The word “social media” (drippy 2k profile pictures) is often coupled with the words “must” and “avoid.” However, misconceptions abound about these platforms that are worth clearing up. Here are seven myths about social media, as well as the truth behind them.
1) Social Media Is A Waste Of Time
A common misconception is that using social media is a waste of time. In reality, some studies show that Facebook can actually make people happier by providing them with an outlet to share their successes and connect with friends they wouldn’t otherwise see in person due to busy schedules or geographical distance. Additionally, LinkedIn is a great tool for job seekers to connect with potential employers. In addition to the nearly 600 million U.S. users on Facebook, 97% of recruiters also use this site to find prospective employees .
2) Social Media Is Unprofessional
Another common misconception about social media is that it is inherently unprofessional and will hurt career prospects. Many professionals have embraced Twitter and LinkedIn with open arms due to its ability to bring them closer with current clients and help them share their expertise in their fields. For example, one study found that over 90% of firms would hire someone that maintained an active presence on LinkedIn , while 80% would hire someone who was active on Twitter .
3) Social Media Is Unregulated
Another misconception is that social media is unregulated. Every time you post on Facebook, tweet on Twitter or write an update on LinkedIn, you are subject to the terms of service of that particular website. Not only is it important to know these terms for professional reasons, but also for protection from libel and slander suits.
4) Social Media Is All About Relationships
Many people have a misconception that social media is all about relationships. However, these platforms are great for building both personal and professional networks of contacts. In our age of digital technology, it is even possible to maintain a presence on multiple websites at once. It’s important to remember that social media is simply a means to an end . Whether your goal is to increase sales, recruit employees or build your brand as an industry leader, social media can help you achieve those ends—but only if you know what you’re doing and how best to use the various platforms available.
5) Social Media Is A Waste Of Time
This is an easy one. Again, it depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. If you want to use social media to increase sales, then a picture of a puppy is not going to do the trick. Believing this myth about social media is a waste of time means that you aren’t investing the necessary time to learn how best to use social media as a tool in your professional development. Learning how to make the most of social media is as important as learning how to use it .
6) Social Media Is Only Helpful To Small Businesses And The Entire Internet
Just because Twitter and Facebook don’t always spring to mind when you think of large corporations like GE, AT&T or Microsoft doesn’t mean they aren’t making excellent use of social media. These corporations have major presences on these sites, along with thousands of other businesses both small and large. Many people still see social media as an industry or service for tech-savvy early adopters, but the truth is that across industries there are those that already know how to leverage these platforms for marketing purposes. Additionally, since the majority of users in the U.S. are on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn , it’s important to keep up with what’s going on in their newsfeeds. Engaging in social media, whether passively or actively, will help you keep your finger on the pulse of your industry and ensure that you’re always a current-events buff.
7) Social Media Is Just For Business
While using social media for work may be the norm, there are many professionals who use social media outside of their job as well. For example, people who like to play games on Facebook or post funny videos on YouTube can use these platforms to promote their hobbies and build a personal brand in the process. Social media is for everyone . If you can remember to add a human element to your interactions with followers, friends and clients alike, (e.g. sharing a personal success story or an LOL-worthy cat video), you can still connect with your community on a personal level. Your followers will appreciate it and your content will be more likely to get reposted.
In conclusion, social media is here to stay—that’s a given. The question isn’t whether you should use it, but rather how best to use it . It is important that you have a clear goal in mind before using social media for any purpose.
Conclusion of the article:
Believing these 7 myths about social media is a waste of time, while understanding the true facts will make you a more effective social media manager. Do you agree? Please share your opinion with us.