Top 6 Myths About Social Media in Business

Remember when everyone thought that the earth was flat? It was accepted as the universal truth when reality had a very different picture. Similarly, when it comes to social media, a few ‘universal truths’ out there are in fact very far from reality and it is time to set this right. Here are the most common myths about social media:1. It is the same as social network. Social networking websites – the flagship being Facebook – are just a tiny part of social media. Anything that allows you to create and share content, and not just view it, is social media. To give you a very few examples, Epinions gather reviews of products across a wide range of industries. The eBay auction site is a marketplace where companies and individuals sell a wide range of goods. Wikinews is a platform of news articles and each article is written by several authors collaboratively. BrainRack connects companies with students by engaging the latter in finding solutions to company problems and projects.2. It is leisure. Yes it can be, but games and entertainment applications are only a very small part of social internet landscape. For instance, blogs can be used by companies to communicate directly with their customers and elicit feedback from them. LinkedIn helps managers get into CEO hubs and interact with useful business connections. Yahoo! Answers gives the chance to get an answer from anyone when a troubling question enters one’s mind. Facebook allows you to gather a strong tail of followers for a demonstration. From social revolution to collaborating on a project, it opens many different doors.3. It is simple. It might be easy because of its user-friendliness, but embracing it is far from being simple. The amount and depth of information relating to social media is overwhelming – you not only need to understand what’s out there and the vast differences between each application but also the multitude of ways available to use each social media application. Also, there is a huge difference between using Facebook and bringing the right aspects of social media into the DNA of your company. The larger the company is, the more useful social media becomes, but also the more complex the task of bringing it in successfully.4. It is free. No, it’s not. Time is the key resource. Directly related to the previous point, social media is an overwhelming platform of different applications which means there’s much to learn, much to use and much to maintain. Time to understand this phenomenon and its practical meanings, time for developing the right way of using social media through the right mediums, time to develop an ongoing successful strategy, time to maintain this strategy successfully and, last but not least, time to capture all innovations as social internet evolves.5. It is not important. Well, think again. Look around and notice how many people are using Internet on their Smartphone to log on to Facebook. Read around and pay attention to how many times you come across social media buzz like Facebook-Google war, the government’s role of in Internet regulation or Facebook’s IPO. Browse websites of mega-organizations like The Times, Cisco or Accenture: they all have Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and much more. This is because social media open doors into enormous markets. There are 850 million Facebook users; just imagine what kind of business opportunities you will get if you connect with only 0.1% of those. There are 150 million business people on LinkedIn, and this includes the CEOs of the 500 top companies in the world. Markets like these simply cannot be ignored so if you are one of those resistant ones: my urgent advice is, although it is hard to change, embrace social media as soon as possible before you find yourself lagging too far behind.6. It does not deal with B2B. What you see everywhere is social media being used for the B2C (Business-to-Consumer) industry. It has enough to give for everyone and B2B companies can make great use of it to increase their competitive advantage. Salesforce.com, for example, uses YouTube videos to train customers on their complex product offering and this has proven to be worth 750 of their sales representatives. Another example is Cisco which uses competitions to encourage people from around the world to come up with billion-dollar ideas to their business. There are many ways B2B can use social media and the key is to choose the optimal blend of applications to answer your business goals.