Mythical, Magical and a Waste of Time: Social Media Unicorns

Organik SEO

Mythical, Magical and a Waste of Your Time: Social Media Unicorns

by Organik
on July 15, 2014

5 minute read


Come back to the real world, social media pros!

The Organik SEO team recently had the pleasure of attending SEM San Diego’s event featuring the fantastic HubSpot at Karl Strauss Brewery.

While the event had a warm-and-fuzzy hashtag, #SDHUG, the content was anything but. Dan Zarrella, social media scientist for HubSpot, and his partner in crime, Dan Tyre, Director at HubSpot, dished out advice that is driven by data (not hugs).

Myth: Engagement is crucial for the success of a social media campaign
For the most part, this is false.

“Highly followed accounts rarely spend a high percentage of their time engaging in conversation–that’s not how they build their reach,” explains Zarrella.

If a campaign focuses primarily on replying to tweets and engaging in conversation on Twitter, Facebook, and other social channels, chances are, said brand will not flourish on social media.

“Engagement is good for customer service, not for reach,” says Zarrella. He encourages brands to focus on creating and sharing interesting, thought-provoking content. And don’t be shy–tweet frequently.

“No one cares how chatty you are if you’re not contributing to the conversation,” says Zarrella. But if you’re sharing great content? Well, expect this:

“Accounts that share between 60 to 80 percent links (back to their website, for example) tend to get the highest number of retweets. It’s the opposite with engagement.”

[include picture of quote about accounts]

Myth: Positivity is less appealing than negativity on social media
Turn that frown upside down, social media marketers. “People don’t go to social media to be bummed out about the world around them,” says Zarrella.

Put a positive spin on negative content and measure the results.

Myth: Brands shouldn’t post content too frequently on social media
How often should you post to social media? “More than you are now,” says Zarrella. Tweet your own content, with a link back to your informative, relevant and novel blog post frequently. As much as a tweet per hour is acceptable. Twitter moves quickly, so it’s likely that your audience–or the audience you’re hoping to reach–didn’t see that first tweet.

But, Zarrella warns, “Don’t crowd out your own content. Curate content from others, too.”

Myth: Tweets should be short and sweet
“The longer the tweet, the higher the click through rate,” explains Zarrella. Interestingly enough, if you place your link in the middle of a long tweet, it gets more engagement. Zarrella suggests that this format is unexpected and stands out among the ‘traditional’ tweets with links at the end.

Myth: Weekends are terrible days to post content
Sorry, social media marketers: Friday, Saturday and Sunday are fantastic days to post content. Chances are, if you’re running a social media campaign for a client, you might not be posting on the weekend. Chances are, your competitors aren’t, either. Off peak times have higher engagement rates. Fridays, especially, tend to be the most retweetable day of the week.

Experiment with posting to social networks, specifically Twitter and Facebook, on the weekend.

Myth: Visuals are dead
Not so, says Zarrella. As much as Facebook has been attempting to squash the use of memes, visuals are alive and well on social media. Twit pics are very likely to be retweeted, and images on Facebook still fare very well.

This handy article on how to use images on Twitter should help inform your Twitter campaign.

Think of what captures your attention on Facebook and Twitter. It’s the pictures, isn’t it?

Myth: It’s better to post something unoriginal rather than posting nothing at all
Don’t post to social media just to post to social media. “Not all information is valuable, only scarce information is valuable,” says Zarrella. Posting the same thing everyone else is posting, ignores what people want most: novelty.

Take advantage of information voids. Use Twitter to discover what people have questions about. Answer these questions in a blog post and share it frequently. Try using Quora, ask questions on Facebook and in LinkedIn groups, discover where the information voids exist and insert your brand into the conversation.

If you can’t find a novel topic, speak about information relevant to your target audience in a novel way. For example, if you love zombies like Zarrella does (zombies eat flesh, not brains, FYI) consider writing a blog post about zombies and marketing. Seriously. You’re attracting not only marketers, but marketers interested in zombies. Thus, targeting a niche community and making a not-so-novel topic more interesting. Nicely done.

Myth: Writing plainly on social media will make you sound dumb
False. Take it easy, English major. “Writing simply and plainly is actually writing correctly,” says Zarrella. This isn’t ‘writing dumb,’ it’s writing effectively and efficiently.

“Nouns and verbs give language its vigor,” Zarrella says. Posts with adjectives and adverbs have lower share rates as they often contain unnecessarily verbose language.

Myth: Please, RT doesn’t work
We’re society that is pressed for time. If you want your audience to take a specific action, don’t make them guess. Using calls-to-action like, “share this, comment on this and RT this” actually work well. Tweets and Facebook posts with questions in them also perform nicely.

What other social media myths would you have liked Zarrella to debunk? Tell us in the comments section below.

If you found this information helpful, be sure to check out our post “The Best Way for Businesses to Appeal to Millennials on Social Media“. Organik SEO is passionate about helping businesses grow by tapping into the power of social media and SEO. To discuss how we can help you grow your business, contact us today!


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