Social media has since evolved from simple websites used to communicate with friends and strangers to the gigantic entertainment and information networks that we know today. Back in the early days of the internet, the predecessors of social media were online bulletin boards and chatrooms. These websites were created to cater the interest of a specific few.
Several years passed and these websites are now considered as powerhouses that is readily available for the general public. It’s technically free, and creating a profile only takes a few minutes. Billions of people check their profiles and feeds several times a day, looking at pictures, reading news, and commenting on posts that get their interest.
Marketing experts are now using this powerful tool to extend the reach of their brand. They craft interesting, thought-provoking, or informational posts to entice their audience to click on their links and visit their websites. While social media marketing may sound simple, in reality, it is not. To be successful in this endeavor, online marketers must know exactly what their audience wants. Getting clicks, likes, and shares are not easy.
If you’re planning to embark on social media marketing (if you haven’t already), you should know some of these misconceptions that plague this process to prevent any future mistakes. Here are some of them.
Misconception 1: Social media marketing is completely free
Here’s the thing: a lot of startups that I know fail to realize the real cost of social media marketing. They believe that since social media is free, marketing their brand on the platform should be free as well. This is false. As with all marketing campaigns, there will always be costs in order for them to be effective.
Social media marketing is so much more than posting funny/interesting/educational links on Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus. It requires a fair amount of research and some trial and error. Aside from that, you need to hire a social media marketing and search engine optimization expert for you to see good results.
Misconception 2: You can post anytime
Another misconception about social media marketing is that you can easily publish your posts at any convenient time. These websites are available all the time, but that does not mean that you will get the same (good) results by posting whenever you feel like posting.
According to the different data collected by Coschedule.com, different social networking sites have different optimal posting times.
For Facebook, the best times to post would be on Thursdays and Fridays between 1 and 4 PM. For Pinterest, the best times to post would be between 2 to 4 AM. For Twitter, you should post between 12 – 3PM on weekdays. LinkedIn is a bit complicated as one might expect. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, post during these times: 7:30 to 8:30 AM, 12 PM, and 5 to 6 PM.
Of course, this is not a magic bullet. Simply publishing posts during these times won’t guarantee that your posts will get high amount of clicks, but it can definitely increase your chances.
Misconception 3: Filling your posts with hashtags is good
Hashtags (“#”) are used to make posts regarding a certain topic easier to find. It allows people to easily join conversations and be familiar with the people who share the same interests. By putting a hashtag on your posts, your customers will have an easier time searching for your posts. However, if you pepper every single one of your posts with hashtags, you’re making your posts look cluttered. Aside from that, it makes your brand appear unprofessional and desperate for likes/retweets/shares. So take it easy on the hashtags and only use ones that are necessary.