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Unraveling 10 Social Media Myths

Posted by : admin in Social Media Marketing ()Comments

The year 2012 has seen the rise of Social Media not only in our personal lives but as an active component of corporate Marketing Strategy transcending products and services cutting across industry lines, sectors and magnitude of operation.

The fact that Social Media has potential as an effective marketing tool has been repeatedly established by companies that have invested in it and are reaping the rewards. It is a ‘must have’ in every marketer’s repertoire. However, many people are taking the plunge without much forethought or insight about the technology and tool.

Let us see 10 Social Media Myths that people often believe in and jeopardize their campaign.

1. We must be EVERYWHERE, all the time

You absolutely do not need to be everywhere. You must be present where your customers are. You need them. You follow them wherever they are and serve them what they need.

• Do you know where your customers are in Social Media?
• Do you know what brings them there and what are they looking for?

2. Facebook is Social Media

This is a common misconception amongst many. It is like “Xerox and Photocopy”. Facebook is just a tool in the overall Social Media landscape. There are others too – Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, Squidoo, Reddit, Digg etc.

3. Update everything everyday probably multiple times in a day

Posting 20 Tweets in an hour is futile. You are actually boring your audience and it is quite likely that they won’t ever read a single tweet. The same goes for Facebook wall. Updating is important and every product/ concept has a particular trait. Do not update just for the sake of updating. Post an update which is really valuable to the reader; that gives some new information or entertains the audience. Glut of posts and information can overwhelm your audience and turn them off. Understand customer psychometrics and create your social media updation plan. Your audience should wait for information eagerly instead of being force fed.

4. My audience is not connected through Social Media

How do you know? Is it because you are a turbine manufacturer? Or probably deal in industrial chemicals? Your perception is prompted by your insular view about the length and breadth of Social Media.

Visit Linkedin and see how many people are talking about turbines and have formed interesting knowledge sharing groups on the topic and making product recommendations.

Similar groups of say purchase personnel are discussing best source of benzene and ethanol in the global market. Are you engaging these potential customers?

5. More “likes” means my campaign “rocks”

Yes, this is a very common myth. Honestly it means your campaign is about to hit the rocks. Likes and shares are important. They create a buzz and increase awareness but that need not lead to completion of the sales cycle and generate revenue.

Go back to the drawing board and work out our social media campaign metrics to truly evaluate the results and its implication. Testing the right parameter starts with correct identification of what must be measured.

6. Managing Social Media – grab a few youngsters or do it yourself

Social Media for business is finally marketing and branding in a different form. The campaigns are the outcome of detailed understanding of the product features and customer profile, needs and motivating factors. It is the ability to influence customer behavior using Social Media platform. It therefore requires strong marketing skills and Social Media technology insight to braid the two. Employing tech savvy youngsters to monitor and update the social media sites are fine. But the content of the message that is sent and tapping the undercurrents of what people are talking requires experience and knowledge.

7. My product is B2B, Social Media does not work

Says who? Companies are now engaging with prospective employees and stakeholders online because that is where they crowd. Marketers are drawing significant traffic to their website using Social Media efficiently.

Not too long ago, we had the same view about emails and short messaging service. Now how often do you send a business message to your client or supplier through emails or SMS? Daily! This is the age of Social Media and people are joining the party every day.

8. There is no such thing as Social Media Policy!

If you are a company, you must have a well drafted Social Media Policy. This is a platform that can make or break reputation. One off the cuff statement is all it takes to go viral and crash your campaign. It is better to be Proactive than Reactive. Keep your hand on the online pulse and engage appropriately.

You cannot speak/ write whatever you want. The same goes for your employees as most of them are online. For a customer, an employee is a representative of the organization. Whatever they say or write in their individual capacity is never read in isolation. There have been instances when employees had to resign due to Social Media mishaps but that does not rebuild the image that is lost. It is just damage control. Be extremely careful and display restraint!

9. Social Media is frivolous

Absolutely not! It is a colossal waste of resources if you are not able to encash the power of this media. Social Media has opened up the unique opportunity to closely interact with your customers and include them in your decision making process. This is serious business. You can engage with them to understand what works, what doesn’t. Why something works? What is your customers’ expectation from your product? What more can you deliver to enhance customer delight? What will help them make better purchase decisions? What other brands are your prospects inspecting? What do they like about them? Answers to these vital questions can help you improve your product and fight your competitors.

10. Social Media is cheap

This is a myth that derails many social media campaigns. As an individual we update our posts and tweets and pins with just anything at random. It seems easy.

As a company, you have to monitor the web 24 X 7 and track what people are saying, where they have mentioned your company / product or brand, what do the comments say. You also have to catalog each of these on a daily basis for future records and address the issues individually. Every comment deserves an answer and explanation if necessary. It is part of image building. And this is just reaction. What about your proactive stance? You have to update your Social Media pages, provide meaningful and informative content, and measure the effectiveness.

This requires resources – man and money. There is always a risk that to keep social media cheap you cause more harm than good.

Social Media is deceptive and strong. It is a powerhouse for marketers if rightly managed. Do not let the myths endanger your company and its potential.

Make an informed decision and reap the benefits of this amazing paradigm.

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