The social media channel:

It’s the new channel, the new trend and everyone and every brand that doesn’t want to be left behind is jumping right on. Needless to say the hype is gaining momentum and believe it or not, has still not peaked. Like everything that is new, exciting and quickly evolving, there are many misconceptions and myths about the Social Media channel. Here are just 5 myths that I would like to dispel. Forgive my tone (I tend to get passionate!).

Social Media Experts: What does it take to be Social Media savvy? Is it a matter of having a Twitter account and tweeting or just pushing out content? I interviewed many candidates that say that they are experts only to find out they know how to post on Facebook and Twitter but have no knowledge of insights and measurement tools. Knowing Facebook and Twitter, oh and let’s not forget LinkedIn,  doesn’t make you an expert. Social media is so much more than those three platforms (!). It’s relating to trends, it’s content creation (blogging) and it’s understanding SEO! It’s integrating landing pages, it’s about engagement and mobile and hey… it’s also understanding website analytics (can you say Google Analytics?)! but mostly it’s about how to maximize return on you’re content.

Social Media is Inexpensive: You can achieve success in less than 15 minutes a day? Really? I’m a firm believer on you “get back” what you put in. So if you only spend 15 minutes a day on your Social Media initiatives, you’ll only get that back in return… or less. Social Media takes time and effort. It’s about social engagement. That means you have to be in tuned to your market’s interests and take advantage of opportunities that daily trends provide. You need to make sure that you contribute value to your audience and your community. To be part of your audience’s inner circle, you must invest the time. So ask yourself: “How much is your time really worth?”

Anyone Can Do It:  This is really part B to the first myth listed above about Social Media Experts. It irks me that people really believe anyone can do it. If you are going to embrace the Social Media Channel, one thing you should assess is how to maximize return on you’re initiative (content). Just like speaking English doesn’t make you a writer and knowing design and Photoshop software doesn’t make you a graphic designer; knowing how to tweet or post to Facebook, doesn’t make you a marketing professional.

Social Media is a Fad: News flash: Social Media is here to stay. It’s a good vehicle to engage your audience and be present during the customer decision making journey. As a business and as a brand, you really need to get your head around that or get left behind. It’s a strong awareness building tool, and if you want to be considered when customers are ready to buy… then you need to be present. Social Media is part of the marketing channels and is here to stay! As such, there needs to be an intended result, a building of strategy and a consistent, constant approach.

Social Media is All You Need: Right now, Social Media is top of mind, constantly on topic, on trend. Does anyone remember when web sites first made their debut into the business world, and hence,  the marketing world. How about online digital advertising? None of these were fads and none of these have disappeared. They have their place in any solid marketing and advertising campaignI believe that Social Media too, will take it’s rightful place in the Marketing Channel Mix – keyword being mix, melody, part of a recipe, etc…

Social Media does not take the place of Marketing. The way I see it, Marketing has always been evolving. It has always had to develop and grow. I know this is a leap, but Marketing had to evolve when television first arrived. Social Media is the new Marketing Evolution.

What are some myths that you have encountered in your initiation to Social Media? I’d love to hear about them.