In investigating and dealing with those who have been interested to jump on to the Social Media bandwagon, it’s interesting to come across an article that serves as a good Devil’s Advocate to all the hype. I’ve come across various iterations of the following myths. So, it was nice to discover the following Businessweek article which helped dispel some of these: Beware Social Media Marketing Myths. Here are the five myths (plus 1 bonus one!) for your consideration:
- Social media sites are free – No, they are not. The most significant cost will be your time – in keeping your interactions current; creating, editing and posting content; monitoring activity… all this will take someone’s time. And if you can’t handle it on your own, then you’ll need to hire someone to do it – whether internally or externally.
- Social media sites are a great place to find new customers – Not necessarily true. The key lies in being sure of what you want out of establishing your presence in social media sites and ensuring that you are reaching the right audience. You would be surprised to find out that some of the major sites aren’t necessarily the best places for a business owner. Business owners may be better served by joining social networking sites that are specific to them.
- You need to be on all the big sites – Not all sites are created equal. Think about focusing on the key sites that are important to you. Better to establish your credibility in a few important, relevant networks than just blanketing all the “cool” ones and spreading yourself to thin.
- Social networking sites are for marketing – Not at all! Marketing is just one of the uses for social networking site. Another great usage is for customer service.
- Social networking is the future – Don’t be too sure. Today, it’s the best thing since sliced bread… in the future, who knows? What’s important is for business owners to look at social networking for what it is – another tool to leverage on to increase one’s influence by building credibility and establishing presence. It’s just that you’re doing it on social networking sites… for now.
- [Bonus insight] All I need is social networking – Don’t neglect your other marketing and customer service approaches. Even as social networking gains traction, one must not forget their more “traditional” marketing and customer service channels. They are still important because, whether we like it or not, many of our important customers are still “there”. So remember newsletters, phone calls and support, seminars, partnering, and the like.