Friday, October 30, 2009

TRICK or TWEET: Social Media Myth-busting from @jessicanorthey

Resistance to social media is pointless. Millions of people can’t be wrong and if you are not participating it is easy to see that you are missing out. Your competitors are there. Your customers are there. If you’re not there…you’re getting tricked!
There are many myths that surround social media and here are just a few:
MYTH: Social media is free.
 BUSTED: The majority of the tools are free so why should you pay for a Social Media Consultant? Just like an advertising agency or a web designer, you pay for the time and knowledge someone else has at promotion, branding and content. Unfortunately, many companies don’t want to pay for a social media plan.  This is a big mistake, “We need to be on Twitter or Facebook” is not a plan, it is a statement. It’s not just a matter of setting up your accounts it takes times effort and resources to do it well. The effort up front with an organized and effective social media optimization plan will be a huge internal timesaver in the long-run. Remember, just because something seems free doesn’t mean it won’t cost you!
 MYTH: Anyone can do it.
BUSTED: This is the biggest Social Media Myth out there if you ask me.  My ten year old cousin knows how to drive a car so I dare you to hand the kid your keys. Hey, that new promo guy has a ton of friends on Myspace so let’s have him do our Twitter and Facebook Fan Page. This goes back to the first myth. Those who don’t understand how social media works, assume it’s easy. The, ‘if you build it, they will come” mentality is what I call this. Fast-forward a month later when you only have 122 friends and fans and then you assume social media doesn’t work.
MYTH: Social Media is a CURE
BUSTED: Social Media is fantastic for online reputation management but it is not a Cure-All.  The problems you have with your product or service will not be solved with social media marketing.   Honestly, Social Media is not glamorous. It takes time and involves discipline. You can compare it to being a vendor at a trade show or bridal fair. You would consider what your display looks like, who will be manning your booth, what they are wearing and how they represent you, what content will be available at your booth, what impression do you want to leave visitors about your product or service, then think long term.
MYTH: Social Media is a waste of time
BUSTED: I love this tweet from Avinash Kaushik “Social media is like teen sex. Everyone wants to do it. No one actually knows how. When finally done, there is surprise it’s not better.“  There are great analytical programs for Twitter and Facebook. You can track, monitor and measure social media activity, and many are free.  Every day new social media analytics tools are created to measure your Social Media participation with amazing insight about what’s happening within the Social Media World and how that affects you.

 I don’t claim to know everything but have over 19 years experience marketing, selling, promoting and advertising.  I have worked on hundreds of successful Traditional Media campaigns and dozens of Social Media campaigns.  I personally benefit tremendously from managing my own Social Media brand.  I am meeting the goals and disciplines I set for myself regarding Social Media.  I can tell you that I have never asked a client to do something that I have not personally done.  Again, I assure you there is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ answer when it comes to Social Media. You will benefit from someone who listens to your needs, analyzes them and gives you clear, definitive direction. This is why it is important to consult with someone who has a proven track record of success when dealing with Social Media. The best advice I can offer is that you observe someone who represents themselves as a Social Media expert.  If you decide that they do what they say they will do and have what you want, then ask for help.  If I can be of assistance to guide, consult or answer questions I am always willing to be of service.  I know that all of this is confusing but it definitely doesn’t have to be a trick!

On a side note…I am going to be on Tucson radio station KVOI tomorrow (Sat 10/31) from 12-1p MST or Arizona time.  The program is called “Taking Care of Business” with Jeff Jones & Hawkeye Richardson. We will be discussing how small businesses can effectively use social media to communicate with customers, create new sales, and service customers. You can listen online at


Jessica is the Social Media Editor for Full Throttle Country-Country Radio's newest full-service and free interactive idea sharing and new media on-line service. She has over 19 years experience including Radio, Television, Internet and Print Sales as well as an On-Air Radio personality.  She is an Entrepreneur who owns servicing all website needs including domain names, hosting, SSL Certificates etc. She specializes in big ideas and is known for the ability to create complete marketing campaigns and bridge marketing partnerships. Her company Finger Candy provides social and new media optimization planning for businesses, brands and individuals.
You can also read her blog, “Observations from the Peanut Gallery” at

1 comment:

  1. Not to burst everyone's social media bubble.... I'm very involved in it for our stations, and think it's something you need to do, and really personally love it.. BUT.. you may want to read what I think is a good article about how many "normal" people are using social media, check it out, from Harker Research:

    This is the story, from Harker Research's site:

    October 26, 2009
    93% of Americans Don't Use Twitter, Facebook, or MySpace!
    Use Tweeter? A member of Facebook or MySpace? If not, you probably think you’re one of the last few people left who aren’t. Given the persistent buzz about social networking, you’d think that everybody is using social networks.

    Turns out it’s just more new-media hype.

    The Wall Street Journal recently ran a story with the headline A Fifth of Internet Users Now Share Status Updates. It reports on the findings of the latest Pew Internet & Amercian Life Project on Twitter and social networking.

    If a fifth of Internet users are using social networks, that means four out of five Internet users are not using social networks. It makes you wonder what the buzz is all about when four out of five people don’t do it, but the real numbers are even worse.

    The 19% is the percentage of Internet users who have ever used these social networks. Ever!

    It turns out that only 9% of Internet users used one of the social networks the day before they were asked. Since the purpose of a social network is for friends to regularly keep in touch with each other, it only works if used regularly. So to assess the real impact of social networking, the “day before” number is more interesting.

    That means a more accurate estimate of social network usage is probably just one in ten Internet users. But it’s even worse than that. Pew found that 28% of Americans don’t use the Internet, so when you factor that in, it means only 7% of American adults 18+ are actively using social networking.

    That means 93% of Americans don’t actively use social networks.

    The next time you’re reading a blog or radio trade beating up radio about its slow integration of social networking, remember this number.

    We believe radio stations should tweet and be on Facebook and MySpace. These are valuable means to connect with listeners, but keep social networking in perspective. It appeals to a small, socially active minority of listeners.

    Social networking is higher in younger demos, but it isn’t as prevalent as the pundits would lead you to believe. Usage among 18-29 listeners is double the 18+ number, but social networking is still an activity used by a minority of even young listeners.

    Even if you’re a CHR station remember that social networking is like the request line and texting. There is a small group of extremely active listeners that use each to communicate with the station. The majority of listeners don’t.