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3 Common Social Media Myths Dispelled

September 24, 2012

Social Media Myths

Social media is not new. Yet, there’s still a lot of misunderstanding around its business purpose. This time last year I, myself, was unsure of the real business value of social media and struggled to see how I could justify spending time and money on it, when there were so many other proven marketing channels that had good return. Afterall, where was conversation going to get me if I couldn’t link it to sales?

However, my opinion has changed a lot over the past few months, with many of the business myths around social media getting dispelled, thanks to a combination of great mentors and by putting social media to the business test.

Myth 1: Anyone can do social media

…even the inexperienced intern. Big mistake. The truth is, managing social media that provides return for a company requires a lot of business savvy and high marketing acumen.

Social media managers need to be familiar with your business and most importantly intimately understand who your customers are, where they are from, what magazines they read, what they do in their spare time, what they like, what they hate, and what they had for breakfast that morning. This way you can effectively market to them through different targeting profiles, adcopy and images, and call to actions.

Myth 2: Social media is free

Just like PR and SEO, social media is free, right? We wish. Social media for business, when done right, is highly resource intensive. If you don’t have experienced, dedicated in-house resources to manage it, then you will need to call in a reputable agency to work with you.

Additionally, getting the most return out of social media requires a mix of paid and organic tactics and the ability to integrate these with other channels, such as PPC. Not to mention any tools you will need to efficiently manage and track the performance of your campaigns. All this requires cash.

Myth 3: Social media is all about awareness

Possibly the biggest myth of all. Up until a few months ago, I fell for this too. Luckily, a wise man taught me that social media is nothing more than a subscription list. You can use this list (just as you would an email list), to do the most kick-arse, highly targeted demand generation.

Along with this myth, most people will tell you that:

  • B2B doesn’t work in Facebook as people aren’t thinking about work. Wrong. People never stop thinking about work, even when they are on Facebook.
  • Facebook is all about likes. However, likes is just the means to an end; a list of names. It is never the final goal.
  • When using Facebook, you have to stay within Facebook as people will not click on anything that will take them off to a corporate site. Again, wrong.

To put these myths to the test, we ran paid Facebook ads for a high-tech B2B company. Targeting profiles were carefully built, multiple ad assets were put together, and a white paper download (with a history of high conversion) was presented as a call-to-action.

Over the space of three weeks, and a pretty small media spend, it pulled in 100+ leads, including several product quote requests. It also achieved more efficient CPCs and CPAs, compared to a long-running, highly optimized PPC program. Not at all bad for products that can cost five figures or more.

Don’t just take my word for it…

If you haven’t already, go read these articles from the experts. They will change the way you think about social media forever! Most importantly, go test (but only once you’ve read these).

From → Social Media

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