6 damaging myths about social media and the truths behind them

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Why with so much evidence about the value of social media do so few executives use it? They're anchored to 6 damaging myths about social media that hold them back. Here are the truths.


  • 6 damaging myths about #socialmedia for leaders & the truths behind them Dionne Kasian-Lew
  • Boston Consulting says social media will be worth $4.2 trillion by 2016, a Capgemini-MIT Sloan study shows digitally mature businesses are 26% more profitable than less mature peers & the Sensis Social Media Report says of searches done nearly 70% convert to a sale And YET
  • executives are missing in action.
  • Only 30 percent of CEOs are social but mostly because theyve signed up to LinkedIn (& not necessarily using it) -
  • Why with all this evidence of value, is there still such a gap?
  • I believe executives are anchored to myths damaging about social media that hold them back.
  • The eruption of social media seemed so fast and was so visibly associated with teen geekery that an inaccurate but influential narrative has taken hold.
  • Here are some truths.
  • Myth #1: Social Media is a Fad
  • The professional business network LinkedIn was founded in 2002 and now has 260 million users from 200 countries.
  • When people think of Facebook, they think of the baby-faced college kid, Mark Zuckerberg. But Facebook is over a decade old.
  • As for CEO Mark Zuckerberg
  • - that kid is now a 30-year old billionaire leading 6000 employees of a listed company.
  • Even relative newcomer Twitter has been around since 2006 & handles 500 million tweets & 1.6 billion search queries every day.
  • I could go on.
  • But Ive made the . point
  • Social media is here to stay.
  • Myth #2 Social media is for posting photos of what you ate at lunch
  • Look at Instagram and its no surprise people think social media is about posting photos of what you ate for lunch.
  • #yum that looks good
  • We are taking a LOT of them.
  • But I want to put that in Context -
  • Imagine youve had a four-hour meeting &break for lunch, someone delivers a tray of sandwiches and you turn to a colleague and say oh chicken sandwiches. I love them.
  • Totally appropriate Totally within context
  • Better still reveals something of you, the human side, vital for building relationships.
  • But is this what the four-hour meeting was about?
  • I dont think so!
  • Photos in social media record a moment in time - I was here this is what I saw that caught my attention
  • Theyre deeply human.
  • Myth #3 Social media is for code monkeys
  • Thanks Sebastiaan - http://www.flickr.com/photos/ter-burg/
  • Social media is not about tools but what tools allow you to do
  • Build relationships.
  • Yes these platforms have to be built & yes people who know how to code build them.
  • But you dont need to know about that any more than electronic circuits just because you watch TV.
  • Networks allow you to reach out to people around the world with great ideas or who share your interests but who you dont know exist until the algorithms work that out -
  • - thats the only part that requires code and you not need to write it.
  • #4 Social media is for people under 25
  • Eight new people come online a second. Are all these people 25 and under?
  • I dont think so.
  • On LinkedIn two professionals join a second (under 25?) on Twitter the fastest growing demographic last year - adults aged 55-65, Facebook? 55-65 year olds
  • Truth: social media is for everyone.
  • Myth #5 Social Media is for Marketing
  • Leaders have handballed social media to marketing, but its not marketing
  • But because marketers are creative & experimental many recognized its potential early and hopped on board.
  • but social media is about a lot more ...
  • customers sales, research &communications listening sharing mew ideas & innovations
  • Social media creates an expectation that cannot be delivered under legacy business structures - immediacy.
  • We expect to find what we want, where we are & ACT on it.
  • We have to connect & socialise every part of business.
  • Myth #6 Theres no ROI on social media.
  • There are more social media metrics than you can poke a stick at.
  • You can build indicators for Finance: Has revenue/profit increased or costs decreased? Brand: Have consumer attitudes about the brand improved? Risk: Are we better prepared to respond to problems that affect reputation? Digital: Has the company enhanced its digital assets?
  • However, its difficult to measure what counts the most
  • the value of relationships.
  • Having said that in 2013 Business Insider said brands were moving away from metrics because they recognized that social media is not transactional.
  • The focus has shifted to measures like reach, engagement and sentiment.
  • Truth: ROI is complex to measure but social and digital deliver measurable value
  • Six social media realities for leaders to reflect on -
  • #1 Social media is here to stay.
  • #2 Social media captures human moments.
  • #3 Social media is for everyone.
  • #4 Social media is about relationships.
  • #5 Social media is about immediacy, connectivity and impacts the whole of business .
  • #6 ROI is complex to measure but social and digital deliver measurable value.
  • If you want to find out more thenplease sign up to be notified by WILEY when my new book The Social Executive why executives need social media & how to capitalise in it is launched globally July 2014.
  • In the meantime you can find me across the web dionnekasianlew.com @dionnelew
  • That took time to read, so THANK YOU I appreciate your attention.
  • dionne@dionnekasianlew.com