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Five Misconceptions About Social Media Marketing

It's kind of sad the number of organizations who still don’t understand the value of social media marketing

Actually, it isn't funny it is kind of sad at the number of organizations who still don't understand the value of social media marketing. I have probably met with a dozen companies, founders and senior level executives who have all said. "I don't get it" or "Our company isn't ready for social media" or worse yet just aren't capitalizing on the social media programs they already have in place. So here are 5 misconceptions about social media marketing.

1.) It is a stand alone marketing program - Wrong. Social media is a complimentary marketing option to help supplement and promote existing marketing programs. I once suggested that we had a 15 second video to a webinar invite with the speaker telling the audience what they were being invited to. the result was extrodinary and one of our highest performing lead generation efforts we ever put together. twice as many people viewed the webinar invitation and we broke records for attendance. Oh and by the way, we used social media to spread that 15 sec video to all our social sites to reach people that weren't in our customer contact database.

2.) I need to hire social media experts - Wrong again, all you need to do is find someone within the company who is passionate about it enough to help identify your knowledge experts. Four years ago, I started doing this for a living I realized that I couldn't do it by myself. So, I recruited others that I respected, were good writers and passionate about their respective topics, Cloud Computing, Virtualization, Microsoft. etc... Each month I held a content review meeting for us to discuss what people were asking about and what information we needed to share. Then we did it and we were the first to lead in this field of marketing and even provided consulting advice to those consultants who were being paid by others to give them advice on how to create a social media marketing program.

3.) Build it and they will come - yea this was great for a Kevin Costner movie "Field of Dreams" but not realistic. Granted you do have to build something first but then you have to tell people about it. Creating a online community may take 10 months to a year to get off the ground, At least that has been my experience. But engaging your customers in meaningful dialog will help them come back to you for additional quesitons and or advice and ultimately spread the word that they found your site useful. Once that happens it will take on a life of its own organically and others will jump in to start, engage and or answer questions in the forum.

4.) What if they something Bad? - I hate to break it do you but if your customers want to say something bad, they will do it whether or not it is on your platform. So it is best to at least give them a platform they can share their frustrations so at least you can engage them and help try to resolve the conflict. The worst thing you can do is let someone talk trash somewhere and you don't even know about it. Honestly, who cares. Not everyone is always going to be happy so the fact that you allow something negative to be said, will either let other know what a jackass the person who said it is, or that your company is cool enough not to sensor and keep the discussion public so everyone can see the resolution to the conversation.

5.) It's happening and you don't know it - or worse yet aren't doing anything to capitalize on it. I was absolutely floored when I met with a CEO and CTO a few weeks ago and let them know that they had hundreds of thousands of people publishing videos about their product and they weren't capitalizing on the momentum. This is most companies dreams to have a promotional customs base that is passionate about what your company provides and it is a huge mistake not to leverage that and engage those people to help bring them into a customer care circle. Soliciting advice from customers, specifically beta test candidates is extremely beneficial and often impossible to come by. So, when I realized this wasn't even on these executives radar, I wondered to myself, if they are missing this train that is just screaming out to them, what other opportunities are being missed? My prediction: they will be acquired in the next 6-9 months and the CEO will be replaced.

Just to recap, don't think that social media is the magic bullet to solving all your problems or even that it takes a team of consultants to get up and running. Mistakes will happen so get started and don't wait any longer to help supplement your other marketing programs with a social media brand awareness campaign.

More Stories By Brace Rennels

Brace Rennels is a passionate and experienced interactive marketing professional who thrives on building high energy marketing teams to drive global web strategies, SEO, social media and online PR web marketing. Recognized as an early adopter of technology and applying new techniques to innovative creative marketing, drive brand awareness, lead generation and revenue. As a Sr. Manager Global of Website Strategies his responsibilities included developing and launching global social media, SEO and web marketing initiatives and strategy. Recognized for applying innovative solutions to address unique problems and manage business relationships to effectively accomplish enterprise objectives. An accomplished writer, blogger and author for several publications on various marketing, social media and technical subjects such as industry trends, cloud computing, virtualization, website marketing, disaster recovery and business continuity. Publications include CIO.com, Enterprise Storage Journal, TechNewsWorld, Sys-Con, eWeek and Peer to Peer Magazine. Follow more of Brace's writing on his blog: http://bracerennels.com

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