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4 Misconceptions About Social Media Management

If you’ve never used social media for business before, be it promoting products and services, or simply establishing an online presence, you might have some preconceived notions on best practices. I’ll be honest: I never thought certain aspects of social media management made sense until I put them to use to reflect on their usefulness. To save you the trouble of undermining your social media strategy (if you choose to take it head-on yourself), here are some of the largest misconceptions on how to handle social media.


Twitter and Facebook are the only useful, popular social media networks.

The first misconception. They might be extremely popular, but there are numerous networks out there with lots of users interested in engaging, sharing and following. In addition, just because Facebook has a large user base doesn’t mean it’s available or practical for you to leverage; some networks jump out to your cause or goals. You have to think about your audience’s demographics before you leap and dismiss some networks.

For example, Pinterest is made up of primarily women with interests in design, DIY, and crafts. Learn to make use of your ideal audience; find more interesting ways to reach out to them and share your story. Hangouts, which is integrated with Google +, is a great way to have weekly conversations with members of your community, humanizing your organization and putting a face to a name. Experiment and explore. TD;DR: Your ideal audience can be reached on some networks more easily than others. Don’t exclusive stick with Facebook and Twitter just because everyone else is.


Text posts perform just fine.

A common mistake by anyone who thinks that engaging content is merely a random linked with a bit of auto-filled text. Although it serves as the prime method of communication online, copy simply doesn’t catch your eyes as well as a crisp image can. Images with your posts (even posts that are merely a link) can bring some context, imagery (did I really need to type that?) and interest, as a large majority of Twitter posts, for example, have no images attached to them.

Aren’t you more likely to click on a post that isn’t just larger, but also gives you a preview of what the URL might actually be about? Standing out from the pack is what social media outreach is all about, and you’ll always outperform the exact same post that’s only copy. Yes, using pictures with Twitter takes up characters, and its a bit of extra work to upload them, but its well worth it. TL;DR: Photos and graphics are almost essential for copy centric social platforms.


Hashtags are for teenagers.

They might seem a bit childish or obscure, but hashtag contribute heavily to social media, and to your marketing strategy. Hashtags are used for discovery and tagging relevance to a post, image or other piece of digital information. When you search in Twitter or Facebook for news and updates, anything that has a hashtag that matches your search query (or similar to it) will likely appear. This is how your posts get found (if you’re not engaging actively, which you should).

Hashtaging about 2-3 times a post (depends on the network) is usually a good way to get extra engagement and have your post stand out. In the end, posting without hashtags is a huge waste of potential exposure, even if you might feel a bit weird using them. TL;DR: Hashtags help you get found online in a majority of social networks. Use 2-3 in a post to increase your reach expectationally. 


Doing whatever your competitors are doing is just fine.

To be honest, most of your competitors (unless you’re a medium-large sized business) don’t have a social media presence, so I guess it wouldn’t make sense to emulate that. In the cases that they do, its important to see what works for them and what doesn’t. But more importantly, your competitors might find themselves on social media for other reasons; are they looking to handle customer service online? How about use social media as a hiring mechanism? Or maybe promote their brand and culture? Or products or services? Find out why you’re using social media in the first place (likely for marketing and brand development purposes), then move forward with competitor research.

Strictly following their strategy might make little sense. For example, if you’re running a pizza parlour and your speciality is organic ingredients, you should leverage your point of differentiation, not just advertise your deals like everyone else. TL;DR: Your competitors are probably different than you are. Although you share a similar niche, there are multiple reasons to be on social media. Find yours, and take successful ideas from multiple competitors. Also, find and promote what makes you unique.



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