Friday, July 30, 2010

Some further misconceptions about social media

There's a lot of talk, blogs and tweets about what social media is and what it can do, etc.

However, there's still a lot of debate about the details (e.g. monitoring platforms, segmented blogger engagement methodologies, sentiment analysis, etc.) and this can all get quite confusing if you're dipping your toe into the water for the first time*.

So I thought I'd quickly post about the popular misconceptions about social media and possibly get some dialogue going;

1.You need to do everything with Social Media to be effective
No. You need to do the relevant things necessary to engage with for your target audience.If you don't have a clue, don't leap in with both feet.

2. Quantity = quality
No. The number of followers you have on Twitter does not equal influence. Its better to have a smaller number of relevant and regular re-tweeting followers than an army of people who couldn't give a monkeys... Sure, if you're Lady Ga Ga, then millions of global fans 'liking' you is what you need to drive your personal brand appeal, which could well affect your iTunes download sales. But if you re making local widgets on a trading estate in Cheshire, then having a bunch of up-turned thumbs on your public Facebook page from Canadian pranksters is just that, nothing more.

3. The boss must blog every day
My favourite one this, as I heard someone on the train the other week telling a colleague "Look, you've got to blog every day, it's the only way you get people to read your stuff and you then get to appear first in search engines".
No, no, no! People.... (like a flasher in a lift) this is wrong on a number of levels! Firstly, as I've stated above, quantity does not equal quality. Its a signal to noise thing...and the signal should definitely prevail over the noise. There's no hard and fast rule that the Managing Director should even blog, especially if they have nothing useful or relevant to say (hand their blog over to their daughter) or can't bother to continue what they've started; consistency is the key here folks.
And as for getting to the top of search engines by blogging daily... as well as being incorrect on a number of SEO points, you have to ask the questions "what would you type into the search engine to get this premier result?"

4. Its information overload
Not necessarily. Sure, you can get deluged in a sea of information. But with the correct listening tools, filters and signals, you can pick up the relevant conversations and buzz without drowning in data.

5. Its complex and technical
No, it is not. And in case you missed this post from me earlier, its not about the technology.. its about the people!
Your suggestions on other social media misconceptions are gratefully received.

*Where have you been all this time? But come on in anyway and leave your preconceptions on the shore!
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