How Bad Advice Affects Social Media Growth

Growth is one of the most challenging and frustrating things about working in social media. There. I said it.

It's challenging if you're an influencer or content creator trying to monetize your content, and it's challenging if you're a brand or business growing your social media accounts to be more competitive or increase your share of voice.

Working in social media means that I have to be in learning mode a lot because platforms are constantly changing. I take courses and classes and attend webinars in my spare time.

I also learn from other professionals in the industry by following and interacting with them on LinkedIn and Twitter.

When I am in learning mode, however, I do so with a hefty dose of skepticism.

I've been in the industry for over a decade and have seen my fair share of bad advice: especially when it comes to organically growing your social media accounts.

Bad advice tends to look like this: a wolf in sheep's clothing –

  • Grow your social media accounts by posting high-quality content.

  • Reach more people by using compelling images in your posts.

  • Posting frequently will ensure that you will get more followers.

  • Hashtags are a great way to find people interested in you and who will want to follow you.

  • Following other people will often prompt them to follow you.

  • Tagging many people in your posts will expose your content to more people and therefore grow your social channels.

And the list goes on.

The advice above is incredibly misleading.

Many of these assertions are vague enough to seem genuine, or parts of them are true, making the whole idea and principle seem trustworthy.

Listen, it's okay to want to grow your social media following. The number of followers you have can even be a legitimate KPI at times. Having a large, meaningful online presence leads to abundant opportunities (many of those opportunities can be lucrative!).

As well-intentioned as the advice-giver or advice-receiver are, these suggestions mentioned may or may not actually help you.

In fact, numerous people follow advice similar to what's above, only to abandon social media efforts after a few months because they see little to no growth.