Since launching ME Consulting last month, I’ve been reading and talking tons about social media, and therefore the impact it’s having on how businesses communicate, market and sell their products and services.
There are a couple of things that are particularly striking. One is there’s an incredible amount of talk and enthusiasm about social media. It’s the web world’s new “It Girl” – sexy, attractive and interesting albeit many people don’t have a robust grasp of what it involves beyond a bunch of well-known tools.
Second, most companies want to embrace social media or think they have to embrace it because it seems that everybody else is doing it.
When I ask companies curious about social media, I ask them three questions: Why does one want to try social media? What does one want to urge out of it – e.g. traffic, branding, sales? What proportion of time/money are you committed to forming social media? If they need good answers or, at least, solid thoughts about each question, then they’ve taken a crucial first strategic step.
The third – and maybe most interesting – issue from lecture people are the myths surrounding social media. If you check out the list, it goes an extended way in explaining why numerous people are so excited but need insight and strategic/tactical help in doing social media.
1. Though Social media is free, Have you ever wonder why people spend most of their time in front of their computer or big screen monitors? This is often supported by the very fact many of the tools available to implement social media are, in fact, free like WordPress, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, del.icio.us, Digg. the truth, however, is while the tools are liberal to use, it takes time, effort and resources (aka a fanatical employee like a community manager) to implement and operate social media programs. It’s not just a matter of fixing a couple of accounts and trying to automate the maximum amount as possible. To try to do it well and properly, social media takes time and money.
2. Social media is straightforward. Among the leading social media myths, this is often perhaps the most important one. To be honest, doing social media well is way from glamorous. It takes tons of your time and involves an incredible amount of blocking and tackling on a day today. Unless you hit the social media lottery (e.g. Zappos), a successful social media campaign consists of working it a day and making small, but constant, gains. It means hours of effort to watch, track and have interacted with people on dozens of platforms.
3. Social media is about tools. As mentioned above, the tools mean nothing if you don’t have someone to leverage them. The tools are cool but even the simplest tools are worthless without a transparent goal of what and the way they ought to be used.
4. Social media may be a standalone activity from a company’s marketing, communications, and sales activities. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Social media may be not an add-on or an adjunct but it is surprising to ascertain companies suggest they have to feature some social media to the combination. In other words, it’s not a widget which will easily be plugged in when needed. To achieve success, social media must be a part of and aligned with a company’s brand, messaging and strategic goals.
5. The social measure is difficult to live or get a handle on return on investment. There’s no lack of tools available to trace, monitor and measure social media activity, many of them free. At an equivalent time, increasingly more sophisticated and value social media measurement and analytics tools are being created which will provide companies with amazing insight about what’s happening within the social media universe and who’s doing it.
The myths about social media aren’t really a nasty thing because it just illustrates how the social market remains within the early stages of its development and maturity. Over time, these myths will start to disappear as companies and other people get a far better appreciation of what’s really involved and the way social media fits into the strategic schemes of things.