This blog is a resource for artists and entrepreneurs who are looking to amp up their social media marketing. Find tips, tricks, and a few laughs to get you inspired!

Ready to set the record straight on social media expectations?

Apr 4, 2021

Success on social media can be more easily achieved if your expectations are aligned with reality. Here are some of the most common myths and misconceptions about social media, and the truths on how to overcome them.

Expectation: Social media is an easy way to market a brand.
Reality: Social media marketing requires skills and tools to manage properly.

We use social media in our day-to-day lives, therefore we think marketing ourselves on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn should come naturally. It is important to remember an entire industry and career field is centered around social media marketing. Posting funny memes and picking hashtags is a small aspect of the day-to-day life of a full-time social media manager. They are also focussing on optimizing content, analyzing data, developing social listening strategies, and much, much more.

Expectation: Social media is a free marketing tool.
Reality: Social media costs time and money to manage.

Yes, we can open a social media presence for zero costs but we must budget for time, resources, and potentially paid advertisement. Before you know it, your social media presence will be begging for an upgrade and you will want things such as new photography equipment, graphic design, social media coaching, blog writing, etc.

Expectation: Once people like our page, they will see our posts in their feed.
Reality: Algorithms determine which content appears in people’s feeds.

This is an incredibly common misconception in social media. We are here to set the record straight – Just because someone follows your page, does not mean they will see your posts. Read that again and say it out loud.

Why is that? Because there is an endless amount of content being shared by the pages and people we follow, and the advertisers who pay to be in feeds. It is possible to spend so much time on social media that we see ALL of this content, but that is very unlikely (and very unhealthy).

Social media platforms have developed algorithms to show us the content we prefer to see at the top of our feed. This is determined by monitoring social media behavior and gathering data on what we like, comment, share and click. This means professional social media pages must convince the algorithm that it is just as worthy of attention as cat videos, baby pictures, funny memes, and paid advertisements. (See more on “The Puppy Effect”.)

Expectation: I need to hide negative comments.
Reality: I need to address negative comments.

People who think they should hide negative comments have never heard of the 11-time Grammy winner, Taylor Swift. To quote her, “The haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.” You need not only shake it off, but you also need to address this negative comment.

You may ask yourself, “What will people think when they see this negative comment?” You may be afraid people will automatically assume horrible things about your business. This is not true. In our experience, people are much more interested and moved by a brand’s response to a negative comment. If your response is deleting or hiding the comment, what does this say about your business? It says you are not willing to address these issues and meet people where they are at. If you would like to resolve the issue outside of a public forum, you can always thank them for their comment and request they follow up in an email or private message.

Hate speech and incites to violence, however, should be handled differently. Most social media platforms allow you to report this type of content, which we recommend. We also encourage you to always refrain from name-calling and sharing misinformation. (These seem like obvious tips, but these are the times we are living in!)

Expectation: Only my friends and family will follow me.
Reality: You have to start somewhere!

Do not be embarrassed that your mom follows you on social media. That is adorable. Allow your people to support you, get them excited and turn them into brand advocates. Having friends and family follow your page helps a lot when you are just getting started. If they are the only people who follow you after a few months, try getting serious about developing a social media strategy that helps grow your business.

Expectation: I can grow my presence without paid ads.
Reality: Sure, but it’s going to take a lot longer.
You must leverage paid social media for exponential success. Sure, you might be like the cran-grape skateboard guy. But his story is special because there are not many people like him.

The truth at the end of the day – social media is run by for-profit companies who are looking for, well, profit. The platforms themselves are free which means these organizations are funded by advertising dollars. This is why you will not see groundbreaking results without a paid advertising budget because you are of little interest to the social media company itself. (Cue Truth Hurts by Lizzo.)

Expectation: I assigned an employee to social media, and I should see amazing results.
Reality: People can only do so much with the time and resources they have.

When an artist or entrepreneur assigns an employee to manage their social media, they want to see direct results, quickly. This honestly sounds completely reasonable, but it is important to remember some brands have full-time employees or entire teams dedicated to their social media. Here is a “Reality Checklist” to help you determine if your social media manager could use more time/support. (Chances are, they could!)

  • Is my employee managing other duties than social media? Is there a way I can delegate tasks to other people so they have more time for social media?
  • Does my employee have all the tools they need for social media such as cameras, design software, scheduling tools? Do I need to budget for equipment upgrades?
  • Does my employee have all the content they need for an impactful social media presence such as videos, blogs, photos, graphics, web pages? Do I need to hire additional people such as videographers, writers, graphic designers, photographers, and web developers to create more content?
  • Is my employee fully trained to handle social media? Are there ways I can get additional support with a social media coach or social media marketing agency?

Expectation: Social media is a 24/7 job.
Reality: Social media managers need to unplug.

This myth or perception needs to be dismantled ASAP. Perhaps you are wondering why a social media company would claim it is not an “always-on” type of job. Social media never sleeps, right? Well, people sleep, including social media managers. Hiring someone (even a full-time employee) to manage your social media presence does not mean they should be required to check in the channels at unreasonable hours, on their days off, or during their vacations. We all need time to step away and recharge!

Expectation: A social media plan sounds complicated.
Reality: Social media without a plan is chaotic and exhausting.

Artists and entrepreneurs do not need complicated social media strategies. Many of them want to run their channels themselves or outsource some of the work. Trying to do all of this without a plan, while trying to manage your business, is complete chaos. Social media coaching can also help set the record straight on your strategy and tactics.

Upward Anthems offers social media coaching and easy-to-implement social media strategies. Learn more about our services here.

Artists and entrepreneurs possess creative and strategic energy and need to stop wasting their time on social media. We hope this blog served up some truths that you needed to hear to continue growing on social media. Follow us on Instagram and LinkedIn for more tips, tricks, and realness!