HomeSocial Media14 Social Media Myths Debunked

    14 Social Media Myths Debunked


    Even though social media has been around for a while, there are still social media myths that exist and lead people down the wrong path. To make matters worse, social media has become a more trusted source of information, for example, 36% of social media consumers use Facebook for consuming news.

    This means that when social media myths are shared across platforms, people believe them, reshare them, and unfortunately, adopt the practices into their social marketing strategy. Well, I am going to debunk some of these myths to give you a clearer picture when it comes to your social efforts.

    Myth 1: Social Media is for Younger Generations

    While there is some element of truth to this social media myth – social media is also used by older generations and can be effective when marketing to an older demographic. As of 2021, 55% of Facebook users are over the age of 35 and as you can see in the chart below, there is a higher percentage of Facebook & Instagram users over 65 than between 13-17.

    Taking a look at the age of Instagram users, you can see it’s not that much different when compared to Facebook. There is still a large portion of users over the age of 35 and also 23.9% over the age of 45.

    TikTok is slightly different, as its core demographic is younger people, nevertheless, there is still a percentage of users over the age of 35 that use the social platform. Even though there is a large young audience, don’t discredit a social platform due to age demographic!

    There are many reasons why older generations use social media: it connects them to family and friends, helps them stay informed, and social media has become a hub for news, educational content, and even companionship. Your target demographic will likely be active across different social platforms, therefore you shouldn’t let this myth put you off.

    Regardless, as time progresses, it’s even more likely that social media users over 40 will increase due to growing up with technology and being connected.

    Myth 2: Every Social Media Platform is the Same

    Unfortunately, this myth is more common than you think. While it might appear harmless, treating every social media platform the same way can severely impact the performance of your content; leading to wasted time, money, and potential damage to your reputation. The same applies to assuming that you have the same audience on every social media platform.

    Although social media platforms often function in the same way (they copy popular features) and have algorithms, there are many differences. For example, X (formerly Twitter) only allows 240 characters for a post, LinkedIn focuses on professional content, and TikTok only has video content. These all reach different audiences, have different engagement rates, and require different assets.

    Debunking this social media myth further – these differences can be drilled down even further, for example:

    • A post on Facebook wouldn’t be as effective when reposted as a video caption on TikTok.
    • A carousel post on Instagram wouldn’t have the same effect on Facebook.
    • A post on X would not perform as well on LinkedIn.

    The point is, to treat every social platform as its own entity – creating content that is unique to that audience, for that algorithm, and to its standards.

    Myth 3: More Followers Means More Success

    Again, there is some element of truth to this, but more followers do not guarantee more success. The caveat is if you spent years crafting unique content to target specific users – who become followers that you then managed to grow to a large number. This ‘could’ bring more success as the followers will be more engaged and understand why they followed you in the first place.

    The actual myth applies when people/businesses rush to get to X number of followers as they falsely believe it is a metric of success. The issue here is that most of those followers will be ‘poor quality’ and provide less engagement.

    Would you rather have 1,000 followers where only 1-5 people engaged with your content or would you rather have 100 followers where 80 people engaged with your content?

    For example, did you know the highest Instagram Reel engagement rates are by accounts with 5,000 followers or less (3.79%)?

    Taking a look at these influencer engagement rates below, you can also see that the more followers you have, the lower your engagement rate becomes!

    It’s a no-brainer. Remember – Quality Over Quantity.

    Myth 4: Negative Comments Should Always Be Deleted

    There are an estimated 54% of people who use social media to research products and 78% of consumer purchase decisions are influenced by social media posts – which is why most people think negative comments should get deleted.

    There’s no worse feeling than opening your notifications and seeing a post you put so much effort into, get trashed with negative comments. As humans, the first natural reaction is to delete the comments so no one else can see them and negatively perceive your brand or personal image. However, that’s not the right way to do things. Deleting these comments makes it look like you have something to hide.

    The best course of action with negative comments is to respond in a friendly and professional way, addressing concerns and what you will do about it. This shows other ‘potential customers or followers’ that you care about the audience and they will be more likely to take action.

    Myth 5: Social Media Doesn’t Drive Results

    This is one of the craziest social media myths out there. To put it into perspective here are some stats surrounding businesses on social media:

    • 41% of small businesses depend on social media as a revenue driver.
    • Customers who engage in Facebook live chat are 53% more likely to purchase from a business.
    • Consumer spending on TikTok crossed over $1 billion globally in a single quarter
    • 62% of users say they are more interested in a brand after seeing it in an Instagram Story.
    • 90% of Instagram users follow a business
    • 66% of Facebook users visit a local business page at least once a week

    If social media didn’t drive real results for businesses, then you wouldn’t see brands and small businesses on there – posting every day – sometimes 5-6 times per day.

    Now ‘results’ could mean many different things; social media can increase brand awareness, build trust and loyalty, drive traffic externally, provide customer support, help in consumer research phases, increase WOM referrals, help people discover your business, build up positive reviews, increase conversions, and so much more.

    Myth 6: Social Media Marketing is Free

    Social media marketing is never ‘free’ and this is a common misconception. You might be thinking ‘But organic posting is free…’ which is unfortunately incorrect. Even though it doesn’t cost to post organically – it does cost you in the form of time and potentially money. If you hire someone or have an employee dedicate time to social media, that is costing you money in the form of salary.

    If you do the organic posting yourself, that’s costing you in the form of time – which can result in monetary loss where that time could have been dedicated. That’s also not taking into account any software, assets, and further costs related to creating the content for social posts.

    Just remember that time also = money!

    Myth 7: Viral Content Can Be Created Easily

    If creating viral content was that easy – everyone would be doing it – and, well, viral content would then just become content… in fact according to a Stanford University study from 2016, the chances of going viral are one in a million.

    Viral content can depend on many different factors, such as platform, time published, who sees and interacts with it, type of content, and more. Nearly all of the factors involved in content going viral have to align at the right time for it to happen – which is incredibly difficult to achieve – still not impossible though.

    I recommend focusing on high-quality content that your audience will enjoy and engage with rather than chasing viral content. If you spend too much time ‘trying to go viral’ and fail, you will have alienated your existing audience and potentially damaged your brand reputation.

    Myth 8: Social Media Replaces Traditional Marketing

    No form of marketing typically ‘replaces’ another, they all have pros and cons, but would ultimately depend on the goals of your business. Ideally, you should be active within multiple different areas of marketing; social, paid advertising, print media, TV advertisements, etc. This would increase your reach and allow you to tap into different audiences, rather than alienating yourself to one marketing medium.

    That’s not to say that some businesses find success through social media alone – but the likelihood is they are missing out on a huge portion of customers by skipping past other marketing channels.

    Myth 9: Hashtags are Needed for Every Post

    Generally speaking, hashtags are harmless and do come with some social media benefits when used correctly. Hashtags are used to form topics that other users can find, follow, and interact with. They can help with reaching new users in your niche and sparking engagement.

    This myth falls into a grey area, but the important thing to know is that hashtags are not required for every single post you make – only apply them where necessary and ensure they relate to the content.

    oh, please don’t spam 30+ hashtags on your posts either. It’s not a magic formula. As you can see below, the more hashtags that were used on Facebook posts resulted in a lower engagement rate.

    Myth 10: There Isn’t Enough Content to Post Regularly Post

    This is one of the biggest social media myths out there. If, unfortunately, you believe this then there is something wrong with your content marketing strategy and you are not doing enough outside of social media. Almost anything can be turned into social media content, for example:

    • Customer reviews
    • Product details
    • Industry research/opinions
    • News within your business
    • Employee success stories/features

    Those are just some of the obscure content examples, there are also; blogs, podcasts, website content, and video scripts. If you are struggling to think of new content ideas, you should consider different ways to repurpose content, which can provide you with plenty of content to fill up your social posting calendar.

    Check out these tips for writing social media posts.

    Myth 11: You Need to Be Active on Every platform

    A mistake often made is new users/businesses believe they need to be active (posting and engaging) on every social platform, rather than just visible (having an account). I can’t stress the amount of time and effort that being active on only 1-2 social platforms takes, never mind every single one. If you stretch yourself too thin, the quality of content will drop and will be less effective too. Plus, each platform has its own demographic, algorithm, and marketing requirements – similar to the point made above that every social media platform is different.

    Instead, when starting out, do some research into the different social platforms there are. Identify 1-2 platforms where your target audience is most active, that relate to your content strategy and goals, and aren’t time-consuming (YouTube for example). When you start with 1-2 platforms you can focus on creating high-quality content that’s geared to your target audience and build an organic following.

    Think about it; high-quality content and high-engagement on 1-2 channels or low-quality – low-engagement on 10+ social channels.

    Myth 12: Organic Posting is Not Worth It

    Organic posting might seem like a waste of time in the beginning – especially if you have a small following and low engagement rates. It doesn’t help that over the years social algorithms have diminished the reach of organic posts to nudge people into paid advertising – as of 2023, the average engagement rate of an organic Facebook post is between 2.58% and only 1.52%. But ‘organic posting not being worth it’ is a myth and you shouldn’t believe it.

    If you are new to social platforms, it’s going to take time to develop organic engagement. You might spend hours on one post and not a single soul will interact with it – that’s just the way it goes. However, people still might have seen your brand name pop up, or next time they might interact with your post, and they might have even shared the post with friends/family but not interacted with it themselves. Stick with it, be consistent, and your organic content will pay off in the future.

    Equally, if you have a huge following on social media but aren’t getting any engagement on organic posts, you are likely doing something wrong. Either the followers are disengaged or not within your target audience, or the content is poor quality and not targeted to your audience.

    Create shareable content that resonates with your audience and be consistent – don’t focus too much on the performance of organic posts in the beginning, focus on quality content.

    Myth 13: Influencers Are Not Effective

    Times are changing – influencers are now more trusted by consumers than any other source. Actually, brands are expected to spend $30.81 billion on influencer marketing advertising throughout 2023 – increasing to $47.80 billion by 2027. So if you believe that influencers aren’t worth it and shouldn’t be a part of your strategy, you may need to rethink that one.

    Brand partnerships with influencers can drive incredible results – mainly due to the trust that has been built between the audience and the influencer. According to a survey of marketers, over 80% find influencer marketing effective:

    Statistics also show that 89% of social media marketers say influencer marketing has a significant impact on their brand’s efforts including brand awareness, 87% say it has improved brand reputation, and 87% say it has improved customer loyalty. If done correctly – with the right person, influencer marketing can drive significant results for your marketing campaign.

    Myth 14: Buying Followers is a Good Idea

    It’s not as popular as it used to be, but you can pay companies to ‘deliver’ followers to your social channels. It doesn’t just stop followers either, you can pretty much buy any form of engagement going. Although purchasing followers might seem like a quick win, it can damage your account/profile forever. Algorithms can pick up on unusual activity and social platforms can also identify when you have purchased followers – which can essentially cause your account to be suspended, deleted, or shadow banned.

    Then there’s the low-engagement and misaligned target followers, you will essentially pay for a number count to go up on your profile. These accounts, mostly made up of fake bots, will not interact with your posts, will not drive results for your brand, and will eventually be deleted by social platforms. So, not only do you risk wasting your money, you also risk damaging your brand image and marketing campaign.

    Does paying for followers work?

    Yes, if you use a ‘reputable’ service, I say that lightly, you will get followers to your account.

    Is paying for followers worth it?

    No. Never. Please don’t do this.

    Focus on organic growth with your target audience.

    Chad Wyatt
    Chad Wyatt
    Chad Wyatt (MBA) is a professional in the digital marketing industry, specializing in content marketing, SEO, and strategic marketing initiatives. With a track record as a 6-figure marketing entrepreneur, Chad brings a wealth of knowledge and experience and has been recognized by renowned media outlets such as CNN, Business Insider, Yahoo, MSN, Capital One, and AOL, where he has been featured for his industry insights and success stories.


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