I hope I am not offending my fellow marketing professionals, but I have seen way too many folks trying to approach social media the same way we have approached traditional marketing channels. While we all talk about building long-term meaningful relationships based on trust, many of us still approach social media as another form of a transactional broadcast medium.
More specifically, these are my top five favorite myths when it comes to social media:
- Look boss it’s free, just let me do it: While it’s true that most tools are (almost) free today, success in social media is hard and requires a sustained, long-term commitment to be successful. It is not sufficient to ‘just set-up a twitter handle’, but requires a significant people commitment to nurture and build an audience that will be interested in listening to not only what you have to say but also actively participate; as I said in a previous post, content is king and content is not free.
- I can get from 0 to 60 in no time, just watch me: Wrong again, building an audience takes a considerable amount of time and that nurturing phase requires a significant investment in time and resources.
- Look at me, I just got 10,000 followers / fans / friends: So what, who cares? I have seen numerous studies trying to assign a value to a Facebook fan with values ranging between $3-270. The reality is unless you know what the business objectives are and set your social media metrics in tandem, measuring your reach is meaningless.
- The only way to succeed is to own a community / blog / fan page: We have been trained over many decades to ‘own’ stuff. It was my brand, my marketing assets, my campaigns. If we transfer this mindset to social media we are doomed to fail. We need to start thinking that we need to participate in the conversations wherever they are occurring, and learn to deal with the inherent fragmentation that comes with social media.
- Strategy, who needs a strategy? If it’s not clear by now that before you embark on any initiative you need to start with the business outcomes you are trying to influence and directly link the social media success metrics to those outcomes, perhaps you should re-read the previous four points.
Don’t get me wrong, I am by no means implying that I have all the answers and by dispelling these five myths we will succeed. Experimentation is key and there will likely be (and should be) many missteps along the way. All I am trying to say is that you will definitely fail unless you have internalized these points.
What do you think? Does this resonate based on your own experiences? I look forward to your feedback.