3 Social Media Myths that you should Ignore
Like most small businesses, I use social media a lot in both my marketing and my research. I’ve spent a lot of time poking around the inner workings of social media platforms, and held many conversations about what does and doesn’t work for other business owners.
While every platform is slightly different, they all have one thing in common – algorithms. The very word strikes fear into the hearts of the most seasoned internet user, and with good reason. You see, these pesky things dictate what does and doesn’t get seen on our social feeds. Get the balance wrong, and you could find yourself getting a much smaller reach (audience), or worse still, get yourself banned from the site.
But there are some ‘rules’ that I’ve read about that seem a little…weird. Connecting with people across the internet, I’ve heard stark warnings of things we should be avoiding at all costs. Ever the sceptic, I decided to dig deeper into a few of them, and here’s what I found…
1. Thou shalt not include links on social feeds
Most of the platforms, including Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram have made a lot of changes in order to make sure that users of their platforms stay on their platforms. This means that they want you to post and engage with other users as much as possible, without being encouraged to leave the platform via external links.
I can kind of see the logic in that, to a point – but it didn’t really make much sense to me. It’s simply not possible to run a business just through social platforms, without driving traffic back to your website, where, ultimately, the sales happen. So I investigated the claim.
The biggest social platform of them all, and arguably the one that sets the precedent for all the others, is Facebook. I scoured their terms and conditions for an answer.
There’s a lot of information to go through, but surprisingly little on linking via a newsfeed. In fact, I ended up Googling ‘can I share links on my Facebook feed?’, and came across Facebooks ‘help’ page, where it states:
“To share a link:
Scroll to the top of your News Feed and tap What’s on your mind…
Enter the link.
Add an optional update.
Keep in mind that liking or sharing a link through Facebook may show up in News Feed or on your timeline.”
In conclusion, then, Facebook don’t have a problem in link posting on their newsfeed. I found similar information on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Myth – FALSE.
2. Thou shalt not use a third-party scheduler
Here’s another one that I’ve seen shouted about on the ‘net. If you’re posting on social, you MUST post directly from the site, because using a third-party scheduler will reduce your reach significantly.
I don’t know about you, but since I run a business, having to go in and manually type in to all of my social media newsfeeds would take me an age, and I’d get no work done! Who wants to waste their time posting on their platforms several times a day? I don’t!
For years now, I’ve used Buffer – it’s a third-party platform where you can schedule ALL of your social media posts (except Instagram). What I do is once a week, I write all of my social posts, pop them into my schedule, and Buffer rolls them out automatically. Clever, eh?
I’ve tried posting directly, and through Buffer, and I have noticed absolutely no difference in my reach whatsoever, and speaking to other users, they haven’t either.
Myth – FALSE.
3. Thou shalt not EVER sell on your feed
Ah, the old ‘selling is sleazy’ myth. I love this one!
Ok ok, so you can present the argument that these are social sites and are meant for nurturing your audience, being helpful, adding value, and all of that good stuff. And yeah, you’re right.
As a business, I use Facebook Pages (a platform for businesses) and LinkedIn (for businesses). And what’s the purpose of a business? TO SELL!!
You’re really not going to make a whole lot of profit if you can’t sell, at least some of the time, on your social feed.
Now, I’m not suggesting you stop building those relationships, stop being helpful or valuable to your social audience, but I see absolutely no harm in telling people what you offer and how they can get it, as long as it’s done tastefully.
The key is to strike a balance. Different approached work for different businesses, but my view is that if you can continue to post relevant information, focus on helping your audience, being friendly, and building trust, you can sometimes ask for a sale. That can be in the form of an ad or link for your product or service, or notification of a sale or discount. Just don’t do it all the time – people will be annoyed and stop following you.
Myth – FALSE
Social media is an essential part of our marketing, no matter what kind of business we are in. It’s where our customers are, and the easiest way we can get in front of them. Use it wisely, and use it well.
Tereasa Hedges, freelance copywriter for creatives, designers and makers.
I’m a freelance copywriter who specialises in writing content for creative people, helping you to reach larger audiences through blogging, web content, email marketing, and a little bit of social media for good measure.
Want to work with me? Contact me for a chat via firstname.lastname@example.org