Friday, October 22, 2010
Social Media Marketing - The Myths
The original Internet changed the way we work and live, and the way we interact with one another. The coming of Web 2.0 promises to be just as revolutionary, and just as important to businesspeople around the world.
When the original Internet came along, businesses like eBay and Amazon.com were quick to see the power of the online world, and those early adopters went on to become some of the most successful net residents. The same is sure to happen with the world of social media, and companies are already lining up to take advantage of this unique marketplace.
Unfortunately, myths and misinformation about the social media landscape and its business potential abound. Falling for one of these common myths could hurt your business, even as you are tying to build an online presence in the Web 2.0 world.
Let's take a look at ten of the most common social media myths in the business world:
1. Social media is easy - your 10 year old cousin can start a website, but that does not mean building a social media presence is easy. Take the time to think out your social media strategy before you get started - your business is riding on it.
2. Social media is free - it is true that there is no charge to join most social media networks, but there are costs involved in establishing your business presence on those sites. How you look is important, so look for people who can help you establish a great presence from day one.
3. Social media provides instant results - we have all heard the stories of the overnight YouTube sensations, or the new blog or website that makes a big splash. But those stories are the exception, not the rule. It takes time for social media to start working, and it pays to be patient.
4. Social media is all you need - social media sites like Facebook and YouTube work best when combined with other online presences like traditional websites and blogs. It is best to look at your social media presence as part of your overall online marketing plan.
5. If you build it they will come - one of the biggest mistakes businesses make is assuming that viewers will flock to their sites as soon as they are live. In the social media world it is not enough to build a great site or offer a great product. You need to market that product effectively, otherwise your potential customers might never even see it.
6. You can do everything yourself - while a web savvy employee might be able to get you online, your in-house staff might not be able to market your website or find the customers you need. Building a team of both in-house and external resources will help you make the most of your social media strategy.
7. You must establish a social media presence now - while it is certainly a good idea to bring your company into the Web 2.0 world, rushing to establish a presence can backfire. It is better to take your time and do it right than to rush in and have to fix your mistakes later.
8. Word of mouth advertising is not important - in many ways social media marketing is the ultimate word of mouth advertising, since it allows literally millions of people to share their likes and dislikes. But simply having a social media presence does not mean you can ignore traditional word of mouth advertising strategies.
9. Social media requires no maintenance - a social media site is not a set it and forget it proposition. You need to maintain your site and keep it fresh in order to get the most from it.
10. Social media is a broadcast medium - social media is much closer to a two way conversation than a one way broadcasting platform. Understanding the nature of the medium will help you make the most of it.