Welcome to our new series “Busted! Top 10 Myths About Social Media for Business,” where we debunk many of the myths out there surrounding social media as an effective business tool. Inspired by many objections I’ve heard (and overheard) from real business owners, I developed this series to help you separate the fact from the fiction in this still-uncharted territory. Stay tuned for more mythbusting every Monday and Wednesday ’til the list runs out!
In our last post, we debunked Myth #10 about social media for business—”It’s a tween thing”—with some hard data about how grown-up the most popular social networks actually are. Now let’s take a look at the question of staying power.
“Sure,” many of us may think, “social media’s all the rage right now, but in a couple of years it’s sure to fizzle out … so why waste time and resources on it?”
It’s true that this social media thing did gain mass popularity pretty suddenly. I can still remember begging my friends to connect with me on LinkedIn and doing my best to reassure them it wasn’t a spam scam. What a difference a few years have made in the way we connect, communicate, share, and interact.
And because social networking has just recently hit the mainstream, it’s easy to see how one might assume that it will fall out of favor just as quickly as it arose.
DEBUNKED! OK, technically we can’t fully debunk an assumption of future happenings, but we can point out a couple of facts that point to social media being anything but a flash in the pan.
First of all, social media’s already been around quite a bit longer than many of us realize, as you’ll see in the origin dates of some of the major social networks:
- Facebook: 2003 (8 years old)
- LinkedIn: 2003 (8 years old)
- YouTube: 2005 (6 years old)
- Twitter: 2006 (5 years old)
Secondly, as we saw in the last post, social media’s appeal extends across generational boundaries, from tweens to grandparents.
Thirdly, it’s become ingrained in multiple different aspects of our daily lives, including:
- Shopping: Businesses can now integrate e-commerce capabilities directly into their Facebook pages—no need to click through to their websites.
- Careers: LinkedIn recently launched a job application button that lets businesses accept applications via their company pages.
- Politics: Barack Obama’s win in the 2008 presidential election was attributed in part to his team’s effective use of social media as a political mobilization tool, and many 2012 hopefuls have already started building momentum on social platforms.
- Socializing: More than 2,000 local meetups arranged through Meetup.com take place every day, and the Google+ Hangouts feature lets users connect with up to 25 people via video chat.
And finally, there are the sheer numbers. 750 million on Facebook. 200 million on Twitter. 100 million on LinkedIn. I won’t go so far as to say that hundreds of millions of people can’t be wrong … but they are unlikely to abandon their social networking activities en masse anytime soon.
So, what’s your vote: is social media a fad or is it here to stay? Tell us why in the comments—we’d love to hear from you!
- Top myths about social media for business #10: “Social media’s a tween thing” (internetbillboards.net)
- 5 Social Media Crimes to Avoid (internetbillboards.net)
- Making The Mistake Of Trying To Do Networking With Social Media (internetbillboards.net)
- Social Media is about people (mallorywood.wordpress.com)
- Why You Should Consider Social Media Marketing For Your Small Business (ronmedlin.com)