10 social media myths to avoid buying into

Great article in the Social Computing Magazine, contributed by Digital Labz.

For all those who believe in social media and for all those who still hesitate!

The importance of establishing a strong social media presence has been discussed to exhaustion. You know that you need to be an active user on these sites because social media can produce numerous benefits for you and your brand. Of course, as the bandwagon for social media has filled up, many myths have been spread.

That’s why I’ve created this list of 10 social media myths to avoid buying into.

1. Great Content Always Goes Hot- This is one of the biggest mistakes social media newbies make. They automatically assume that a good article will catch fire online and spread throughout the Internet. It’s simply not true. Great content doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. It’s not enough to simply submit a good article. There are tons of other factors involved?who is submitting it, if it’s targeted at the right audience, and how well it’s promoted (to name a few.)

2. There are No Rules- Another misconception is that there are no rules to social media. Some people believe they can do and say whatever they want without consequences. The truth is the community knows what everyone is up to. If they see you’re a shameless self-promoter, you’ll be buried. You’re better off following the rules of social media etiquette.

3. You Can’t Build Quality Relationships Online- I’ve heard numerous people suggest that it’s stupid to connect with people online that you don’t know in real life. They believe connecting with others is pointless and doesn’t lead to any lasting relationships with your brand. I couldn’t disagree more. Social media gives you the chance to be face to face online with your target audience. Even if they don’t go onto become paying customers, you still get valuable insight into what they think and what they react to.

4. The More Friends, the Better- On the other end of the spectrum, there are those who think that added everybody as a friend will get them social media success. Just because you’re connected with thousands of users, doesn’t mean you’ll build a strong connection with everyone. Remember, quality trumps quantity every time.

5. Social Media Marketing is Easy- This goes back to the first myth. Those who don’t understand how social media works assume it’s as easy as starting up a blog. They subscribe to the “if you build it, they will come” mentality. Fast-forward a few weeks when no one is visiting their blog or promoting their content, and they then swear off social media forever.

6. Social Media Won’t Last- There are numerous skeptics out there denouncing social media marketing as nothing more than a fad. They believe to get involved with it would just be a waste of their time. This couldn’t be further from the truth. While the face of social media will certainly evolve in the future, conversational marketing will not vanish. The internet is an inherently social platform. It’s this ability to connect with people throughout the world that makes it so appealing.

7. Social Media will Replace Traditional Marketing- At the forefront of the social media bandwagon are those who ignored the “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” advice. While I’m certainly a huge proponent of social media marketing, I’m not foolish enough to ignore the value of traditional marketing techniques. The best marketing strategy is a well-rounded one.

8. Social Media is a Cure-All- While social media is a great tool for online reputation management, it’s not a cure-all either. Again, don’t get so drunk on the idea of social media that you ignore the other problems of your marketing strategy. Social media is not a cure-all; it’s just another in a long list of tools you should be using.

9. Social Media is for Kids- When most people hear about social media or social networking, they instantly associate it with some 14 year old teen’s MySpace page. That’s not what social media is about. The fact is sites like LinkedIn are a prime example of social media’s relevance to the adult crowd. Trix are for kids; social media is for everyone.

10. Digg is All that Matters- I love Digg, but it’s not the be-all end-all of social media. If Digg is the only thing you focus on, you’ll end up being sorely disappointed. Again, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. There are numerous social media sites out there for you to take advantage of. Find the ones that fit best with your niche.

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