Busting Social Media Myths

Social media platforms are certainly beginning to take over the average user’s browsing habits.  According to Facebook’s own fact sheet page, there are approximately 480 million daily active users on their website alone, accounting for about 30 minutes of activity on average per user, daily.  Twitter’s tweet-per-day average boomed from 27 million in 2010 to 95 million in 2011.  Social media is growing at such an alarming rate that businesses just can’t help but drool all over themselves at the opportunity to get in on the action.  80% of all companies now use social media for recruitment and 95% of those use LinkedIn.

All of these facts and more mind blowing social media statistics can be found here.

So what’s a company to do with all of this Social 2.0 MySpaceBooking at its fingertips?  There are many different theories and methods being employed by businesses everywhere to try and maximize the advantages of social media.  What we’re doing today is looking at a few dos and don’ts by busting a few of the more commonly employed tactics that you’ve probably encountered at some point.

Exxon Mobil wants to find out which type of gasoline I am. I hope it''s 87-grade unleaded!

Myth #1 – I’ve Built It, So They Will Come

You can set up all of the profiles you want on a bajillion different platforms, but in order to maintain a successful social media campaign there needs to be an active presence with the audience.  Networking is what social media is all about, so you’ll need to get out there and interact with people if you expect to see valid results.

Myth #2 – It’s A Public Relations Free-For-All

There seems to be this idea with social media that anything goes.  We can bombard whomever we want with advertising and censor whomever is giving poor feedback.  While social media does put you at the controls of the ship, it’s not necessary to kamikaze that baby into a sea of humanity.  Social media is designed for networking and interacting, not for pumping out offers, games and contests every 20 minutes.  When presented tastefully, marketing your business with social media through an online promotion or contest can yield extremely lucrative results, however there needs to be credibility associated with the campaign.  Would you purchase an item from a vendor in a trench coat that keeps shouting offers at you while you walk down the street?

Get out the pocketbook, honey! This guy looks legit.

Myth #3 – Each Channel Is Its Own Audience

It’s important not to alienate your audience in any way.  The reach of your social media efforts is maximized when you cross-pollinate between all of your different platforms.  Don’t just present an offer ‘for our Facebook group only’.  Make sure that same offer is available on your website, on Twitter, YouTube, or wherever else your online presence extends.  Forcing people to ‘like’ your Facebook page in order to take advantage of a promotion is not only short sighted, but in some cases is also against Facebook’s Terms of Use.

Myth #4 – The More The Merrier

There also seems to be a fascination with gaining more and more followers and ‘likes’ until your Facebook page turns into the Blob, absorbing everyone it touches.  Sure, the ultimate goal of getting into social media is to expand your audience, grow popularity and gain an extra avenue to interact with these groups, however you should be looking for ways to engage these people to interact with your business in some form and not simply clicking a ‘like’ button.  Additionally, once you’ve reached your target following, it’s important not to maintain the status quo.  It certainly should not be taken for granted that the audience that follows you today will still be there tomorrow.  Focus on building the relationships you’ve developed with the followers you have – not on gimmicks – and people will ‘like’ you for all the right reasons.

Social Media gives your business a whole new avenue to reach new audiences and generate legitimate leads.  The potential is too great to ignore.  It can be enticing to get roped into distractions when we see the success of various brands and you just want to get a piece of the action, so make sure that your efforts are concentrated on the goals you’ve set for yourself.  If you’re having troubles getting your social media presence off the ground, contact Point Click Media.

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