Social Media: A Reality Check

3Hhoopla
Miriam Hara Chief Creative Officer , 3H Communications

Posted on October 26th 2012

Social Media: A Reality Check

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.

 

 
 

3Hhoopla

Miriam Hara

Chief Creative Officer , 3H Communications

Miriam is the Chief Creative Officer and co-founder of 3H Communications Inc., a full service branding and advertising agency. Her experience has enabled her to bring together strategic business savvy with an all-encompassing creative vision to product and service marketing, which she shares here, in her many posts. Join the conversation, register here. Miriam’s own brand of marketing experience and expertise is the basis of her marketing ebook series including Social Media Understood, the most recent addition. Download it here. You can also find Miriam on Google +.

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Comments

RicDragon
Posted on October 27th 2012 at 10:33AM

Great title-baiting - was all ready to bang my beer stein on the table, only to find that your reality check is a perfectly reasonable reality check. Kudos.

3Hhoopla
Posted on October 27th 2012 at 4:20PM

Thanks for the thumbs up. 

jwaring
Posted on October 31st 2012 at 7:48AM

I have encountered each and every one of these myths. I try to stress the importance of social media marketing plan and analytics to my client and it is a hard sell!  I think I will refer them to your article!

Thank you!

nimbod
Posted on November 6th 2012 at 3:46AM

Beautifully writen.

Especialy about the "anyone can do it so we can also pay for it minimum wage and make it a part time position."

 

 

Romona Foster
Posted on November 9th 2012 at 11:48PM

Miriam, this is excellent! (...and very well written)

Jenniferlcampbell
Posted on December 4th 2012 at 2:38AM

Miriam, I like your refreshing perspective regarding SM myths.  You really touched on some terrific and not so common points-which is hard to do with this saturated topic.   I love your myth #3 the most!!  "Anyone Can Do It"  I think this is one area that gets a small amount of attention and is one of the most important parts.  The real experts (the ones who are smart enough to know that one segment of knowledge does not mean they are experts at everything social) must continue to help companies realize that these are new, needed positions that require a variety of specific skill sets, experience, standards, best practices, and yes, its own management. 

I do not think there is a future, one-role SM expertise who fits all and will solve all.  Rather the world will recognize the need to incorporate various roles to solve the challenges and complexities of Social Media.  

It is my hope that we will see some light someday, our current, in-progress segments of SM expertise will start to stick and become more mainstream. As you mentioned, SEO, blogging, engagement, strategy, analysis, reporting, etc... .  I can't wait for the day when departments are created with these varying roles to help companies truly succeed at the multidisciplenary work it takes to succeed in our new and here-to-stay way of communication.   

Like so many things, companies will outsource their needs until they are forced to re-think internal versus external resources and how those resources are best broken down for results. Similar to the points in time when a company makes the choices to support a team of expertise dedicated to finances...payroll, AR, AP, CFO...each role required to support the financial health of the company.  Unlikely that it is a magical occurance that happened all at one time, as departments and specific roles grow with need, over time.  

Social Media will likely evolve, similarly, with its own set of mainstream segments, in its own time as it damands, and it will just take time to determine that tipping point for each business.  I look forward to watching and participating in this exciting evolution.

Thanks again, Miriam, for your refreshing perspective on common social media myths....Jennifer