- 1That developing a social media presence will be a low or no-cost venture – While social media does enable branding and marketing opportunities at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods, developing and maintaining a social media presence is going to require time, labor and money. Under-funded social media efforts typically generate results ranging from total disappointment to complete disaster.
- 2That sales pitches to a massive social media network will immediately translate into big revenues – Social media platforms are great for reaching out to potential customers but businesses generally need to develop credibility and trust with their communities by delivering high value content first. Jumping out of the chute with a bunch of solicitations will most likely turn customers off before they even get to know your business.
- 3That an intern or whoever has time during the day can handle social media communications – There are a multiple of ways this assumption can go wrong including responding to negative comments in a combative manner, inappropriate replies, and responses that aren’t relevant to or adequately answer issues being raised by potential and existing customers.
- 4That the target market will beat a path to a business’ social media pages – Building a community requires the creation of quality content, accessibility and a host of other factors. This is a process that will take time to produce results.
- 5That because ROI can’t be measured in a traditional sense, social media is a money pit that should avoided – Social media’s effect on sales may not be directly attributable to sales but, much like brand building, can play a major role in shaping consumers’ purchasing decisions.
Social media is changing the way in which people and businesses communicate but many of the practices and objectives of traditional marketing remain the same. These constants include the fact that achieving results will require resources, that the company’s messaging must be created with care and skill, and that the marketing process will require time while enduring many unknown variables. In fact, businesses may be better served by making social media assumptions that mirror traditional marketing practices, rather than falling for the illusion that succeeding in social media initiatives will be fast, cheap and easy to do.