5 Myths About Social Media Marketing

Marketing twenty years ago was rather rudimentary: design-catchy billboards, mail-out flyers to millions, and of course, television advertising.

Consumers have now moved into the digital space, yet they still crave the attention of corporations they admire. Unfortunately, many brands are still getting stuck on social media, failing to effectively utilize this channel.

Scott Langdon of HigherVisibility chimed in with an interesting angle on why businesses may struggle socially:

I have found that a lot of our clients are struggling with social media because they’re following a rule or an idea that is completely untrue, but I always tell them that it isn’t their fault. Social media is constantly changing, so myths are constantly spreading. It’s important to go through some of these myths and figure out where you’re following the wrong path. It’s hard to let go of a strategy that you thought was working for you, but I promise that if you do, you will see a world of difference in your social results.

It is my aim in this column to debunk several widely-spread myths about social media marketing. Hopefully, this will allow you to reexamine and improve your social strategy!

Myth #1: Consumers Aren’t Reading Your Social Posts

Contrary to popular arguments, not only does your social content get read, it also has the ability to influence purchasing decisions. In fact, HubSpot concluded that in 2011, “67 percent of B2C companies and 41 percent of B2B companies have acquired a customer through Facebook.”

However, it’s important to remember that your reach on Facebook is determined by a number of factors, one of which is fan engagement with your content.

Text-only status updates tend to perform poorly compared to images and links; so, make sure to consider that when creating your social strategy. Well-respected corporations like Proctor & Gamble offer contests and engaging photography, send out coupons weekly and anoint very specific employees to be their brand ambassadors.

Remember, though, Facebook isn’t the end-all-be-all of social networks. No matter what the social network, any text, video, image, contest or coupon you publish will get read by consumers.

Myth #2: Too Much Content Will Reveal Trade Secrets To Competitors

Having thirty pages of content doesn’t make you a bookbinder. Halting social content production because you fear unknown tangibles, such as one’s ability to impersonate your business model, will cause company-wide digression in social media goals.

Failing to leverage social media will reveal some weaknesses to your competitors, though — like your company’s inability to provide knowledge and remain current within your industry.


Myth #3: Social Media Cannot Heal Reputation Wounds

Ignoring website feedback could produce bad social karma. Receiving that indignant Ripoff Report can destroy your reputation in search results.

Professionals know how difficult it is to rebuild a tarnished reputation; avoid this nightmare by implementing an aggressive social media strategy from the very beginning.

Ensure that your social page administrators are empowered to mitigate each problem quickly, individually and thoroughly. As you develop a strong rapport with your customers via social channels, egregious racketeering sites like Ripoff Report will lose credibility.

Myth #4: Social Successes Should Be Gauged Solely By Social Interactions

The number of social interactions you get out of a campaign are a KPI, but ultimate success should be measured by sales opportunities or revenue. Interactions may enhance the likelihood of increasing sales opportunities; but, if you don’t close any of those leads, the campaign is a failure, regardless of how many interactions were generated. Marketing exists to drive sales.

Joseph Knoop, a Pinterest celebrity with over 3.8 million followers, is a living testimony that Pinterest isn’t just for creative types and stay-at-home moms, but for businesses, as well:

I have worked with Nordstrom, Deseret Digital Media, and some smaller clients as well. My usefulness to these brands is based solely on the fact that the things I pin get repinned and liked a lot, which drives interested buyers to the client’s site to spend money.

Myth #5: Social Media Marketing Costs Nothing

Though major social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube are all free to use, hidden costs always exist when implementing a social media marketing campaign. These costs might include spending hours developing a social strategy, creating content assets, posting updates, and responding to customers.

“We had so many people telling us that we should be blogging and posting to social media because it’s FREE,” says Jeff Williams, owner of CMI Promotions. “But an effective social media campaign is much more than one of us simply posting a random blog or FB post when we had time.”

To create an active and engaging social media promotion, you need someone who prioritizes and implements the plan, manages the messaging, and monitors the mediums for customer feedback. Mr. Williams “quickly learned that effective social media campaigns can get quite expensive.”

Additionally, paid social campaigns should not be discounted — these are very effective for increasing brand awareness and gaining new followers outside of your existing customer base.

Final Thoughts

You graduated from the boogeyman. Found out Kris Kringle was actually your stepdad. Set aside these social media marketing myths and concentrate on doing for your company what worked for you as a child: sharing, caring and harvesting great relationships that last beyond “the sale.”

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.

Related Topics: Channel: Social Media Marketing | Social Media Marketing | Social Media Marketing Column


About The Author: is a senior creative content strategist at Responsys, a leading global provider of on-demand email and cross-channel marketing solutions, and a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Digital & Social Media Marketing.

Sign Up To Get This Newsletter Via Email:  


Other ways to share:

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. You can read more about our comments policy here.
  • http://www.brickmarketing.com/ Nick Stamoulis

    “Failing to leverage social media will reveal some weaknesses to
    your competitors, though — like your company’s inability to provide
    knowledge and remain current within your industry.”

    Excellent point! The more tight-lipped you are the less consumers will trust you. Why should they, when the competition is just an open book of knowledge and information!? Maybe you don’t give away the whole farm, but certainly you share some milk without risking the cow!

  • http://ErrantIT.com/ ErrantIT.com

    I am pretty sure until company’s dive in they have no idea the extent social media tries to extort money from them to stay in touch and reach the fanbase which they themselves have built up.

  • Alden Dale

    Not sure the single fact supporting Myth #1 is applicable. In 2011 it was significantly easier to leverage social media to drive conversions, but the main player in the arena was Facebook. Frankly, since 2011 ability to have organic reach to a fanbase has decreased so dramatically that studies then no longer are useful.

    I really do think Myth #1 is true. Show me some stats from the last 3-4 months to prove otherwise, but unless you pay to play (and the price for this is going up significantly) people really are not seeing your posts. Organic SM marketing is effectively dead; paid SM is the only avenue left.

  • Winfield Danielson

    #5 is the big one I hear all the time. People don’t take the labor into account; it really requires a dedicated employee to do it right.

  • Winfield Danielson

    #5 is the big one I hear all the time. People don’t take the labor into account; it really requires a dedicated employee to do it right.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/steveolenski/ steveolenski

    Nick, thanks for the comment. The key word here is “transparency:” and so many dont grasp that concept or dont wish to. Love the cow analogy, too!

  • http://twitter.com/#!/steveolenski/ steveolenski

    Cant say I follow you when you write about the extorting of money? Are you referring to social media managers, social media companies?

  • http://twitter.com/#!/steveolenski/ steveolenski

    Alden, thanks for the comment. I agree with you to some extent but I dont believe organic social media is dead by any means for the simple fact that word of mouth is among the most powerful of ALL mediums. So if you deliver relevant content to your customers and prospects they will read it and in turn share it as they see fit.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/steveolenski/ steveolenski

    Winfield, thanks for the comment. You are spot on re: the need for a dedicated person and often times more than one “to do social media right.” And of course it has to be the right person(s) who knows the brand, is experienced and on and on… but thats another story for another time :)

  • http://ErrantIT.com/ ErrantIT.com

    Was referring to advertising to social media websites. Wasn’t exactly clear in my wording, people and companies have spent hours upon hours building up fanbases, to have them(the fanbase) put behind a pay wall to stay in touch.

    To be clear this article is great!

  • http://endorsebug.com Endorse Bug

    Steve, You say that organic social media marketing is not dead. In your experience, which platform provides that best opportunity to have your message heard (provided the content is potent enough)?

  • http://www.guest-post-articles.com Sandeep Rao

    Well, as Neil Patel said in some another post on his blog, that social media is the new SEO. I think, he is right upto some extent, if not completely.

    I too agree that social media is much more powerful these days. I found how user’s read every single line of post from social campaigns when these are of their concern. Also, the meaningful way they respond to updates on a service or brand’s social media page reveals their true potential.

    Previously I though that paid social media campaign should be avoided as they are less valuable. But now, I am thinking differently. As stated in article, to find customer outside the existing network, paid social media marketing is kind of good practice.

    Thanks Riza for sharing the post here on Kingged.com.

  • https://plus.google.com/u/0/105306872111062070128/posts Stuart Dell

    Thanks for the share. Many have really been mislead by these myths. Well at least people can realize and understand it well. Here’s a fact though, social tools can help us manage all our social profiles. Do you know new social tools that we can use? Here 1 that I found, http://postific.com/ what do you think?


Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Marketing Land on Twitter @marketingland Like Marketing Land on Facebook Follow Marketing Land on Google+ Subscribe to Our Feed! Join our LinkedIn Group Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest


Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States


Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech

Free Daily Marketing News!

Marketing Day is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!