September 20, 2014

10 Myths of Social Media Marketing

1. Social media traffic is useless.

Yes, it’s true that social media traffic will generally be less targeted than most other forms of traffic. However, you can gain plenty of new, loyal readers through social media. Even with lower quality traffic, the huge traffic volume can be very beneficial for any website.

2. Being a user of social media yourself is not important.

Social media is not all about getting traffic for yourself. Helping others and networking are just as important. Without being an active user you can’t accomplish these things. Also, as you get more familiar with specific social media sites you’ll start to get a feel for what types of content work well, and you’ll be able to cater your blog posts accordingly.

3. Smaller social media sites aren’t important.

Although the major social media sites like Digg and StumbleUpon send far more traffic than most smaller social media sites, they are not the only ones you should focus on. Niche sites can be extremely valuable for sending highly-targeted traffic, and they can also have a domino effect with the major sites.

4. Social media optimization requires content that your regular visitors don’t want.

Writing a blog post that is intended to attract attention from social media doesn’t mean that it won’t also be of interest to your subscribers. Yes, some Digg-bait is probably not what many of your subscribers are looking for, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Your most successful posts will attract attention from social media and still satisfy your subscribers. In fact, you’ll want your readers to like it enough to give you a vote or a thumbs up.

If you have a great idea that you think will do well with social media but won’t interest your subscribers, publish it as a page on your blog instead of a post. That way you can still market it through social media, but your subscribers won’t receive it.

5. Submitting your pages everywhere will give you the best chance for success.

You’ll have the best results when your blog post is a good fit with the audience of a particular social media site. Not all sites are the same, and each audience has likes and dislikes. You can quickly wear out your welcome if you submit all of your posts to the same social media sites. Submit only those that you think have a legitimate chance for success and you’ll see better results.

6. Social media marketing requires too much time.

Social media marketing can be very time consuming, but it doesn’t have to be. Developing content that is optimized for social media is really just creating great content that people will like, and making sure that it will catch their attention. Some social media sites like StumbleUpon and Del.icio.us can be used from a toolbar while you surf. Some aspects of social media, like building a powerful Digg profile may take more time, but even this can be manageable if you break it down into small chunks of time each day.

7. Social media marketing requires putting tons of widgets on your pages.

Not true at all. In fact, having too many widgets on your page can hurt you in a few ways. First, they can severely slow down the load time of your pages. Second, too many widgets and buttons will decrease the effectiveness of each one. If you want to use widgets, target one or two that work well for your blog. Forget about the rest. You’ll have better results than if you cover your pages with widgets.

8. If you’re not getting traffic from a particular site, stop using it.

See point #2, “Social media is not all about getting traffic for yourself.” Your social media profile is one of the best networking tools you have at your disposal. Not only is social media a great way to meet other bloggers, but it also allows you to strengthen your connections with others by helping them out. Many bloggers pay attention to who is sending them traffic through social media. Personally, I check to see who stumbles my posts. If you want an easy way to help others and get them to notice, use your social media profile to generate traffic for them.

9. The right content will have success with no help needed.

Effective content is capable of having great results with no help, but that’s not always the case. It’s possible that you could create a great article that StumbleUpon users would love, but if no one visits your blog it might not matter. The same is true with other social media sites. Sometimes you need to market your posts a little bit to help them have success with social media. For more information, see Give Your Linkbait a Boost.

10. Getting traffic from Digg is impossible for small blogs.

Getting to the front page of Digg is easier if your blog already has a large audience that is willing to digg your posts, but this isn’t the only way. A big part of your chances of success with Digg is the influence of the user that submits the post. If you do not have a strong profile, you should consider trying to find a more influential user to submit your post. Alternatively, you can spend some time and build a profile of your own.

About Steven Snell

Steven is a web designer, blogger, and freelance writer.

17 comments

  1. Talk about timing,
    Going through a crisis with social networks. So many conflicting, positive suggestions about all this that it can really send your head into a spin.

    I have read a couple articles in the last month that echo what you have said in a manner of speaking. Which is good as it helps me define my priorities, and also says to me that a numbre of my more ‘trusted’ sources are on the same wavelength which is confidence inspiring. That you are all not trying to preach your own message just for the sake of being different.

    There is nothing wrong in seeing the same message, as this helps reinforce it, especially when it’s along the lines of advice.

    Great stuff,

    Graham Smith
    ImJustBlogging
    “Web & Blog Ramblings from ‘my’ Gutter”

  2. When I started blogging, I tend to take everything from social media sites without giving anything and I guess I fell into one of the myths listed.

    Now, I am sticking myself to Sphinn and StumbleUpon as I am aiming to build my profile as well as networks over the two social media sites.

  3. “8. If you’re not getting traffic from a particular site, stop using it.”

    That really depends though. Would you use Digg if it sent only 10 visitors for a frontpage?

    The real reason everyone uses social media is for traffic…

    Social Media Marketing sure requires time though, at least in the beginning. When you become proficient at writing link bait then it’s just a matter of one post.

  4. Graham,
    Thanks for your feedback, I’m glad the article is a help.

    Wayne,
    I think most of us did that at first. I guess it’s kind of natural to think that way as a new user.

    Ruchir,
    You have a good point. I guess what I was trying to say is that there are valuable benefits from social media even if you are not on the front page of Digg. It takes time, it’s not always an instant hit. But you are right, with so many social media sites out there you shouldn’t settle for one that will send 8 visitors. My thought is that if you have done your research and you find a social media audience that is great for your site, don’t give up if your first 2 submissions don’t become popular. Thanks for you input.

  5. On our LGL site we plug in on some Dutch Social Media networks… A big peak in traffic, but also always on income.

    Only conversions for services/products remain almost equal.

  6. True, so very true. Tested on my blog as well.

  7. I also try to post as many articles as possible on the social media sites. If you are the first and a catched by the big public, it can really give some nice income!

  8. Keep up the good work.

  9. Well, try to post as many articles as possible on the social media sites. If you are the first and a catched by the big public, it can really give some money.

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