The PR BlogDigital PRSocial Media Management5 Social Media Myths in Corporate Communications

5 Social Media Myths in Corporate Communications

The most common flaws in our social media analysis.

Cover photo by Jerry Silfwer (Instagram)

Some social media myths wreak havoc on corporate communications.

Many communication departments get their social media analysis wrong. The reason is simple: We often go for the obvious answer.

We might think the answer is staring us right in the face. But recognising the contrarian nature of social media is a different ball game altogether.

I’ve listed five common social media myths in social media analysis that corporate communications choose to believe:

The Social Media Myths in PR

Myth 1. “We Must Publish Often and Everywhere!”

“Anyone can publish anything almost anywhere. And many of those who succeed in social media posts frequently.”

Not so fast, tiger.
What’s the proper social media analysis here?

It’s true that successful content creators typically publish often. But it works because those content creators are social media naturals, and they’ve been lucky enough to have stumbled upon a rich vein.

Another way to think about it: it’s survivorship bias. There are countless more examples of content creators who publish often and everywhere without success.

We just never see their content.

Think of YouTube. Most people spend time on YouTube to consume creativity and culture produced by a relatively small group of talented content creators. They’re many things, but they are never dull.

Do we want to be a part of that small, exclusive community? The fierce online competition renders one main conclusion:

Those who venture into online publishing must compete with quality and consistency.

We shouldn’t be more social based on the assumption that everyone wants to talk with us. Instead, we should produce content that audiences actively seek out because it brings value to them.

Don’t post more. Post better.

Read also: “For Content!”

Myth 2. “We Are Super-Interesting!”

“People connect around shared interests in social media. We should ask them to connect around us in the same way.”

Hold that thought.
What’s the proper social media analysis here?

No, our brands aren’t churches. We don’t have some magical opportunity to gather people around our brands in reverence and awe.

People talk about brands because they care about their interests and friends — not because they care about your brand.

It might be somewhat counter-intuitive; the relevant analysis is that our brands must learn to win the hearts of the few before attempting to win the hearts of the many.

Scaling in the world of social media algorithms means going for niches small enough for dominance. From there, we scale.

Read also: Group Sizes (From Support Cliques To Tribes)

Myth 3. “We Should Do More Social!”

“People spend lots of time on social media. So, we should do more social, too.”

Slow down, please.
What’s the proper social media analysis here?

Those who succeed in social media are not the ones who are “more social” than others. Those who succeed have found a way to let social media algorithms do all the heavy lifting.

From a social media user’s perspective, we now need algorithms to do most of the heavy lifting in sorting out all the information.

So, how can brands put themselves in the driver’s seat?

By carefully managing our brand communities across earned, shared, and owned platforms.

Know your brand community.
Stay in constant dialogue with your community.
Listen and monitor your community.
Give your community what it seeks.

By managing the brand community, we manage the algorithms.

Read also: No Brand Community For You

Myth 4. “We Are Epic Content Creators!”

“Digital information spreads fast and virally. So, our content will now spread fast and virally, too.”

Hold your horses.
What’s the proper social media analysis here?

No, it’s not that your business should strive to insert its messages into the daily flow of memes and trends. Other priorities should go first.

Ponder this: If all corporate social media accounts suddenly disappeared from the face of the virtual world, nothing would happen. People are fully capable of doing their “social media thing” by themselves.

The insight is that people interact with our corporate content — from anywhere at any time. In doing so, people publicly showcase their behaviours, needs, preferences, etc.

Listening is social media’s most prominent corporate communications feature.

Consider the marketing of hugely successful tech-driven companies like Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Spotify, Google, Facebook, and WordPress.

They’re not online talkers; they’re online listeners.

Read also: Corporate Cringe

Myth 5. “Social Media is the Klondyke of Sales!”

Lots of consumer data is made available. We should use that data to create marketing personas to understand our customers.”

Slow down there, tiger.
What’s the proper social media analysis here?

Corporate communication is about establishing and maintaining critical relationships with dialogue. It’s never been about shouting your sales pitch into the faces of as many people as possible.

A persona is a stereotype based on demographic data. While demographic data can be helpful, it’s not useful as a foundation for dialogue. Because demographically similar groups have surprisingly diverse communication habits.

Read also: The Publics in Public Relations

Instead of segmenting our audience based on demographics, we use data to segment publics based on communicative behaviours.

Don’t guess what stereotypes will do; track what real people are doing.

Thank you for reading this article. Please consider supporting my work by sharing it with other PR- and communication professionals. For questions or PR support, contact me via [email protected].

Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwerhttps://www.doctorspin.net/
Jerry Silfwer, alias Doctor Spin, is an awarded senior adviser specialising in public relations and digital strategy. Currently CEO at KIX Index and Spin Factory. Before that, he worked at Kaufmann, Whispr Group, Springtime PR, and Spotlight PR. Based in Stockholm, Sweden.

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