1. Facebook is social media (or social media is Facebook)

Yes and No. Facebook only represents a facet of social media presence. Facebook’s ubiquity in many parts of the world makes it a very useful and effective channel to touch and interact with your customers and prospective clients. It is just one of the many channels available for businesses and proprietors.

2. Social media is for consumers not enterprises

Much of social media successes that have been documented are the likes of Nike, Starbucks, and Dell. Targeting consumers enable a brand to attain critical mass in a short amount of time, especially if the brand has already gained recognition in its history.

B2B businesses can benefit from social media too.  However, the channels and tactics used are different.  For example, for community building, a consumer business may make use of community activities like contests, events, and various other social networking activities.

On the other hand, a B2B business making inroads into social media may employ methods such as a corporate blog to position themselves as a thought leader in their specific field or industry, or conducting webinars and podcasts for professional development, industry research and learning about relevant products, services, and even training.

3. Social media is all about technology

No! Definitely not! Technology only provides a platform for social media to take place and be spread at a faster rate. Social media can be something as simple as printing an article and putting it on the notice board and having a community of people writing comments on it and telling their own friends to check out the notice board.

4. Social media is a fad

Social media is only a fad if your business or you jump onto the bandwagon like everyone else, create a Facebook fan page, set up a blog and a Twitter account then just leave it online without activity. How can you build a community of people if you do not engage them?

People are social creatures. We live and breathe to communicate, to share our thoughts and influence others. How can social media be a fad if communities and societies have existed since the beginning of time? Social media in this age has just gone on a different platform, using the technology to “hang out”.

5. I can reach the world through social media

Yes and no. While Facebook, Google, Yahoo and MSN are fairly ubiquitous and far-reaching, these platforms for interaction and relationships still face challenges in markets that are not homogenous.

For example, Facebook is not as relevant in India and Brazil as Orkut is by far one of the most popular sites for social media interaction. In China, Google’s travails have been widely reported and discussed and in latest reports, have decided to redirect all google.cn traffic to google.com.hk.

It is important before any social media campaign to find out about the commonly used social media channels in any specific country before launching a campaign there. Failing which you are definitely putting the cart before the horse.