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9 Common Misconceptions About Social Media

As a social media strategist who works with a wide range of clients, there are several misconceptions that I hear over and over again. Today let’s take a look at some of the most common ones – and shed some light on why these perceptions simply aren’t accurate.

  1. My customers aren’t on social media. This is something I hear ALL of the time. I work with a lot of real estate agents and this comes up often. There is this thought that only the “kids” are on social media but that is so far from the truth. Really, even though social media is still in it’s infancy, how your clients are using social media really depends on your target demographic. Facebook is a great example of this, it tends to skew to an older demographic. In fact, 40-55+ is a really great demographic for Facebook. Instagram tends to skew a bit younger, being a great platform to reach millennials. So don’t assume your customers aren’t on social media, they most likely are and it’s just a matter of knowing where to find them.

    Here's a look at my Facebook demographics. As you can see, a large portion of my audience is between the ages of 35-54.

    Here’s a look at my Facebook demographics. As you can see, a large portion of my audience is between the ages of 35-54.

  2. Social media is free. Social media is NOT free because it takes time. Time, effort, energy, strategy…all of these things go into using social media effectively. The people that are really maximizing social media are investing their time and/or money to learn how to implement a smart social media strategy. Also, let’s not forget about Facebook ads. Facebook ads are an amazing tool for businesses for creating very targeted social campaigns at a minimal cost.
  3. Anybody can teach social media. As a social media consultant, I hear this one a lot. People have the idea that social media is simple. And, while it is simple, there is also a lot of science and strategy that goes into it. When it comes to hiring a social media manager, it’s important to look at experience and credentials. Don’t believe that just because someone is young they can successfully handle your social media. It’s just not the case.
  4. Anybody can be a social media expert. Again, this simply isn’t true. Speaking from my own experience, it’s taken a huge amount of time, effort and energy to gain the knowledge and expertise I have. Be wary of anyone who claims they are an expert or guru. Do your research, look at their LinkedIn endorsements and recommendations, check out the testimonials on their website. Just like any profession, experience matters when it comes to social media.

    Before you hire a social media professional, check out their LinkedIn endorsements and recommendations.

    Before you hire a social media professional, check out their LinkedIn endorsements and recommendations.

  5. You have to be on social media 24/7. I’m a huge proponent of using social media smartly. So much so that my coaching program is called #GetSocialSmart. One of the things I hear most often from alumni of my program is that they’ve learned how to be more efficient with their social media, saving them tons of time and wasted effort. So social media doesn’t have to be 24/7 BUT you DO have to have a plan.
  6. There is one-size fits all when it comes to social media. There is no one-size fits all when it comes to social media. People believe they can just blast a piece of content out to all of their social media channels and see results. But really, you need to be catering to each platform and their own nuances. The whole point is to put the right content with the right platform. It’s the little things that make a big difference. There is no magic formula when it comes to social media.
  7. Interaction only happens 9-5. So much of social media happens before and after the standard work day. Curious as to when your fans are active? Facebook Insights is a great tool for this. For me, I have a spike around 9am and another one around 6pm. A lot of the clients I work with have spikes even later, around 8 or 9pm. So don’t assume people stop using social when the work day is done, in fact, it could be just the opposite depending on your audience.

    Use Facebook Insights to see what time of day your audience is online.

    Use Facebook Insights to see what time of day your audience is online.

  8. Younger people are better at social media. This is sort of my pet peeve. Yes, there are a lot of young people who are whizzes at social media. But there are also young people who know how social media works for themselves, yet they lack the maturity to understand how social media works on a business level. Just something to think about before you hire your teenage neighbor to manage your social media strategy.
  9. Younger people dominate social media. Really, I have nothing against younger people. Again, there’s just a general misconception that only younger people are active and engaged on social media. The truth is that people of all walks of life, all ages and all professions are using social media.

The truth is that social media plays a huge role in our everyday lives and if you’re in business, it should be playing a huge role in your marketing efforts. No matter who your customers are or what profession you’re in, I believe social media can bring a huge ROI to those who use it wisely.

Check out my Periscope on this topic:

For more tips on getting smart about social media join my Facebook group: #GetSocialSmart with Katie Lance Consulting.

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