One of the reasons I’ve written this post is the amount of misinformation out there regarding how to be successful on social media. I have seen too often churches, para-churches, non-profits and business fall into this trap. I hope this post helps you and demythologises (wow big word!) some of the most common social media myths around!

Myth #1: Just having a social media presence is a win

People seem to think that just by being on a social media channel their brand will become stronger or their message will spread further. What you have to realise is that every piece of social media content you create has the ability to lose someone as well as gain more followers. You can actually hurt your brand if you do social media badly. Here is one example of a brand that has a fantastic product, great packaging yet has done social media really, really badly.

Myth #2: Broadcast

The best social media strategies I’ve seen engage with people and actually listen. Watch how people interact with your posts, interact and engage with people who make comments. Ask questions! I have seen the outdated broadcast model especially prevalent with some church leaders for some reason. If you are involved in a church read this and pass it on!

Myth #3: Don’t engage

As I said in the previous myth, ask questions – don’t just make declarative statements all the time. (This is a really useful post: How I got 100% more engagement on my Facebook page) I used this tactic again just last week and the engagement was huge.

Myth #4: If I do what everyone is doing we will be okay

You are not the larger church down the road. You cannot see under the analytic bonnet of their social media presence. While they might have a large following it doesn’t necessarily mean they are achieving the goals they are trying to reach. Big numbers can hide a multitude of failures.

Myth #5: I only need to do it when I have time

Social media is 24/7. Yesterday is so old in social media. It is so important that you have your content delivered on a regular basis. Your engagement will actually be higher the more people see you frequently posting, even if it is a scheduled post.

Myth #6: Social media is free

It won’t cost you any money. Wrong, it will always cost you something, staff time at a minimum and it will increase from there. I would recommend investing a small budget to see what it can do to increase your reach. I started budgeting and investing in social media last year and had really good results.

Myth #6: You don’t need a plan. Just be you

I’m all for spontaneity, some of my most viral social media moments have been spontaneous. But you do need to schedule your posts, you do need a plan on what is coming up and who will create the content and where you want the plan to take you!

Myth #7: Be everywhere

When a new Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram comes out I’ve seen the gold rush of churches run for the hills and adopt a new social channel. You actually don’t need to be everywhere. Yes, you can buy the land rights (your social name) but don’t extend yourself too far. Stick with your social media strategy and move from there.

What social media myths have you seen around? Comment below!