Below, you’ll find the worst social media advice for businesses and what to do instead.

Social media has without a doubt shifted over the years since many platforms first took over the world. Most companies (including your own) dedicate time, money, and resources to social media.

And rightfully so as close to half the world’s population (3.03 billion people) are on some type of social media (Statusbrew). This presents huge opportunities for your business to grow and connect with buyers and consumers.

Yet, your company still may be influenced by some terrible social media advice. Whether that is from executives (internal or external) or just misinformed individuals.

Here are some of the worst social media advice businesses may receive and what your company can do instead.
 

“Social media does not provide much ROI, it’s just about brand exposure.”

There are hesitant business leaders and experts out there proclaiming social media as ineffective and like shouting into the void. The real problem is, there are many ways to operate a social media platform and they may not be doing it correctly.

Many marketers, for example, mistakenly track the wrong metrics and then their companies are frustrated by the lack of impact their campaigns are having on their profits.
 

Instead: Realize Engagement Does not Equal Revenue

The goal is not to get likes, clicks or comments – though these are certainly nice – but to get conversions. Always measure conversions and realize that your social media content should be acting as a major part of your sales funnel.

This alters the way you go about content creation and what your ultimate CTAs include. If you are struggling to determine the level of impact your social media page is having on sales, consider offering a promotional coupon to track sales that come through social media viewers.

Look at what impact your social posts or social ads have on specific goals, whether content downloads, demos, free trials, etc.
 

“We didn’t get enough attention on our Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn profile, so we decided to move to a different platform.”

Far too many company heads expect to see fast growth and quick leads. However, social media needs to be treated as a one-to-one platform before it can become a one-to-many.

This means your company has to take every single quality lead seriously and work to build your audience.
 

Instead: Build a Trusting Audience Over Time

Social media management is much more like being a soybean farmer than Jack with magic beans – you won’t see a giant beanstalk sprout overnight, but you will reap rewards with the right effort and planning.

Do the work ahead of time to determine where your audience likely hangs out. Don’t abandon your profiles or they will look unmanaged and your brand will look sluggish. And, most importantly, remember you are in it for the long haul and stop posting so many self-promotional updates.

What to share:

  • Blog posts
  • Industry news
  • Research reports
  • Media (Pictures, Videos)
  • Job openings
  • User-generated content

 

“Just keep posting, just keep posting”

Sing that over and over in a voice like Dory from Finding Nemo and you will sound just like she did with her short-term amnesia. She would keep singing, “just keep swimming.”

The goal is not to just keep posting. Continuous posting without strategy is a huge problem most companies are in the midst of struggling through.
 

Instead: Post Smarter

Flooding social channels with content constantly all day, is a quick way to be dubbed spam. Sure, social feeds move fast but this is a blind strategy with no thought behind it.

Tailor your posts for each social platform, find a posting strategy that works, understand the audience, and stick to it.

Additionally, in a 2018 CMO Survey, they found that companies currently spend 12% of their marketing budgets on social media. This number is up from 3.5% in 2009 when this question was first asked (via Forbes).

This sharp increase in investment means companies need well-defined strategies with measurable outcomes more than ever before.
 

”Employees outside of marketing should be blocked from posting on social media.”

Nothing screams, “We’re a grumpy old brand!” as the social media advice of blocking employees from posting on social media.

In our digital world, you’ll be left behind and it shows you don’t trust your workforce. Why is your company hiring people they don’t trust?

Previously, social was seen as a time-waster and productivity suck. But, there is a much bigger opportunity for your company with employees participating in online conversations.

Employees are also using social media to connect with coworkers and increase their knowledge. Plus, 98% of employees use at least one social media site for personal use, of which 50% are already posting about their company. (Weber Shandwick).
 

Instead: Set up guidelines and make it easy for employees to get involved

Having employees engaged with content and sharing on social media is called employee advocacy.

This strategy has proven hugely successful for brand visibility, website traffic, increase in organic leads, encourage employee engagement and communication, and help drive revenue.
 
Related: Here Are 10 well-known brands who have found success with employee advocacy
 
But for this to be successful you need to have:

  • A great social media policy in place
  • A company culture employees can be proud of
  • And a program to help organize and streamline the process to measure ROI

It also doesn’t mean employees should be spamming their networks with your company sales agenda content. Encourage employees to be involved, share personal interests, contribute to conversations, and get involved.

The impact is huge on your company’s brand and growth.

79% of firms surveyed reported more online visibility after the implementation of a formal employee advocacy program. 65% reported increased brand recognition (Hinge Marketing).

“You can automate to save time.”

This is a dangerous piece of advice. Of course, it is ideal to save as much time as possible and have posts planned out and sitting in the queue for publishing.

But it is also detrimental to businesses who post their content during the wrong time like some companies did during the Boston Marathon bombing disaster. Plus, your viewers will catch on quickly if your content is just being generated and churned out.

Automating direct messages (DMs) and personal messages (PMs) is one of the worst things you can do, since these automatic messages are considered spam by most users.
 

Instead: Use Automation Only for Improved Timing

Don’t be lazy. Only use automated posting to send out your posts at the ideal time. Always keep track of your posting schedule and know how to cut the power if something happens.

When the Aurora shooting occurred, the NRA sent out a horribly timed auto tween a few hours later that read, “Good Morning, shooters. Happy Friday! Weekend Plans?”

When Tesco set up an automated Tweet that read “It’sleepy time, so we’re off to hit the hay! See you at 8 am for more #TescoTweets,” they probably never imagined they would be in the midst of a PR disaster over horsemeat in their meals when it posted.

This is why it is so important to keep track of what you are posting and use automation with reservation.
 

Final Thoughts

While getting social media advice is perfectly fine, it’s important you do not take everyone’s’ word without your own research and analysis.

As you have learned from above, much of the bad advice can cause you to neglect social media or feel it is a giant waste of time.

When in fact, simply ignoring social media or not taking it seriously can cause your company to miss HUGE business opportunities.