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The Top Nine Social Media Marketing Myths

Much has been written about the power of social media and how it is a game-changer for businesses. However, the speed at which social media has evolved has resulted in little proper training and much misunderstanding. Over the next several weeks I'll be featuring my top myths about social media marketing and why your company should avoid them.

Myth No. 1: Social Media Replaces All Other Marketing
Social media is not a magic wand that you can wave over your business. It’s also not a replacement for all other marketing or sales tactics. Nor is it something you can simply graft on to your current marketing program. In fact, social media is in many ways a convergence of other marketing disciplines. But it’s also much more than that. In the best companies, social media is rapidly moving to the heart of the organization. These companies think of social media as the hub of their business wheel, with marketing tactics, customer service, sales, procurement, manufacturing, human resources, etc. as the spokes. This way, social media can shuttle unfiltered, real time input to each of the areas of their business where it can be analyzed and acted upon.

Most important, social media provides a two-way channel of communication with all your stakeholders – with an immediacy and cost-effectiveness that was previously unavailable. If not abused, this channel can also be used to deliver marketing and sales messages. But the real power of social media is in building relationships – to actually get inside the heads of customers, vendors, employees, shareholders, etc. Yes, social media is an important part of the marketing process. But if you think social media is purely a marketing tool, you are missing a tremendous opportunity.

That being said, social media can be the sharp, pointy end of your marketing strategy. Once customer relationships have been carefully won and nurtured, social media can be integrated into your tactics for public relations, advertising, direct marketing, etc.