Social media is a beautiful thing. It connects people together who may never have had the chance to speak before. It gives people a voice who might never have had a platform.
When it comes to learning how to leverage social media, one recurring issue stands out: Most content seems to build off pre-existing content instead of being original.
As a result, many social media myths have circulated around the internet.
Here are just a handful of them…
Myth #1. You have to post at a specific time of day
This myth has great intentions but one enormous caveat: the internet connects the entire world, and the entire world isn’t on the same time zone as you.
For all you know, 90% of your audience could be in Switzerland. Do you think your audience from Switzerland will be scrolling through their feeds during the hours of 10–2pm Eastern time? Some may, but not many.
Instead, use tools like Simply Measured to assess where the majority of your audience lives. Then, go from there.
An easy way to combat this is a simple mindset shift: start thinking in terms of days and not specific times.
For example, Rachel Maser from Clean Food Crush says on Fridays, people want to consume funny content. On Mondays, people want motivation to start their week off right, and so on.
What do you think your audience wants from you on certain days?
Myth #2. “You Have to be on Every Platform”
So I’ll spare you a huge rant here and in summary:
No. You don’t need to be on every platform. In fact, being on every platform and shifting focus whenever a guru tells you to will only distract you from creating meaningful relationships with your followers/customers/etc.
Having shallow connections across many platforms will never be as effective as having a deep connection with your audience on one or two platforms.
Seth Godin (marketing genius and author of 18 bestsellers) refuses to be on Twitter, only writes on his blog, and goes as far to encourage his readers to “not be everywhere” online.
Myth #3. You have to write 5+ times per week on your blog
I can only speak for myself, but if I see someone publishing daily posts on their blog, I am far less likely to click on the author’s content (the exceptions here are companies like Buffer and Product Hunt — who do an amazing job at creating frequent, high-quality content).
Maybe Twitter is responsible for this sense of paranoia (or borderline insecurity) creators feel when it comes to social media. They feel they must be constantly available and publish 20 times per week or their audience will forget about them. This pushes creators to spew out whatever content comes to mind, resulting in — oftentimes — shitty content.
When it comes to blogging, scarcity creates value.
While there is indisputable value to consistency, there is an element of devaluation for bloggers who write multiple posts per day.
Challenge yourself to only write content when you have something to say.
An easy litmus test for this is always asking yourself the question, “Would I click on this?”, and answering honestly out loud.
Myth #4. Twitter is dead and irrelevant
While Twitter may not be at the prominence it once was, there are still some perks to the platform you can’t find anywhere else. One being, with less people on Twitter now (or at least engaging on the platform) you have less noise, and thus less competition.
When someone with 10 million Followers is only averaging 30 Retweets per Tweet, your chances of them interacting with you is higher than ever.
There’ll be at least 2 more years of Twitter viability. Things take time to die. Just look how long it took Yahoo to throw in the towel.
Myth #5. Hard work trumps strategy
Occupying a unique niche, having immense creativity, a likable personality, and amazing content, mean more than hard work.
Sure, you need to put in the hours and stay consistent. However, if your content sucks or your brand is the same as 1,000 others out there, all you will be doing by working hard is wasting your most precious resource: time.
Don’t think of hard work as an asset, think of hard work as a prerequisite. A necessity.
If your brand isn’t different in some way, you will most likely be drowned out by others online.
To solve this, take more time on strategy and optimization. Once you have your game-plan in place, and it’s proven to perform well, then you can worry about working your ass off.
Myth #6. You have to be constantly available or your audience will leave
If your audience will truly forget about you if you aren’t posting every single second, then they weren’t a great audience in the first place!
Do what feels natural to you. If you were always the social butterfly, then maybe being constantly available is fun for you. In that case, platforms like Snapchat and Twitter would suit you well.
However, if you’re more introverted, being constantly available may not be in the cards for you. In that case, try platforms like Medium or Pinterest that require a lower number of touch-points with your user base.
Until very recently (when he started vlogging), the only way Tim Ferriss’ audience could connect with him is through his blog, books, and podcasts.
And you know? We didn’t leave. Why? Because he is that good and his content is that good.
Of course, we all can’t be Tim Ferriss, but the principle remains true.
Study the hell out of the platform you want to grow on, find out how to make yourself different from others, create great content (which can be learned), be consistent, and eventually, you will reap the benefits of social media.
Are there any other social media myths you hear all the time? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear them!