We’ve all fallen victim to hearing a hot take or “fact” from a colleague and thinking to ourselves, “They sound convincing enough, right?” Then you pass that bit on to someone else, who passes it on to someone else, and suddenly, it’s a popular belief!
But you can’t build your marketing strategies off misconceptions or fake news, can you?
So, I put on my mythbusting goggles and got right to the bottom of 4 common social media marketing myths I’ve been hearing a lot lately.
Myth #1: Hashtags are crucial to organic social media growth
Hashtags do serve a purpose, but that purpose is not to turn your 2-3 sentence caption into a mile-long scroll. While some social media managers do aim for 10+, others, like myself, may land on just 2-3 hashtags as an opportunity to maximize the post’s reach. But, believe it or not, there are also plenty of scenarios or channels where hashtags aren’t completely necessary.
So, when is the right time and place to use a hashtag?
- Channels like Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok: I think hashtags serve as a great asset on Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok posts about specific topics. For example, if your post is about “how to optimize a blog”, then the hashtags should be focused on #blogoptimization, not #blog, #marketing, #optimization. Additionally, you will appreciate the targeted audience you will grow with 1-3 specific hashtags in the long run, even if it doesn’t happen overnight. (Quality > Quantity)
- On posts in a series: I will always recommend leveraging a hashtag if you are implementing a weekly or bi-weekly series on social media platforms such as Instagram or X. This is an easy way for users to access older or all posts in your series regardless of which they came across and in terms of events.
- For events, observances, or trends: This is a perfect way to join the conversation and/or engage your audience before, during, and after the observance or event. Examples might be: #ThursdayThoughts, #MLKDay, #CompanyEvent2024.
- On channels like LinkedIn, you can probably ditch hashtags altogether. LinkedIn is most reliant on the keywords used in your post and will produce similar results for users who search “#marketing” and “marketing.” So, it’s important to keep in mind that to maximize your discovery, you should pay special attention to word choice in your copy. I really love this article that explains this strategy in more detail.
Myth #2: Organic social media doesn’t have a marketing return
If organic social has 1 million fans, I am #1. I will never stop advocating for every brand to put equal effort into their organic social media strategy because it’s so powerful in how it nurtures your relationship with your target audience.
In fact, according to Sprout Social, social is the number one channel for brands to connect with consumers. Let’s keep breaking this down.
76% of consumers say they would buy from a brand they feel connected to over a competitor, and 57% say they are more likely to increase how much they spend with a brand when they feel connected. Therefore, the more you can grow and engage your community with real, raw, and relatable content, the more loyalty (AKA $$$) you will likely see in return.
Now you might be wondering, “What’s real, raw, and relatable content?” Well, it’s content that feels genuine to you as a brand. We are finally living in a world where people want to see your brand hopping in on fun trends, posting behind-the-scenes and bloopers, telling your brand’s unique story, and sharing spur-of-the-moment, timely posts.
And guess what? I am willing to bet that these types of posts perform better than some of your most carefully planned content. Organic social was never meant to be something that had to be overly calculated, polished, or perfect every time.
Here are a few brands that I think embody this:
TL;DR: The content you share on social media (and how often you share it) matters and directly affects the relationships, connections, and loyalty you build with your audience. This is “free” advertisement for your brand, why not put your best foot forward?
Myth #3: The more ad channels the better
Unless spending your ad dollars efficiently, hitting your KPIs, reaching your target audience, or the overall performance of your campaigns aren’t of concern… you 100% do not need to be on every ad platform.
Here’s why and how you need to hone it in:
- Choose channels based on your goals: Each channel boasts different features that may more closely align with some KPIs more than others. For example, if you are focused on e-commerce conversions, then you should be putting a large focus on a platform like Instagram or Facebook that allows you to leverage collection or shopping ads.
- Consider the cost: Some channels are more expensive to reach your target audience than others. A huge pro of LinkedIn is how unique the targeting opportunities are compared to any other platform, allowing you to target by job titles, member groups, companies, and so much more. However, because of this uniqueness, this platform is inherently more expensive! Therefore, depending on your budget, you may not have enough to make advertising on this channel worth it.
- Test and pilot: Especially if your brand is new to digital marketing, it’s probably best that you focus on 1-2 channels that can help you reach your most target audience best and put you in a position to hit all of your goals. Then, after running a few campaigns and gauging how your audience is reacting to your ads, you may want to begin to branch out to more unique platforms like Spotify or Hulu.
Myth #4: It’s OK if I don’t track everything
If it can be tracked, it must be tracked. Why would you ever want to lose out on valuable insights that could help improve your marketing, or even your brand overall? And how will you actually know what’s working and what’s not?
Let’s talk about some of the most important tracking opportunities in your marketing:
- Link tagging in organic and paid marketing: Whether you are linking to a blog, landing page, or any page on your website, this link should include UTM parameters or other tags that your team can use to track performance on your analytics platforms. This also goes for all channels: social posts, ad campaigns, emails, etc. That way, you can attribute traffic, actions, and more on your site back to specific posts, CTAs, creative, and so much more.
- Website analytics: Now that the user has landed on your website, you must have website tracking in place so you can analyze how the visitors are interacting with your site. For example, with Google Analytics 4 and Google Tag Manager, you’ll want to be setup to look at key insights from bounce rate or average session duration – to see how users are engaging with your site – to conversion tracking for downloadables, forms, and more – to see how many users showed interest and took further action.
- Ad pixels: Finally, do you have a pixel in place for your ad campaigns? If your campaign is optimizing for website visits or form submissions, this is especially important, as this will give you insight into when a user has loaded the website as a result of your campaign quickly in the ad manager and will help the platform optimize your ads based on user’s interactions.
Are these boxes you’re checking in your campaign planning? If you think you might be missing something or are unsure, check out our upcoming free webinar, Campaign Planning Mistakes You May Be Making on March 7th. RSVP here!
As it appears I’d make a pretty good addition to the show Mythbusters, luckily for my boss and co-workers, I am about 6 years too late. So, my next steps are learning how our team of social media marketers can support you! Did anything surprise you? Are you interested in improving your marketing campaigns or organic social media presence this year? Let’s chat!