Saturday, August 20, 2011

Don’t Believe if You Hear This About Social Media

Social media marketing is definitely catching the attention of all businesses but there is still some hesitation, some misconceptions, some fear and some non-clarity in terms of how to go about with social media, what to expect and when to expect.

This post tries to demystify top five myths about social media:

Myth #1: Social Media is Easy
I often hear this: “I have hired interns for managing our social media. They are very tech-savvy so I am sure they will do a good job at that.” Yes, using the social media tools is very easy, but it requires business understanding, product knowledge, customer orientation and service attitude to be able to effectively manage the social media strategy of any business. It’s not about posting “updates” or “tweets”. It’s about communication and engagement.

Myth #2: Social Media Gives Immediate Results 
Sure, social media definitely has tremendous power in terms of giving viral effect and it can definitely happen for some campaigns. But you cannot expect great immediate response every time. Social media is about building a loyal following and providing them relevant information. This cannot happen overnight. It requires steady and consistent efforts. So don’t quit your efforts if you “have not seen results in a month”.

Myth #3: Social Media ROI Can Not be Measured
If you have set right expectations and have an accurate strategy in place, social media ROI can certainly be measured. The ROI will be in terms of qualitative and quantitative benefits – which can be measured through many methods such as comments, fan following, revenue, leads, visits etc.

Myth #4: Social Media Opens Can of Worms with Negative Comments 
Businesses are often worried about negative comments on social media. Social media believes in openness and transparency. This could work in favor of the brand and sometimes it can against with negative comments. However, with tactful and strategic handling of negative comments, the brand can on the contrary create a positive image in the minds of the users. Think about it: at least on social media, you are getting an opportunity to address the issue, which you would have otherwise never got had the user been complaining offline J

Myth #5: Social Media is Marketing Job
Social media is about communication, engagement, conversation, relationship building and listening. Your users are using social media to share their sentiments about the product, report issues about your product/ service, share their experience and offer suggestions to your brand. Responding to this cannot be done by marketing alone. Each department in the company is representing the brand and got to be equally involved in social media strategy of the company.  

Article first published as Don't Believe if You Hear This About Social Media on Technorati.

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