Though companies are becoming more open to the opportunities that social media can afford them, there are still many commonly held myths that can lead campaigns to failure before they have even started….

Here are three of the top quibbles that I thought it would be useful to shed some light on:

Social Media is quick and free….

Whilst many of the social media tools are free, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, in order for these platforms to work effectively for your company, you need to be able to spare the time to prepare and implement a strategy that will work for your organisation – and this has implications in terms of cost because of the time requirement.

There are ways to reduce the time implications, such as Twitter platforms, rss feeds etc. but you need to be prepared to spare the resources to set up and utilise these; it is important that you don’t expect social media to work with very little input.

Quantity is King….

…in social media this is just not the case; in terms of the content you produce or the following that you amass.

This might draw a gasp from the clients and colleagues that I have encouraged to tweet / blog / update their statuses regularly, and I certainly stand by that claim – if you don’t produce regular content you run the risk of losing followers or potential followers not taking your social media presence seriously enough to put on their follow list.  But similarly if you are blasting out uninteresting and pointless people will switch off and stop paying attention to the information you are providing.  It’s the old adage ‘quality not quantity’.

And the very same applies to follower numbers as well.  Don’t be disappointed if you have hit the hundreds (or, dare I say it, thousands) yet with your followers / likes / subscribers, just try to concentrate on getting a following of quality and relevant people from your key stakeholder groups – and then make sure you are putting out interesting and relevant content to them!

You have to be on all platforms…

In a similar way, you need make sure that you are using the platforms that are most appropriate to your business – if you are targeting a business audience, twitter and LinkedIn are probably going to be most appropriate for your; whereas a consumer campaign would be well targeted on Facebook and YouTube.

In this instance, it really isn’t the case that one size fits all.

It’s easy to fall foul of all of these points, but hopefully this has proved a useful reminder – social media can be a really, really powerful tool for your business, but only if it is used effectively and strategically!