6 Things You Thought about Social Media Which Just Isn’t Right

As an incredibly huge network of connections and conversations that social media is, it’s easy to get lost into the seemingly endless sea of information on the web. While a few brands are betting big on social media and many small businesses catching up with the frenzy, there are many more who haven’t tapped into it yet.

Social media seems to get all the attention. It intimidates a few business owners while it enthralls and captivates a few others. Yet, it’s a little too complex for businesses and individuals to understand due to complex layers that make up social media as a whole. Add a few all pervading myths and non-participating businesses on social media have even more reasons.

Here are at least 6 things you thought about social media, which are plain wrong:

Customers aren’t on social media

Facebook, Linkedin, Google+ and Twitter together have a lot more than a billion people (and counting). If your customers aren’t exactly on any particular network, they are least on communities, forums, and Q & A sites. They are asking questions, seeking answers, and talking about almost everything under the sun. Customers are likely to share most of the worthy published pieces of content. There are conversations about brands, heated debates about products, and a tirade of reviews all over the web. Your customers are on social media, and they are active on it.

Social media is another “media” to get business

This entry on Grafica’s blog puts it right:

“Was social ever meant to drive direct business? Yes, but not in the way you might think.

Social ads work more as an insinuation, a mere suggestion but it’s never a “on your face experience” like usual advertisements are.”

Just as it is in the real world social scenarios, no one is out and about “selling and pitching” all the time – including parties, luncheons, dinners, and coffee-meet ups. Social networks are averse to direct hustling; people on social media avoid advertisements like the plague. It’s another case in point about social media ads, sponsored stories, and promoted tweets – they exist because social media networks need to make money. They do not, however, exist because it makes for smart business sense for you to place ads on social media networks.

Try it out. See it for yourself – business you gain out of actual relationships on social media turn out to be more in value than plain advertisements.

Social Media Management: God, that’s as vague as morning fog

social media managementAgreed that there are way too many networks but not all networks make sense for your business. Assuming you figure out what social media networks work best for your business, the next challenge is to post updates, get into conversations, manage your network, share content, and spread love. It might appear that your social media activities are all over the place – it doesn’t have to be this way. Successful brands and social media consultants use a structured approach to social media.

Develop an editorial calendar for posting updates. Keep a structured process in place to respond to queries, questions, and for support in general. Hire social media consultants or full-time staff to scale up when you need to.

Social media participation is enough

No, it isn’t. What you do on social media depends on what you want out of it. There are two ways to approach social media: the follower approach and the producer approach. Follower approach is just being there: share, comment, like, spread the word. Producer approach focuses more on generating content, initiating conversations, asking questions to elicit responses, and much more.  Most individuals (and even businesses) deploy a bit of both the approaches.

As you can see, mere participation on social media is just being a follower. It’s good, but it can’t be a permanent if you want social media to work for your business. The best way to get active on social media is to be a producer and a follower.

I want those fans and followers real quick

It’s understandable but it’s not going to work that way. First, there’s the sheer “be a fan” request overload on the web today. Just like customers had to deal with a barrage of marketing-focused communications (such as advertisements), they now deal with way too many businesses sending out requests to “like” Facebook Fan pages, for instance. Second, while you may force, coerce, or buy “likes” or “followers”, they have no inane value. Those acquired likes or followers won’t do much for your network – they just exist for no other reason but bloat your total fans and followers.

You need responsive fans and followers. Ideally, you’ll have grown your social media networks organically (albeit slowly).

Social Media is huge. So, let’s make it official (and boring)

So, it finally dawned on you that you’d need a social media presence after all. So, out you go, sign up with a few networks, create pages, roll out some content, and wait. Ideally, it should have worked over time but what went wrong? The tone, lack of personality, and boring content – an old habit owing to your business traditions, culture, and “the way it’s done around here”.

If you have to get on social media, you are welcome but not without a distinct tone, gumptions, character, expertise, and a flair for “connecting” with others. Now, that’s not possible with corporate speak and a condescending-and-boring tone.

What are some of the other myths about social media that you thought were true but aren’t? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

John Siebert

John Siebert is the President and CEO of TranquilBlue - A Web Design Company that focuses on all kind of website design, mobile app development and search engine marketing.

22 thoughts on “6 Things You Thought about Social Media Which Just Isn’t Right

  • Great post. I can’t believe that some people are still prevaricating about Social Media. It’s not going to go away so it’s best to get on that band wagon now. Thanks for sharing on Bizsugar.com

  • Some decent advice for rookies but shouldn’t the title be ” which just aren’t right”?

  • Great article! Thank you! I just wished you gave more info on how to be efficient with social networks. The dos and donts kind of thing… Boring is not that easy to define is it? especially when you’ re the one producing the content.

  • hey JOHN..
    your amazing and it makes me realize something i cant believe that social media has “JUST ISN’T RIGHT phase. It thought that by using social media you’ll get a lot of benefits. Your Absolutely right with your entire post..

    Thank You For Posting 😀
    Great Information..!

  • Hi John,

    Thanks for sharing your post! U have learned lots of lessons from this post. Since I use social media networking as my SEO tool. I realize i should have done better from what i thought abot Social media.

    Excellent post!

  • Instead of hiding from social media, schools need to educate students about how to properly use it. We are doing our students a great disservice by pretending it doesn’t exist.

  • Its a great post.You have shared such a good content, its really helpful for me.I got some great lessons from this post.

  • Hey John,

    I sat in on SES SF this year and there was a huge panel about social media and how to spread reach. They mentioned one company that is doing it right. Audi. They are not “shouting” themselves and all their info, they are using real, cool, information tweets. Something that a person would read if it was from their friend, sometimes 100% not related to audi, but its because of this that they have the highest comment rate.

    “Follower approach is just being there: share, comment, like, spread the word. Producer approach focuses more on generating content, initiating conversations,”

  • Hi John,

    I agreed with your points, If you’re really looking to use social media for exploring more customers then you need to go further deeper than sharing post and images only.

  • i’m not good in social media marketing, only use the old school ways only

  • This is useful for beginners in the SEO world but other than it’s all fairly straight forward. Things are going to be drastically different in 2013 and it’s important to get on top of Semantic SEO and a creative push, as well as decent content. I’d like to see the back of these guest post lists; “10 reasons why you should brush your teeth with your keyboard”, “312 reasons why SEO isn’t dead”, “1 reason why you need a computer to SEO!”, etc. The majority of articles like this are spam and exist purely for the author’s byline and backlinks, followed up by the needlessly sycophantic responses of commenters who only comment for their backlink! This is not the future of SEO. I’d like to hope this year will see a change in these practices and a surge in creativity (Pinterest can help provide that).

    Anyway, I enjoyed the phrase “as vague as morning fog”. An unusual one, I’ve never heard it before!

  • John, your thought is very interesting in this post.
    I just can protested nothing.

    There;s no real quick followers and fans, except for Psy with his Gangnam style.
    And you can’t also get enough with social media participation solely.


  • Hi,

    I was amazed with the facts that you presented. Most especially the first one. I always believed that not everyone is into social media. I realize that at one point or another, a person is active in at least one or two.

  • Hello John,
    you really did a lot of research on this post and i love it. well for me, social media is just a platform for me to get some traffic from. thanks

  • Great post. People get annoyed when they see undesirable results or when it takes too long to show up the results. As such, the 5th mentioned here is to be kept in mind. Obviously, social media marketing is a very unpredictive. You need to keep patience and keep on doing experiments.

  • Social media can be a real bore if you did not put in your own creativity and strategy. If you think that you will create an online website and wait for readers or consumers to notice you, it will be wrong. You need to put in efforts at the right places to attract people towards the products or services you are offering.

  • Social media is a pretty important part of my business as a magician. It allows me to interact with potential customer, provide them with a feel for how I perform magic and offer special deals at certain times of the year.

  • As a social media evangelist, I nod in agreement with the six things in the post. Another myth: social media is free (no cost for your company) and takes no time to do / or too much time to do! 😉 That is why you get the reply that potential clients are saying: I don’t have time to engage in social media. Or, it is free, so I will do it all by myself (the company owner has too much time). How do you respond to these statements?

  • Social media marketing is powerful compared to traditional advertising strategies which lasts for a few hours or days. You have shared such a good content, its really helpful for me, thanks for sharing.

  • Social media undoubtedly has proven to be an integral part of marketing regardless of your industry. Some of the top networks that most folks are using nowadays for B2B/B2C lead generation are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTUBE and Pinterest just to name a few. These particular networks generate the most amount of traffic activity based on network usage and user interest.

  • Hi John.

    Thanx for giving your opinion about social media . This is nice post.
    My partner and i agreed along with your points, If you’re really looking to use social media marketing for researching more consumers then you should go more deeper when compared with sharing write-up and photos only.

  • Hey John,
    Nice post and Thanks for sharing this important post with us. Yes, social media sites is best way to promote our blog and it helps in finding more customers for business. I really like points you mentioned above.

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