20 Social Media Marketing Myths to Leave Behind in 2022
Though every marketing channel has its struggles, perhaps no other medium deals with the same bed rep as social media.
It’s unfortunate as these platforms are powerful digital marketing tools. When leveraged correctly, it can generate engagement and conversions like no other.
The issue is that many brands don’t take social media seriously, skimp out on the talent/costs, and perpetuate common misconceptions of social media.
If you want to conquer social media in 2022, it’s time to dispel these 20 social media myths from your marketing vocabulary.
Social Media Myth 1 – My Target Audience Isn’t on Social Media
While this can be true in some niche cases, the probability is highly unlikely.
According to Statista, there were 3.6 billion social media users around the globe in 2020. They project the user count to reach just under 4 billion in 2022 while reaching upwards of 4.41 billion by 2025.
If you’re unsure of what this means, know that nearly half the world’s population now uses social media in some capacity.
There are several unique platforms for those users to find a home online. While apps like Instagram and TikTok largely appeal to Gen Z and millennials, Facebook boasts a fairly wide array of demographics. Meanwhile, LinkedIn secured its place as the social media app for professionals and is consistently used to great effect for B2B advertisers.
The TLDR – segments of your audience are most assuredly on social media.
Social Media Myth 2 – Social Media is a Young Person’s Game
This is another misconception of social media you can quickly dispel with basic research.
According to a Pew Research study, a significant percentage of users between the ages of 18 and 64 utilize at least one social media site regularly. The results are as follows:
- 18-29 years – 84%
- 30-49 years – 80%
- 50-64 years – 64%
- 65+ – 40%
The only age demographic that shows a noticeable dropoff is the senior citizen range. This makes sense as older adults are less likely to adapt to technological changes. Nonetheless, 40% is nothing to scoff at when it comes to potential leads.
Furthermore, young people below the desired age for advertising are the ones growing up with social media. It wasn’t long ago that our current 30-year-olds (Millenials) were considered the young ones. Now, they’re prime targets for consumer purchases.
By investing your brand into social media now, you position yourself for better results as the expected social media usage continues to grow in the coming years.
Social Media Myth 3 – Social Media Marketing is Free
It’s free to create an account and free to post, but the free ride effectively ends there.
If you want to get the most out of social media, you need to invest in them the same as you would any other marketing channel.
As a baseline, you’ll want to appoint a dedicated social media marketing manager to oversee your accounts throughout the week. This will account for daily post creation as well as everyday user engagement. You wouldn’t run paid ads without an account manager, so you shouldn’t treat social media as “set it and forget it.”
Since we mentioned the feature, you’ll want to take advantage of paid promotions on social media to boost your campaigns. You can choose to boost or promote individual posts on the platform or use the promotion to gain more clicks on your landing page or sales funnel offer.
Social media can be free, but you can’t expect to get much out of it if you aren’t willing to invest.
Social Media Myth 4 – Social Media is a Job for an Intern That I Can Undercompensate
We wish this were a joke, but this is how companies all too often treat their social media accounts.
It’s a major misconception that anyone can run social media marketing. All of the talents should go to big earners like paid search, while up-and-comers without experience can manage social posting.
And yet, these same companies perpetuate the myth that social media is not a worthwhile marketing investment.
The reality is that social media is one of the most dynamic marketing channels available. Your content plans can change at a moment’s notice depending upon breaking news or events relevant to your brand. Because social media is conversational, you need a rep actively managing engagements and making the right calls on how to approach your posting.
If you need proof of how easy it is to make mistakes, just look at these painful blunders from famous brands. It happens more than you’d think.
Rather than risking unnecessary damage to your brand online, take the time to interview and hire a dedicated social media marketing expert. Allow them the opportunity and resources to show you firsthand how much social media marketing can impact your bottom line.
Social Media Myth 5 – Social Media is All About Negativity
If you find yourself agreeing with this point, there’s a good chance you’ve been on platforms like Twitter or Reddit personally. We won’t argue that the negative vocal minority tends to be loud, but that’s not all there is to see.
Users regularly post about the exceptional experiences they have with brands. It takes little effort to “@” a company and talk about a positive thing that happened. By engaging with these types of mentions, you can reinforce the positive effects by showing that your company is aware, thoughtful, and concerned about public opinion.
Furthermore, running away from social media isn’t going to protect you from online negativity. Countless platforms from Yelp to Google Reviews actively seek to provide users with a way to share their experiences with other users. If you ignore those platforms and negative reviews, then your reputation remains that way forever.
Instead, you can have your team actively engage with those talking about you positively or negatively. Showing kindness and patience to customers or prospects can often quell negativity and allow your brand image to come out as more positive on the other side.
The trick is to not take these users for granted. They’re aware that you’re a brand, so you shouldn’t pretend to be something else.
Social Media Myth 6 – Likewise, Any Negative Feedback is Just from the Haters
Not only is this false, but it’s also a fairly juvenile attitude to have toward existing or would-be customers.
Your average social media user may not voice their frustrations gracefully, but that does not make their complaints less legitimate. This is not your personal social media account, it’s for your company. You should be able to disassociate from difficult comments and aim to extract useful information from the interaction.
It’s unlikely for dissenting voices to appear for no reason. It could indicate poor customer service, a product or service error, or shipping issues. If you simply ignore negative feedback, the relevant teams will never hear about it and your brand never gets the opportunity to improve.
Finally, publicly acknowledging negative feedback isn’t easy, but it shows gracefulness. Users don’t stay angry long, and if your company is willing to take its lumps, it leaves a window of opportunity to win customers back in the long run.
Social Media Myth 7 – I Can’t Share or Promote Brand Content
While it’s true that social media is more about the conversation, there are zero reasons for you to avoid posting brand-related content.
The error comes from making a social media account and exclusively posting about your products, services, or offers. Anyone that spends time online already sees more advertisements than they can handle. When you flood your timeline with self-promotion, it just becomes more noise that’s easy to avoid.
You wouldn’t shove a company brochure into a person’s face without first making conversation, so why treat social media differently?
Make the effort to engage with your audience and meet them on their level. If the opportunity reveals itself, you can then share brand-related content in a way that feels natural and applies to the person or group’s actual needs or desires.
It’s been said already, but it bears repeating: social media requires active attention and proactivity to get real results. As long as you dedicate yourself to a platform, you’ll be surprised at how much you can get out of it.
Social Media Myth 8 – I Need to Go All-In on Every Platform
Not only is this statement false, we actively discourage it.
The social media platforms you should use are highly dependent on the following factors:
- Company type: B2C or B2B
- Target audience demographics
- Your budget
- Company voice / values
For example, B2B businesses tend to prioritize sites like LinkedIn as it attracts more employed professionals. You would want to emphasize social outreach to those types of individuals to get the best ROI possible from your social media efforts.
Likewise, B2C businesses can’t go wrong with posting or advertising on sites like Facebook or Instagram. These sites feature users typically between the ages of 25-50 who have a lot of purchasing power.
Sites like Twitter typically exemplify a more casual, laid-back tone. While more “professional” companies can still find success there, you may want to avoid it if you do not want to represent your brand casually.
Finally, it would be wise to research the average CPC (cost-per-click) for each platform. Facebook consistently possesses the lowest CPC, making it the most accessible to a wide variety of small businesses. Meanwhile, a site like YouTube has a higher cost-per-view and will be more resource-intensive to get the most out of it.
Companies should invest their marketing resources wisely when it comes to social media. As always, actively monitor your analytics, test new creatives, and don’t be afraid to abandon certain platforms if they’re not right for your brand.
Social Media Myth 9 – A General, Once-a-Day Post is Enough
While the rules are different for each website, this point will always be a myth.
We touched on this point under Myth 7. If you go into the process of creating all of your week’s posts at once and scheduling them, don’t expect to get much engagement. Your timeline will look cold and calculated because it is cold and calculated. This is the opposite of the dynamic, conversational approach that social is known for.
You need to be aware of best posting practices for each social media site that you utilize. For sites like Facebook or Twitter, you can help boost engagement by posting several times per day. However, this is contingent upon the type of content you post and whether or not it’s worth sharing.
In some cases, it is recommended to post once per day as is the rule for a site like LinkedIn. However, this means you’ll want to put thought and creativity into your post to get enough mileage to make it worth your time.
You’ll also want to monitor times for peak activity on your platform and post accordingly. For most sites, posting first thing in the morning is a mistake. Users are on their way or at work and your content will get lost throughout the day. Alternatively, posting during lunch hours or on the weekends gives you the best chance for further engagement.
Social Media Myth 10 – My Employees, Friends, and Family Should Like My Posts
If you can count on people to give you easy likes, your numbers go up. If your numbers go up, then it will attract even more engagement, right?
This is true in a broad sense, but this approach effectively never works. Algorithms are intelligent and will understand the source of engagement. Not only will this small number of clicks not make you more discoverable, but it will also make your analytics unclean. It will only get harder to determine the effectiveness of strategies.
It can also make it more difficult for your content to get discovered by new audiences. Because your posts are not getting an opportunity to be discovered organically, it can teach the algorithm to avoid showing your posts to new potential groups.
If you want to utilize social media marketing, then do it the honest way. If a post is a dud, learn from it with analytics and testing, and do better with the next one.
Social Media Myth 11 – I Must Use as Many Hashtags as Possible
Don’t you love #marketingposts that are #cool, #clever, and #funny? #marketing #social
If you want to post correctly, and to avoid harming everyone’s eyes, stop using hashtags for things other than their intended purpose.
A hashtag is a platform-wide tool that serves to qualify and categorize the thousands of posts that go out every minute. If a user searches for a specific hashtag, they can quickly locate content directly related to that hashtag.
So, when you flood your posts with unnecessary hashtags, you are actively making everyone else’s user experience worse. Furthermore, using hashtags on nonsensical words or phrases provides no benefit and makes the post look messy and amateurish.
An alternative way to utilize hashtags is to help promote and solidify a campaign. One of the most famous and successful hashtag campaigns was Coca-Cola’s #ShareACoke campaign. You can see countless more examples of superb hashtag use thanks to Adspresso here.
Social Media Myth 12 – More Followers = Success
If you’re experienced with other marketing channels, your gut should already tell you that this is false.
For example, if you boost your website visitor count from 100 to 1,000, but see no noticeable increase in conversion, would you consider that a success?
The analytics could potentially tell more, but this example seems to indicate that those new clicks were not from qualified visitors. The same premise applies when it comes to your social media following.
In other words:
- Company A has 1,000 followers and receives 500 purchases as a result
- Company B has 5,000 followers and receives 500 purchases as a result
Though Company B has a much higher follower count, company A has a significantly higher engagement and conversion rate. This means they’re spending time engaging with highly-qualified individuals as opposed to audiences that will likely never convert.
When it comes to digital marketing, quality almost always wins out over quantity. Keep this in mind when preparing your social media marketing strategy.
Social Media Myth 13 – You Can’t Measure Social Media Performance
For starters, every social media platform offers built-in analytics that can highlight:
- Potential reach
- Growth rate
- Virality rate
This only scratches the surface. The analytics available to you increases exponentially when you begin to experiment with paid social.
You can then track any activity that happens off of social media by using platforms like Google Analytics. This tool allows you to set up custom goals so that you can easily identify every time a user navigates to your website or landing page from a social media website. You can further qualify your goals to see which of those new visitors then go on to make a purchase, subscribe, and so on.
Those that perpetuate the myth that you cannot measure social media performance typically do not have well-defined goals. Without understanding what you’re there for, you’ll be hard-pressed to know which metrics to view and what to do with them.
Revisit the drawing board and determine what your overall goal is with your social media accounts currently. There exists a wealth of marketing tools that make it simple to track social media activity and how many conversions you’re earning as a result of your presence on that platform.
Social Media Myth 14 – I Can Just Crosspost Everywhere to Keep it Simple
Social media cross-posting tools like Sprout Social, Loomly, and Hootsuite often lead people to this conclusion. However, doing so with every post ignores what we’ve learned so far in this article.
Every social media platform has a different audience and a different way you should approach engagement. While it’s typically safe to post similarly on Facebook and Instagram, you would want a unique, better-optimized post for a site like LinkedIn.
When you write a single post to publish on 10 different platforms, you’re not truly considering the audience on any of them. The more general and vague you are with your posting, the less likely you are to establish any sort of meaningful connections.
With that said, this isn’t a diss on the aforementioned tools. There are times when it is appropriate to crosspost when it comes to important company updates that concern consumers. However, using these options to simply be lazy will come back to bite you when your social media marketing efforts amount to very little.
Social Media Myth 15 – I’ll Start Getting Engagement in a Week or Two
If you work as a digital marketer, you’re likely all too aware of the unrealistic expectations companies have when it comes to social media.
You create your account, optimize it, and start posting every day. The expectation is that this work will immediately be rewarded with likes, follows, and shares just within a couple of weeks.
Unless you’re a legendary social media marketer in disguise, we can assure you that this is not going to happen. As with all forms of content marketing, it takes time to build up a repertoire of content worth following to see.
Many of your initial engagements typically won’t come organically, either. Your social media manager will actively reach out to potential audiences or like-minded individuals in the industry. When you create natural, pleasant exchanges with established presences, you give your content a better opportunity to get shared and noticed.
None of this is possible without effort and time. Every brand puts their time into social media to get where they are, and you shouldn’t expect yours to cut the line without exceptional effort.
Social Media Myth 16 – Social Media Only Works for B2C
While it’s true that some platforms are preferred for B2C targeting, social media can be used in similar ways for B2B transactions.
Though you will tailor your content to speak to ranking professionals within companies, those same people are still active online. Furthermore, when you locate potential leads on sites like LinkedIn, you already have valuable data such as their company, position, and some insight as to how your products or services can help them.
Even if the individual you engage with is not your end target, they can be the gateway you need to bring your brand before a company. As you use social media to build a relationship with members of that company, you position yourself to be a strong contender for their business.
In short, social media marketing works quite similarly with B2B as it does with B2C. It’s still all about connecting with the right individuals where they happen to spend time online. Social media can be one of the most effective marketing tools of all as B2B-focused platforms naturally qualify the types of individuals you want to connect with.
Social Media Myth 17 – I Can’t Create Enough Content
Unique content creation can be tough if you’re currently engaged with:
- Paid ads
- Landing pages
- Sales funnels
Adding several social media profiles to the mix can leave your content writers stumped as to what will make for ideal social media content today.
The truth is that not all of your marketing content needs to be unique 100% of the time. Creating high-quality content and utilizing it for one purpose should be considered a waste of resources.
Instead, revisit a high-performing blog or page and think of how you can repurpose that content for the social media format. Perhaps a new, hot blog contains some engagement metrics that make for a compelling infographic to share on Facebook. With a bit of love and elbow grease, you suddenly have excellent content for social media posting.
Instead of thinking about how you can plan for more content, consider strategies to help your content teams synergize for the best possible ROI.
Social Media Myth 18 – New Trends Like TikTok, Reels, or Shorts are Just a Gimmick
Sometimes a hot new feature burns out as quickly as it’s introduced. In other cases, like the aforementioned examples, those features are here to stay.
Even those who embrace social media can quickly find themselves falling back into the initial trap of believing a new tool is not for them or won’t apply to their audience.
However, the brands that are finding the greatest success on social media are the ones who quickly embrace and adapt to new trends rather than ignore them. Remember, it’s never about your personal bias, but about engaging with audiences in the way that they choose to speak on social media.
Embracing these types of silly, fun new trends can also provide a necessary burst of inspiration for your social media team.
So, instead of writing yet another cold, text post, consider making a fun Instagram Reel that you can share with your followers. They will take notice and your metrics will thank you for it in time.
Social Media Myth 19 – Social Media Will Deliver Results to Anyone with the Right Strategy
Now that we’ve spent the entire article highlighting what you’re doing wrong, it’s time to acknowledge the reality.
Social media is not always the way to go for every brand. Even those who dedicate the time, energy, and resources can struggle to generate any worthwhile engagement.
While we do believe that with enough consistent effort, anyone can succeed, not everyone has the budget or ability to get there. It’s in these times that your team will need to make the tough call and choose to devote those resources to marketing channels that provide a better ROI.
However, you shouldn’t take this as a sign that social media does not work. Instead, consider postponing social activities indefinitely while you focus on growing your brand elsewhere. When your company is better positioned to approach social media once again, you may find your team in a new place with a refreshed mindset that can give them a leg up in the social media game.
Social Media Myth 20 – All of My Established Strategies Will Work Forever
No matter how well a strategy is working for you now, never rest on your laurels. Digital marketing, itself, is a dynamic industry that will never stop evolving.
Social media is an already dynamic channel that can make creating a reliable strategy for your brand even more tumultuous.
If you choose to be in social media marketing for the long haul, do your best to establish a short memory. Celebrate your victories quickly and be ready to embrace the newest trends and techniques as they come. The more agile you are, the faster you can adapt, and the further you can get ahead of the competition.
Start Doing Social Media Marketing Correctly
Now that we’ve successfully dispelled the most common misconceptions of social media, it’s time to adjust your approach.
Social media marketing can not only be beneficial to your bottom line, it creates a great opportunity to establish fun relationships directly with your audience.
Social media is a place for all ages and will continue to grow even more commonplace in the years to come. Use your analytical tools to observe the latest patterns, investigate which platforms are better for your brand, and treat each of your accounts with the care they deserve.