• BURN MEDIA
    • Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Ventureburn
      Startup news for emerging markets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!

10 social media myths that undermine business strategies

Social media is a new field for many for marketers, entrepreneurs and business managers. Any sensible marketer knows that ignoring social media is not an option.

It is necessary to understand that social media has become another battleground for consumers.

Eric Rice exposes the following 10 myths which should quickly lift the “veil of mystery” surrounding social media.

Myth 1: “Social marketing is great because it’s free.”
Even if you don’t spent money, your investment of time and energy is significant for opportunity cost. Both you and your team should consider that you’ll need to set aside time to chart a strategy. You then need to factor in the significant time required to maintain whatever you set up.

Myth 2: “Everyone’s doing it, so I need to.”
Participate in social media only if you have the resources and the willingness to do so. Doing it just for the sake of a social media presence is simply a waste of time and resources. In fact, poorly-handled marketing in this space can do you far more harm than not participating at all. Googling “Nestle Facebook fiasco” is proof of this.

Myth 3: I can just post our press releases on social media
Not quite. Individuals tend to visit corporate sites for your press releases and the formal news on your company. The social environment is not another platform for you to spread your official company lingo; it’s a place to take part in a conversation, in people’s everyday conversation and be there to provide useful information to your readers on their terms.

Myth 4: “I need to be everywhere, dominating every type of social media”
Simply be present where your users are. Considering what is required for effective social media marketing, the best thing you could do may be to invest all your time and energy into one or two sites your audience use regularly, rather than trying to spread yourself too thin across a large number of channels.

Myth 5: “Twitter is a tool for egomaniacs to tell people what they had for breakfast.”
This a myth coined accurately by journalist Eric Rice. However, as her research has found, CEOs tweet to give their company a more “human” face. Job-seekers use Twitter to see who’s hiring and get a better idea of the “personality” behind the corporation. Twitter helps turn your corporation into a living entity for eager prospects to connect with.

Myth 6: Facebook is more for my kids, not for my business.
Twitter’s 140-character limit means Facebook provides the same benefits as Twitter, but with a bit more room to elaborate. It also allows you to enhance that “human” feeling with photos, longer notes, and a more centralized communication hub to initiate discussions with your customers.

Myth 7: Social media is my marketing director’s job
Some estimate 1-2 hours per day should be committed to actively participating in the conversations being conducted and created on social media. A busy marketing director working offline will not likely be able to effectively maintain a social presence if it becomes another task on the “to do” list.

Myth 8: The threat of receiving negative public posts and complaints is too high
Regardless of the buzz, consumers are already commenting in their offline social circles. Take the view that you are rather being part of conversation so you can strategically defend your brand and respond in a timely way to problems. Being where the discussion is allows you to address existing problems and discover brewing issues before they get out of hand.

Myth 9: “This thing’s useless – I tried it for a month and it didn’t work.”
Social marketing doesn’t give you the instant, measurable results of an e-mail blast or targeted landing page campaign; it will take time for people to find you, warm up to you, and start adding to your conversations, warns Lone Wolf Media. Do active research on social media metrics and how to go about generating ROI through social media for your brand.

Myth 10: “Our customers don’t use social media sites.”
Eric Rice gives a simple instruction in response to what is arguably the worst of all the ten myths: Search Twitter or Facebook for “investment banking.” Now try “supply chain management” or “solar wafers.” Industry is irrelevant in the social environment; the audience is there and they’re going to have their conversations with or without you.

With fast growing emerging markets constantly drawing attention to the BRICs, let’s remember that social media marketing cannot be divorced from mobile. With the cellphone growing as the number one means by which emerging market consumers engage with companies and services, make sure you are creating a social media mobile experience. If you are only targeting laptop and PC users, you are ignoring the very space where the majority of your future customers could be.

Recognising the 10 myths without remembering the reality of mobile is just as ineffective as buying into any of the myths.