Social Media Advice You Shouldn’t be Following

February 26, 2013

These days, social media is a crucial part of any successful Internet marketing campaign.

But with all the emphasis on social in 2013, it feels like we’ve all been getting a lot of information from a lot of so-called social media “gurus,” about how you should be going about social media marketing and what it can mean for your business.

Some of the social media tips and tricks out there are valuable sources of information, but the rest? Not such sound advice.

Here are some common misconceptions about social media marketing and some “expert” advice you really shouldn’t be listening to:

You need to have a presence on every social site. While having a wide online presence is key, participating on every social media platform is far from necessary. In fact, if you’re a part of every social site you could be spreading yourself too thin—meaning less time for each site, lower quality content, less engagement, and ultimately, less benefits from each. Participate in as many relevant sites as you feel you can maintain an active presence on and no more. Establish who your audience is and which sites they’re spending their time on, so you can target the social platforms that will connect you with those customers.

Social media is the new SEO. While social media is an essential part of a diverse, and dynamic, online presence, it’s certainly not a replacement for, or even an equivalent of, search engine optimization. Social media works to help your business engage customers and boost brand awareness, and yes, your social pages do get indexed by Google–but they definitely don’t give you the visibility and the proven results that SEO can provide. Just because social media is a hot marketing tactic, doesn’t make it a cure-all and doesn’t mean you can reduce your SEO or any of your existing efforts because of it.

Having a social media strategy isn’t necessary. Just like with any other marketing tactic, to be successful with your social media efforts you need a strategy. So don’t go in without a plan or a professional social media campaign.

Likes, pins, shares, and retweets are the metrics that matter most. Don’t be fooled by vanity metrics. They’re a nice vote of confidence, but in the grand scheme of things, they really don’t mean much. What does matter are the same metrics that you focus on for any other aspect of your marketing campaign. Fans and followers are nice, but they don’t pay the bills–so pay attention to the business metrics that matter, like leads, traffic, and conversion.

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