Post by Eric Brantner

The importance of establishing a strong social media presence has been discussed to exhaustion. You know that you need to be an active user on these sites because social media can produce numerous benefits for you and your brand. Of course, as the bandwagon for social media has filled up, many myths have been spread.

That’s why I’ve created this list of 10 social media myths to avoid buying into.

1. Great Content Always Goes Hot- This is one of the biggest mistakes social media newbies make. They automatically assume that a good article will catch fire online and spread throughout the Internet. It’s simply not true. Great content doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. It’s not enough to simply submit a good article. There are tons of other factors involved—who is submitting it, if it’s targeted at the right audience,  and how well it’s promoted (to name a few.)

2. There are No Rules- Another misconception is that there are no rules to social media. Some people believe they can do and say whatever they want without consequences. The truth is the community knows what everyone is up to. If they see you’re a shameless self-promoter, you’ll be buried. You’re better off following the rules of social media etiquette.

3. You Can’t Build Quality Relationships Online- I’ve heard numerous people suggest that it’s stupid to connect with people online that you don’t know in real life. They believe connecting with others is pointless and doesn’t lead to any lasting relationships with your brand. I couldn’t disagree more. Social media gives you the chance to be face to face online with your target audience. Even if they don’t go onto become paying customers, you still get valuable insight into what they think and what they react to.

4. The More Friends, the Better- On the other end of the spectrum, there are those who think that added everybody as a friend will get them social media success. Just because you’re connected with thousands of users, doesn’t mean you’ll build a strong connection with everyone. Remember, quality trumps quantity every time.

5. Social Media Marketing is Easy- This goes back to the first myth. Those who don’t understand how social media works assume it’s as easy as starting up a blog. They subscribe to the ‘if you build it, they will come” mentality. Fast-forward a few weeks when no one is visiting their blog or promoting their content, and they then swear off social media forever.

6. Social Media Won’t Last- There are numerous skeptics out there denouncing social media marketing as nothing more than a fad. They believe to get involved with it would just be a waste of their time. This couldn’t be further from the truth. While the face of social media will certainly evolve in the future, conversational marketing will not vanish. The internet is an inherently social platform. It’s this ability to connect with people throughout the world that makes it so appealing.

7. Social Media will Replace Traditional Marketing- At the forefront of the social media bandwagon are those who ignored the “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” advice. While I’m certainly a huge proponent of social media marketing, I’m not foolish enough to ignore the value of traditional marketing techniques. The best marketing strategy is a well-rounded one.

8. Social Media is a Cure-All- While social media is a great tool for online reputation management, it’s not a cure-all either. Again, don’t get so drunk on the idea of social media that you ignore the other problems of your marketing strategy. Social media is not a cure-all; it’s just another in a long list of tools you should be using.

9. Social Media is for Kids- When most people hear about social media or social networking, they instantly associate it with some 14 year old teen’s Myspace page. That’s not what social media is about. The fact is sites like LinkedIn are a prime example of social media’s relevance to the adult crowd. Trix are for kids; social media is for everyone.

10. Digg is All that Matters- I love Digg, but it’s not the be-all end-all of social media. If Digg is the only thing you focus on, you’ll end up being sorely disappointed. Again, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. There are numerous social media sites out there for you to take advantage of. Find the ones that fit best with your niche.

What social media myths would you add to this list? Share them in the replies.

Eric Brantner is a freelance copywriter serving small and medium-sized businesses from a wide range of industries. He is a regular writer at Digital Labz LLC a Internet Marketing Company offering Online marketing for small business.

38 Responses to “Don’t Believe these 10 Social Media Myths”

  1. Arthur Brown says:

    These are all great things to remember when getting involved with Social Meida.

  2. Very very true, especially the comment about digg, I touched on it a little bit with a recent post on my blog if you want to check it out.

  3. Michael N says:

    I think this list is well done. Even if you do Social Media Marketing you still need a strategy behind your actions.

  4. John Carson says:

    #11 Social Media is Cheap- Depends on what value you place on the hourly rate of your employees who may spend months researching, monitoring and engaging the community.

  5. Jon S. says:

    Damn, I just found this on Digg….

  6. Lolz says:

    This site has been dugg
    Dugg for “Digg is All that Matters”.

  7. Deb says:

    Digg is the worst one if you ask me. They put too much power in the hands of their idiot users, and limit their front page to promoting links to a very limited number of sites.

  8. audrey says:

    I saw this article on Digg. You gave good information. I still have to learn how to go around social media like Digg. :)

  9. audrey says:

    Ooops. Sorry. The first URL didn’t work. :)

  10. James says:

    hmmm…. “There are No Rules”… “You’re better off following the rules of social media etiquette.” Really??

  11. Great post. I agree with these points on social media.
    I wrote a similar post on web 2.0

  12. Great list! Yes, social marketing is far from easy — it takes quite a bit of work to generate traffic!

  13. jordan zucker says:

    funny that this article does not have a digg it link at the bottom, guess i won’t be going out of my way to digg this article

  14. epredator says:

    a great listi would reiterate the fact that while social media is based on technologyitis not a solution to speed things up. building trust, human relationshps and an audiencebothered enoughabout you takes time.
    social media web 2.0 virtual worlds are not different ideas, they are about sharing and interaction when physically seperated allowing people to be important not the tech
    final myth for enterprises, the world will not end if your employees talk to one another on a social media platform. in fact you world will change, but the right people will connecton the right subjects at the right time as they are not burdened by enforced department structures and physical restrictions

  15. Great list, particularly with the comments concerning Digg. I wretch every time I read a post about how awesome and beneficial it is without any sort of proof.

    One item though: Social Media websites, taken individually, do not last as popular destinations for more than four years. Look at MySpace; 2002-2006, and then it started to hemorrhage users to Facebook. Facebook is peaking (2004-2008) and Twitter is starting to rise (2006-2010). I would argue that it can be wise to avoid social networking sites depending on where they are in their life cycle.

  16. joe blow says:

    just kuz you have a blog doesnt mean you know what you’re talking about.

    a blog is the internet equivilant of that one uncle everyone has (you know him) who sits at the holiday dinner table spewing fourth his idiotic opinions and ideas, ranting on like anyone give a crap, meanwhile thinking he’s the only one who’s got all the answers, and if everyone thought like him the world would be perfect.

  17. @ James– “There are no rules” is the myth. Hence, you should follow the rules of social media etiquette.

  18. JustinSMV says:

    Great Summary Points on Social Media. Found this article on Digg, Well done.

  19. justin says:

    Great post. I agree with these points on social media.

  20. […] Another fellow blogger added an interesting post on Donât Believe these 10 Social Media Myths | Design And Marketing BlogHere’s a small excerptAgain, don’t get so drunk on the idea of social media that you ignore the other problems of your marketing strategy. Social media is not a cure-all; it’s just another in a long list of tools you should be using. … […]

  21. An excellent list of social media myths that I intend to use with the class I teach at UC San Diego on Marketing via New Media. I would consider adding this one:

    Having content “Go Viral” means you are successful. Social media is indeed a great tool to spread your message via authentic conversations between your customer and you, as well as among your customers. However, most “funny videos” that “go viral” are only a blip without an ongoing plan to continue interacting with customers.

    Thanks again. You rock!

  22. Nice list.

    I’d add Myth #11: “Numbered Lists are Authoritative”

    The social media blogosphere has hundreds, if not thousands of ‘me-too’ experts, and it’s often little more than a self-referencing goldfish bowl or tiny pond. You’ll see and learn more outside the bowl, and once you see who the important fish are in the bigger ponds, the big fish in the little bowls can be put into prespective.

    As many of these tips emphasise, social media can only usefully be part of marketing mix, albeit one that, if used carefully, can have far better results, and offer far better return on investment, than traditional media.

    Regards, David

  23. Don says:

    I’m a numbers kind of guy…
    Personal use = 99% of the time
    Business Promotion use = 1% of the time.

    From a business point of view (B2B) using social media to increase branding or sales is a bad ROI. Now if you sell to the consumer (B2C), that is a differnt story if done right.

    So if you sell shoes to the consumer, a clever social media use might be worth your time. But if you sell software to businesses only, don’t waste your time. :>)

  24. Janet Fouts says:

    OK, OK, I did find this post on Digg, but I still don’t give it a lot of value for quality content. As you say, Digg is not the be-all end-all. I use it, but I don’t think it’s going to make a huge difference until you build a large friends newtork on Digg to help you scrabble to the top of the hill for a moment or two.

    No single social media site can do it all for you. As opposed to popular myths, social media is not easy. It’s hard work to find the right tools and networks to get involved in and contribute to.

  25. very nicely written article and so true. good job.

  26. Bryan says:

    funny that this article does not have a digg it link at the bottom, guess i won’t be going out of my way to digg this article.

  27. hey nice post but some myth still more but i donot think so SMO is everthing. gud post man

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  31. Chase Oneil says:

    Thanks for the post that you have. I stumbled on a new one the other day. They look open for business, but very similar to with more of a social business directory look and feel. Nice clean interface though. It’s at

  32. Felton Uscio says:

    I dont truly know what you talking about right here. This cant be the only way to think about this can it? It seems like you understand a lot, so why not explore it a lot more? Make it more accessible to everyone else who might not concur with you? Youd get a lot more individuals behind this should you just stopped making common statements

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    Maybe you should edit the webpage title Don’t Believe these 10 Social Media Myths to more better for your webpage you write. I liked the the writing withal.

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  36. Thanks for being so open and honest about this. We are certainly nowhere near the 3 year mark, but I think these insights are relevant to just about any startup out there. I wish you best of luck in your next endeavors.

  37. Currently it seems like BlogEngine is the preferred blogging platform out there right now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you are using on your blog?

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