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Social Media Advice You Should Ignore

Basic fact: everyone loves to give advice. Social media is always evolving and changing which means there are always new rules, new tips, and something to watch out for.  So-called social media experts, gurus, prophets, and jedis pop up every day with their own spin on the “newness” and what you should and shouldn’t do.  They dish out advice, usually based on limited experiences, and sometimes based on nothing at all. Even a true social media influencer (as I like to call them) will sometimes share some misguided advice. So with all this hearsay floating around, how do you figure out what’s right and wrong for your brand?

Just be yourself: Sounds like good advice, but is it really? You may think you’re awesome but what if you’re obnoxious, rude, boring, and have no redeeming qualities to offer? Hmm. Is being yourself really good advice? If you’re not the popular one at the party, you’re probably going to be ignored, blocked, and flagged for spam on social media platforms so “being yourself” might not be the right advice for you unless you’re the neighbor that everyone turns to for help. Be honest. Which one are you?

You need to be on every single social network: There is no way you can run your business and maintain an active presence on every single social network but that isn’t the reason why you should ignore this piece of advice. It’s mainly because not every network will work for your brand. The main sites that every brand should be on are Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Everything else is just sort of an added benefit or an enhancement.  For example, Pinterest is popular with the food and wedding industries but if you’re a lawyer, you might not get any benefit from this scrapbooking site.

Follow this trend, include this popular hashtag, etc to get more exposure: Miley Cyrus and her performance at the VMA’s is currently trending on Twitter and making headlines however that has nothing to do with your brand and her hashtag will get you nothing but negative press. Should you perhaps pay attention and see what’s out there? Sure. But find windows of opportunity that are relevant to your brand. If Halo is trending and you’re a store that sells video games – that trending hashtag would work in your favor.

You should automate all your updates and DM your new followers: No, no, no. There is nothing wrong with scheduling out a few updates if you’re in a time crunch but this should not be your whole strategy. Social media is time consuming so it’s often tempting to automate however if you fall into this habit, you will get lazy and forget about your social networks and the audience that is out there.

The more you publish, and the more sites you’re on, the better it is for your SEO: Sounds reasonable, but it’s not. Simply having a presence and spraying your content as much as possible won’t work. Yes, more content is good but it has to be content that is high quality and valuable to your audience. If people don’t like your content, they will unlike, unfollow, or worst of all, mark you for spam.

Don’t respond to negative comments to protect your brand: Or worse, don’t join because you might get negative feedback. The feedback is out there whether you like it or not. Wouldn’t you rather know about it and address it? Addressing the issue and resolving it shows how much you care for your brand, the customer, and making them happy.

What social media advice have you received and how have you handled it? Is there anything you’d like to add to the list?

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