Social media myths

For many of us, social media is part of our everyday life. It is what we do and how we do it – whether for work or personal or a little bit of both.

It will come as no surprise to regular readers of my stuff that I am one of these people. After all, I’m a self-confessed social media convert through and through. It is a key part of my business and of how I do people stuff generally. But whilst social media isn’t exactly new and is being used by millions of people all over the world, there are still plenty of organisations and individuals alike who don’t get it.

Of course, there are no rules that say you have to do social….. but if you run pretty much any kind of business and ignore social media you are taking a big risk. A risk that means you could be missing out on customers, feedback, engagement, or an opportunity to promote what you do.  Unfortunately, there are still too many who believe the common myths and misconceptions about social media. These myths and misconceptions mean that the potential benefits get missed.

I recently created a Slideshare featuring some of the main myths that I hear most frequently. Here is a link you can follow to it.

You know the kind of thing: Twitter is people talking about what they had for breakfast.  Social media is just for kids. I don’t have the time. I don’t have anything to say. And the most worrying myth of all: we are just not that sort of business.  Yes, someone has said that to me, in 2016.

Only when we get past these myths will we realise the benefits of social media. The opportunity for leaders to connect with the people that work for them, unhindered by geography or timezones. For internal communication and collaboration, social media – whether internal or external – providing perhaps one of the best opportunities that organisations have to change traditional ways of working and open up the flow of information and knowledge. For individuals, social media as a way to network, learn and engage with professional communities.

I’ve been speaking about this stuff as part of my work with Liverpool John Moores University students and their reactions have been eye-opening. I have mostly been met with a quizzical look that says “why wouldn’t you, as a business in 2016, be on social media?” They haven’t needed the persuasion required by some of the overtly sceptical HR audiences I have spoken to. I’ve also spoken at two of the recent series of three Comms Hero events for Communications professionals. The audiences there have expressed palpable frustration at the lack of engagement from HR professionals and leaders alike in getting social. They get the benefits of this stuff because they see it on a daily basis – and they believe we can achieve more if we work together on it.

It is time to bust the social media myths.