I had an interesting email conversation with a marketing manager today about social media marketing.

The conversation was interesting because it revealed some the myths that marketing people have about social media. But that also got me thinking to how such myths can be overcome to give more positive results in social media marketing.

Myth 1: User generated means user will generate content

If you create a social media platform for the social, don’t expect that users to automatically generate content to an extend “that it becomes a movement by itself”.

Every movement needs a leader and social media is no different.

Without a leader, users will get just go around aimlessly until it does not make sense to be part of this social platform anymore.

Forums still require moderators. Online communities exist because of community leaders.

Hence, if you start a social media platform for your users, you need a leader to lead the interaction.

Mind you, it is not pushing about pushing the message.

Myth 2: Users like to talk to make believe accounts

Creating a dummy account solves the problem of what if that person fronting this leaves.

However, that creates a bigger problem.

Human beings are in nature social animals. Even in an online environment, you rather still talk to another human.

You read this blog because you know its a human writing it and I am communication with you.

You play a MMORPG to interact with other humans than to play against a machine.

Hence, the possibility of that face leaving the company is there, but it is only human to want to take to a human face.

Myth 3: Social media is about ah hoc content

I am starting to learn that this isn’t true. You can still take some of traditional print practices to a part of social media.

Create an editorial calendar. Plan what you are going to do per week minimum.

For example, if you run a Facebook Fan Page, create a calendar that prepares you for the activity online.

This week could be about promoting a product. Scour the web for blogs commenting about this product.

If there are comments, reply. Replying shows the commenter that you read his/her comments.

The other week could be a contest. Hence, you can plan a week before to get the prize of the content and mechanics reader for the competition.

I guess the biggest problem is most focus on the media of social media.

I feel that the focus should be on the social part, social = interaction.

It is about why you want to interact and not how your interaction gets thru.


  1. Isabelle, Singapore  

    July 16, 2009 at 8:41 PM

    I think the term "Social Media" is cringe worthy and fundamentally wrong.

  2. Cool Insider  

    July 19, 2009 at 11:44 AM

    Content creation isn't that easily embraced by the bulk of social media users. Most prefer to read and share what they have read through channels like Facebook, Twitter's Retweets, email lists and others - if they bother to do so in the first place.

    I like your point about inculcating some discipline in the editorial process. One needs to have a certain rhythm in order to keep up a visible presence in the digital world. While blogging and facebooking is sometimes a serendipitous and idiosyncratic exercise - according to one's whims and fancies - succeeding in them is the outcome of hard work and diligence.

    In the words of Thomas Edison, "Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety nine percent perspiration."

  3. Aaron Koh  

    July 19, 2009 at 12:49 PM

    @Isabelle. True. It was once called Web2.0 then New Media. Now it is Social Media. For me, it is how a brand should interact with their consumers who now have a free medium to air their views but also with their readers.

    @Cool Insider. I used to discourage corporates to blog because of the serendipitous and idiosyncratic perception it gives.

    But I start to realised that blogs, fanpage, etc are still media and with media, you need to put in a plan which the entire team can follow.

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