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It seems like everyone and their grandmother is a self proclaimed social media expert these days. They like to give companies advice usually based on their own experiences or what they’ve read or heard at a conference or online somewhere.

But even the experts can give misguided advice. With so many people firing so called ‘best practices’ at you, how can you tell what is good advice and what isn’t? You can start by being wary of any social media expert who is preaching these tips:

Bad social advice #1: Be everywhere

Pretty much every business has a limited pool of resources, so keeping up on every social media platform in existence is going to be nearly impossible. It’s much more practical and advantageous to focus on the select few networks that you feel will benefit your business the most. That’s why we like to recommend starting out on the big 4 – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. Depending on the nature of your business you may want to venture into sites like Pinterest or Instagram. Focus on a few and do those well, rather than spreading yourself too thin.

Bad social advice #2: The more you share, the better

Once you’ve picked the right social networks for your company, blasting as much content as possible to stay top of mind just won’t work. People are bombarded with content as it is, so what matters most is quality content. That means offering content that has value. Make sure your content is worthy of the reader before it goes out. Is it intriguing? Is it helpful? Is it something people want to read?

Daddy drinks because you cry. Volume 1.

We’ve found that a good balance for most companies on social media is the 10-4-1 rule. That means that each social sharing cycle should be made up of 10 pieces of relevant content that you’ve found – basically cool stuff you’ve come across on the interwebs that would be helpful for visitors, 4 pieces of original helpful content and 1 compelling offer.

Bad social advice #3: Email marketing is dead

Don’t believe for a second that this is true. People still live and breathe email and every social media site requires you to provide an email address when you sign up. Many social media networks also send out email notifications when there is content being shared so it is just another integrated marketing channel. We’ve also recently provided a few secrets to email marketing.

Bad social advice #4: You can automate everything

Social media takes a lot of time and a lot of work. There are also lots of tools available to help you automate your social media postings by sending your messages out to multiple networks at once. That can be a pretty appealing time saver, but we need to remember that social media is about interacting with people and being genuine. There’s a balance to be had here. There is most certainly some content that can be automated – like blog posts for example, but it’s the real conversations with people that help build relationships. Check out our infographic on the best times and worst times to post on social media.

Bad social advice #5: Social media is all you need

Social media definitely doesn’t replace an online marketing strategy. It serves as an additional channel that is part of a whole online package. Social media needs to be fed content by sources like your blog. Visitors also need to be turned into leads via offers, calls to action and landing pages. There’s also email marketing, SEO and even traditional marketing methods that all help to drive your online marketing engine, so don’t believe that social media is the Holy Grail of marketing strategies.

This is really just the tip of the iceberg of some of the bad advice floating around out there. What else have you heard? Let us confirm or debunk some of those social media myths you’ve heard in the comments below.

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