I consider myself more of a social media enthusiast than an expert.
While I’ve been enjoying the space and its tools for many years, I think I still have a lot to learn, especially as it’s still kind of evolving.
Social media isn’t brand new, but it’s not old, either. As I see more and more newcomers to this business and lots of discussions taking place, I also see a few myths evolving. Some are misreading the pros, while others are simply trying to emulate the footsteps of someone who has achieved social media success.
Truthfully, it’s what you make of it.
Let’s bust a few of the myths surrounding social media.
Myth #1: It’s Not About You, It’s About Everyone Else
We’re supposed to say social media and social media campaigns aren’t about us, it’s about everyone else. It’s about our followers, readers, customers and community. This is true to a certain extent. However, social media is about us in more ways than one. It’s about injecting our own creativity and achieving our own success. It’s about our individual personalities and our ability to cultivate relationships. It has to be about us, because social media is self-promotional and about getting noticed. This isn’t to say we need to turn into a bunch of narcissist, but we shouldn’t be afraid to make it a little bit about us.
Myth #2: There Are Rules
Everyone who has a blog about some aspect of social media will eventually toss out a list post citing 10 reasons why you’re doing something wrong. The truth is, there are no hard and fast rules. There are plenty of bits of etiquette and common courtesy items, but so far we don’t have an official playbook. Play around and find out what works best for you. As long as you’re not spammy and annoying, you’re not doing it wrong.
Myth #3: To Embrace Social Media is to Give Up Your Privacy
There are people who will have you believe that by using Facebook, Foursquare or Twitter, you’re giving up your privacy. It’s my experience that the folks who pan the social media tools are the ones who are either afraid to try them or haven’t had success using them. Truthfully, it’s up to you to determine how much privacy you have. If you don’t want people seeing pictures of your kids, don’t post pictures of your kids, or share hometown or school details. If you don’t want anyone knowing where you ate lunch, don’t check in to Foursquare. It’s not the tools that cause us to lose our privacy, it’s the details we choose to share online.
Myth #4: You Have to Have a Million Followers to Be Successful
Success has to do with quality, not quantity. Sure, folks with more followers have a higher reach, but do you need a higher reach to accomplish your goals? Worry about pleasing your readers or customers, don’t worry about the masses.
Myth #5: Anyone Can Do This
Not everyone is cut out for working in social media. Some folks, only know how to use one or two of the available tools. Others, don’t have the people skills or positive personality to achieve social media success. Just as many of us can’t handle accounting or public relations, there are people who don’t have the right skills or mindset to be a social media professional. Just because you can Tweet, doesn’t mean you have it in you to take on clients and plan out a social media campaign.
What are some social media myths you’d like to bust? Share in the comments.