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36 Social Media Myths and How to Slay Them – Part 2 of 3

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By Hector Cisneros

One of the most interesting things about social media is that it's diverse in application but homogeneous at the same time. What I mean by this is that every social platform has its own rules, limitations, culture, social etiquette and ardent followers. Yet it does have marketing principles that have not changed since I first wrote about them back in 2009. Regardless of these principles, people will post almost anything. In fact, social media is a good internet example of what my business partner Carl calls the Wild, Wild, Web because it reminds him of how the wild west was portrayed. Granted, there are some prohibitions, and each social network sets its own standards. For Example; Facebook tries to suppress porn, yet Twitter lets it thrive. Snap chat has always allowed Sexting, but Instagram only shut it down when there is a complaint. Because of this free for all, people push social media’s boundaries, and this creates an atmosphere of widespread myth. The rapid growth of social media also perpetuates the creation of new problems which also lead to new myths. Myths create erroneous ideas of what is allowed and what works in social media. In this episode of Working the Web to Win, we will cover part 2 by going over myths 13 through 24 of the 36 myths about social media networking.   I also recommend reading Part 1 and Part3 of this series to get the big picture. Together all 36 myths compromise the most comprehensive list of social media myths ever put together.  So, make sure you read all three articles. This will eliminate any doubts or misconceptions you may have, making social media and social networking your personal ally and your business marketing best friend.

Here is an extra myth that is not included in my list.  Many believe social media is kid-friendly. It fact, social media is an adult product. It’s riddled with what should be exclusive adult sites that can destroy a young child’s innocence. We manage a lot of Twitter accounts, and it often amazes me when I tell clients that we need to filter who follows them and where we can promote them. This is because there are lots of people and businesses using salacious language, along with prostitution and porn of every kind. I have mentioned this in other articles about social media, but it's not just Twitter. Porn, sexting, sex chatting, and the sex industry, in general, has found a home on social media. Make sure you guard your child's innocence by placing restrictions on your computer that filters out these sites. Also, sit down and explain to your kids that these places are havens for social predators, and kids are their primary targets. Now, let’s move on to our current list by starting with myth number 13.

Courtesy of Pixabay
Myth #13 Everybody uses Social Media. This myth is easy to dispel. There are 7.5 billion people on earth, and the best estimate brings social media usage to about 2.34 billion subscribers. This includes all users. I am sure you know individuals who have stated that they are fed up with social media. Plus, if you just visit a bunch of websites, you will see a portion of them not engaged in social media at all. I still know a dying breed of business owners who blatantly say, “I don’t get all that social media stuff,” just give me TV, radio or print. These business owners don’t use social media and don’t advertise on social platforms either.

Myth #14 Social Media is Not Measurable. In the early days of social media, this myth was mostly true because the platform did not include analytical tools. However, this is no longer the case as you can track just about anything you can think of. On top of the analytics that are built into most social networks, you can also add trackable hashtags, URL shortener’s, tracking pixels, cookies, and Java tracking scripts. This allows you to follow the clicks to where they came from. ROI can be tied to click, views, form fill, app downloads and yes, purchases.

Myth #15 My Customers are not on Social Media. Short of selling cows to Swahili villagers or some other obscure business, this statement is blatantly false. It could be true in a third world country but not in modern industrial countries.  When I hear this statement, I usually ask, “how do they know this to be true.” What I usually find is this statement is based solely on belief and not on any kind of measured fact-finding. I can usually find their competitors on social media with a quick search, and that usually means at least some of their customers (if not lots of their prospects) are on social media. If they take the time to ask their clients, they are surprised that they ever believed this myth.
Courtesy of Pixabay

Myth #16 My Company is not on Social Media because We haven’t set it up yet. Here is a tricky myth because it is true in the sense that the business in this instance hasn’t created the social media pages yet, but that does mean that they aren’t being mentioned in social media. On top of this scary fact is the matter that copycat and fake sites are created on a daily basis. These sites can hurt a business’ credibility and sales. It is extremely important that all businesses take control of their social media image and message. Failure to do so can have dire consequences.

Myth #17 Content is King.  I love this myth. Content is not king! Only authoritative, high quality, relevant, useful, timely or entertaining content is king. Nobody wants poor quality content. Few, if any people read, watch, save, comment and share poor quality content. Content is king when you provide high quality, authoritative, relevant, useful, timely and entertaining content, regardless of the medium you use.

Myth #18 Social Media will Kill other Marketing Venues. Around 2010 the mantra I was hearing was that social media was going to kill many of the other advertising venues like pay per click. What this myth did not take into account is that all venues evolve. For example, TV, Radio, and Print have all evolved by adding digital components to their marketing mix. Social media has shown it is a strong player in the digital world, but recent revelations about security and privacy have stunted its growth. Plus, venues like AdWords, Google Search and others have evolved as well and have shown that they are generally better at producing leads for business.
Myth #19 Your Social Media Post Should be about Your Products or Services. This is not only a myth, but it is also a very common mistake that businesses make. Your social posts need to provide value to the audience. A sales pitch does not “A Value-add Make”! Posts need to provide benefits for the subscribers. Yes, you can post coupons and sales material, but these must be of high perceived value. 10% off usually is not a compelling offer. On top of this, it is a grave mistake to post lots of sales material. I recommend a minimum ratio of 10 to 1. Social media is all about them, what they want, not what you want to sell.

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Myth #20 Posting too much Content Gives away your Trade Secrets. This myth originated with the idea that if you blog to show off your expertise, explaining how to do things is the same as giving away your trade secrets. Well, it’s hard to give away the farm unless that is what you're trying to do. We provide a lot of details on how and why to engage in social media marketing. But the fact is that social media is part science and part art. (not to mention a whole lot of work) Unless we are talking about patented secrets, most businesses are like this. You can’t copy copyrighted or patented material without the fear of being sued. Another reason readers won’t steal your trade secrets is If your work is also very labor intensive.  I know that there are some exceptions, but once someone reads about all the work that goes into producing your finished product, most assume you are the expert and call you instead of trying to do it themselves.  

Myth #21 Social Media is a Sales Tool. Although you can use social media as a sales tool when you engage its pay per click functions, its primary functions are as a branding tool used to create credibility and improve ranking. Being a sales tool is a secondary function. For this, you normally have to engage in social media pay per click, pay per view, or boost a page with a lead-generating form on it. A social post in the timeline is not very effective because many social networks filter the timeline unless you pay them to let you be there.

Myth #22 Social media is Only a Branding Tool. I know that this seems like a contradiction with myth #21. This myth used to be true until the social media platforms added various versions of pay per click/view and boosted timeline posts. Many have added the ability to collect prospect data via forms without leaving the social platform. Many have also added detailed analytics to help you understand and track your efforts.

Courtesy of Public Domain Pictures
Myth #23 Facebook is the biggest, so That is Where you Need to be. Facebook is the biggest social network with the most active users, but it may not be the best fit for your business. As mentioned earlier, if you own a B to B company, LinkedIn may be the best fit. Also, your research may show you that your customers are more likely to be on Twitter or Instagram. If your clientele is younger, it may be Snapchat or another social network that works best. The point is that bigger does necessarily mean better or the best fit for you.

Myth #24 If you Build Your Pages the Audience will come. Building your social media pages is one thing and actively using social media is something totally different. Unlike the movie “Field of Dreams, ” few if any prospects will clamor to find and follow your social media pages. The ones that do are usually trying to sell you something. To build an audience on any social network, you must invite your targeted audience, and you must provide them with things they want, (i.e., high quality, timely, useful, authoritative, relevant and entertaining content that they want). 

Social media is a blessing and a curse, as is any tool that wields attention and power. Because social media is still new, there are few governmental restrictions on it. It reminds me of the opening song of the second Indiana Jones Movie; “Anything goes.” The internet itself is a place of innovation, an open atmosphere of creativity and wide-open horizons.  It is also a place fraught with cybercrime, porn and just about anything that is indicative of the underbelly of society.  Any wise business owner or professional must stay current or hire someone who is because this is not your granddaddy’s marketing medium. Keeping up with the rapid changes in social media is a daunting task because it is highly unregulated and the social media companies rarely announce changes before they are implemented. If after reading about all these myths, you get the feeling that you need to abandon the idea of using social media as a tool for your business. DON’T! Whether you like it or not, social media is here to stay and either you will take control of your social media image or the public will without your input. Do your company a big favor and hire a social media expert if possible. Engage a social media marketing company to create and implement your social media marketing if you don’t have time to do it yourself. Don’t dabble, get off on the right foot. Choose a company with references and some guarantees. It can be a costly mistake engaging in social media if you don’t know what you’re doing. Don’t engage or perpetuate social media myths by going it alone, because any of these social media myths can come back to haunt you!

That's my opinion; I look forward to reading yours.
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This article provides 12 more of the 36 common Social Media Myths that businesses believe about social media marketing, networking and advertising. Be sure to read the other two articles in the series. These myths are provided in detail along with the facts that dispel them. It also provides the means to avoid falling prey to these myths in the first place. Additionally, links to other related articles are provided along with a link to the show notes page.

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Hector Cisneros is COO and Director of Social Media Marketing at Working the Web to Win, an award-winning Internet marketing company based in Jacksonville, Florida.  He is also co-host of the weekly Internet radio show, "Working the Web to Win" on, which airs every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern. Hector is a syndicated writer and published author of “60 Seconds to Success.”

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