The 7 Unspoken Myths About Social Media

On a daily basis I encounter brands with less than impressive ventures into the social media space. At times it’s quite embarrassing to witness an attempt at doing positive work where in all actuality next to nothing has been accomplished. The worst case is when an otherwise great brand is being misrepresented with a crummy online persona. I could drop names, but it’s not necessary. Browse any social network and you’ll find numerous examples of those who just don’t get it.

There’s a reason some brands succeed and some don’t. Not only does it come down to the person or team that’s at the helm, but also the methodology and strategy (if there even is one) that the business has put in place.

It’s a wise idea to know exactly what you’re getting into from the get go.

Myth #1: Social media is free.
It takes an investment.

Social media is not free. That’s like saying that running an ad in the newspaper or hiring a sales person is free. It takes an investment of time or an investment of income. You’ll need to train an employee or yourself to monitor and update channels or pay someone else to do it. It really is that simple. Anyone who thinks social media is free has too much extra time or money. I’ve never met that person and I don’t think they exist.

Myth #2: It’s easy to get started.
Reality: You’re probably not ready.

I can set up a Facebook page in about 10 minutes and a Twitter account in less than 5. The low barrier to entry has made many falsely believe that all of this is easy. The fact is that goals need to be set, a strategy needs to be put into place, and research needs to happen before you get started. Going back to the first myth, it’ll take some type of investment. You can never be too prepared.

Myth #3: Content is king.
Reality: Great content is only one part of success.

I really hate this one. How do you explain great blogs that get absolutely 0 traffic and high quality videos that get only a handful of views? Creating great content isn’t even half of the battle. Yes the content should be amazing, but it’s impossible to rely on great content alone. Marketing, SEO, and how you deliver that content all come into play. Don’t fool yourself on this one.

Myth #4: I need more Fans/Followers/Friends.
Reality: What you actually need is more customers.

Whenever someone tells me that they’re not happy with their social media efforts by relating it to the amount of online friends that they have, it’s kind of like nails on a chalkboard for me. Let’s put this to rest right now. THE AMOUNT OF “FRIENDS”  YOU HAVE ONLINE MEANS NOTHING. The only metric that matters is how many of your online pals actually do business with you or are creating positive word of mouth for your brand. A smaller yet tighter network is much more impressive than a large one that could care less.

Myth #5: Social media is a campaign.
Reality: Social needs to be built into your DNA.

It’s not a one time event. Nor is it a short term tactic that is used every now and then. Social needs to be a built into everything you or your customers do online. Don’t miss the boat on this. The sooner you start thinking of online communication as a vital part of customer service, marketing, and sales efforts, the better off you’ll be. One department or employee doesn’t own social. It needs be implemented from top to bottom throughout your organization.

Myth #6: Activity can’t be measured.
Reality: It can, but an inadequate amount of effort is being made to do so.

What’s the ROI of a handshake? What’s the ROI of a phone call?

I don’t know and I could care less. I do care about the positive return of social media and you should also. Define the strategy, set realistic goals, move towards those goals, and measure along the way. How many new customers did we acquire through this channel? How many new leads were created? How much are we saving on customer service costs? Ask the tough questions and don’t tolerate a lack of discipline when it comes to measuring results.

Myth #7: Everyone should be active in social media.
Reality: If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

If you’re not willing to put in the effort, invest resources, adapt quickly, and take it seriously, you’re probably better off sticking to your current methods. The last thing we need is another brand that is putting in a C grade effort. Spare the headache, spare your employees, and spare your customers. If you’re not willing to do what it takes to be successful in this space then don’t get involved.

If you’re serious about being a part of the conversation and doing what it takes to achieve results, you’re in for a rewarding and eye opening experience. Nothing quite compares to that of making genuine online connections with current and new customers. It’s a beautiful thing. You won’t regret it.

Sparkplug Digital helps brands connect with customers online through smart marketing efforts. It’s what we love to do. If you enjoy this post and want to see more like it, subscribe to this blog. You’ll be happy you did.

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