal to the total world population in 1955!), it’s easy to see why so many marketers are using this tactic to engage with their target audience. But, even the most accomplished marketers make mistakes and hurt their chances on social media.
To help you take your marketing to the next level, we’re sharing the worst social media marketing advice we’ve ever heard and what to do instead. Some of these may surprise you!
1. “You should post to as many social platforms as humanly possible.”
Many companies make the mistake of trying to be everywhere on social media. Avoid stretching yourself too thin, and maximize your social reach by spending more time on fewer websites. Focus on 2 or 3 social platforms and master those before branching out more.
With so many social media platforms to choose from, deciding on the best ones for your business to focus on can be tricky. Start with the social media giants (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn), but don’t overlook niche social websites that may be popular in your industry. For example, real estate companies may benefit from publishing on the real estate social network, ActiveRain.
The right social media platforms depend on your business and products. Keep an ear to the ground and see what websites your prospects and customers love the most, and what social platforms your competitors are leveraging to drive traffic to their website.
2. “It’s OK to publish the same social post across platforms.”
I know how tempting it is to write the same post and publish it on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and every social platform you focus on. But, while this method saves you time, it’s not effective in the long run.
People consume content differently across social media platforms. A post that works for Facebook may not work so well for LinkedIn and vice versa. Create relevant, engaging content that makes the most sense for the platform you’re posting on.
3.“The more hashtags, the better.”
Hashtags play a critical role in social media conversations. The right hashtags emotionally resonate with your target audience and get your content seen (leading to more followers and, hopefully, website traffic!). But, too many hashtags can make your posts look spammy or desperate.
Let’s take a look at how well hashtags perform when used on the top social media contenders:
Tweets with hashtags see 2 times more engagement than those without. When you use more than two hashtags in a Tweet, engagement drops by 17%, according to Buddy Media. And tweets with one or two hashtags see 21% higher engagement than tweets with three or more.
Similar to Twitter, more hashtags in a Facebook post means less interactions. A report from SocialBakers found that Facebook posts with 1 or 2 hashtags averaged 593 interactions, but posts with 3 to 5 hashtags averaged 416 interactions. That’s a huge drop in engagement because of one more hashtag!
You should never use hashtags on LinkedIn, right? Wrong. Hashtags are a great way to get your content in front of more people on LinkedIn but don’t overdo it. Hashtags are still a relatively new feature to LinkedIn, and many LinkedIn users aren’t accustomed to seeing hashtag-heavy posts. Slowly weave hashtags into your status updates and stick to one or two max.
Because Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags per post, it’s easy to go overboard. Look at how many hashtags your competitors use in their posts and how many likes and comments they’re seeing. Also, measure the engagement of your posts by using an Instagram analytics tool like Sprout Social.
4. “You should cater to a younger crowd.”
Contrary to popular belief, Millennials aren’t the only ones on social media. In recent years, my mom, dad and even my grandma have created Facebook accounts and now post everything from awkward selfies to embarrassing photos I was hoping would never resurface.
Don’t lose sight of your older customers and their interests. Unless your audience is made up entirely of Millennials and Gen Z, you may want to tone it down and stop using lingo like “bae,” “on fleek” and “FOMO.”
5. “Posting every so often is better than nothing.”
Social media marketing is a commitment. If you want to achieve the best results with social media, you need to embrace it as part of your daily routine. Keep up a steady stream of posts and engage on a consistent basis with your followers.
How often you post on social depends on your goals and business. Take Facebook for example—for companies with a smaller following, HubSpot found that posting twice a day resulted in about 50% fewer clicks per post. Conversely, pages with over 10,000 followers saw an increase in clicks when they posted more.
How does Twitter compare? Research from Socialbakers found that engagement drops after 3 tweets.
What it comes down to is there’s no one size fits all number for social platforms. Try mixing up your frequency and see how it impacts your clicks and engagement.
Keeping up with the fast pace of social media can be a challenge. Drafting, publishing, scheduling, reporting...these tasks take a huge chunk out of your schedule. If you’re struggling to build an effective social media marketing strategy, our experts can help you improve your brand presence and engage your target customers. Talk to us today!
What’s the worst social media marketing advice you’ve come across? Let us know in the comments below!