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It can be hard to keep up to date on what's really going on with social media. As a result, myths about social media persist and prevent marketers from fully utilizing it as a tool. The Hubspot blog takes a look at 20 common social media myths and explains why they're false.

"My customers aren't on social media."
Facebook has a billion users, Twitter has 170 million users, Google+ has 100 millions. Those are the biggies, but many other social networks have millions of users.

"Social media is awesome! Join every network right now!"
Research social networks and identify which ones will yield the best marketing results.

"Google+ is dumb."
Posts from Google+ are being indexed in the SERPs, and authors' Google+ profiles are showing up next to those results and improving clickthrough rates on listings.

"Pinterest is only for B2C organizations."
Brands like GE, Microsoft, Econsultancy have gotten value out of Pinterest.

"I should only try to get fans and followers that will become customers."
A large social reach can improve your clout and your SEO.

"Social media is a M-F gig."
People use social media all week, so you may find benefit with contra-competitive timing.

"If my friends and family Like every update, my social presence will rock."
You need a variety of people interacting with your content to grow your reach and to show up in users' news feeds.

"I have to respond to social activity immediately."
Timely response rather than immediate response is appropriate, except for support inquiries.

"Social media is all about engaging conversation."
Valuable, lead generation content doesn't necessarily have to stimulate conversation.

"Social media marketing activity doesn't drive bottom line results."
You can actually generate value beyond just engagement and brand equity from social media.

"Do NOT get personal."
Don't be afraid to show that there are people behind your company.

"Hashtags are wicked important."
Hashtags join together common conversation threads but aren't a marketing necessity.

"Social media monitoring takes forever."
Social media monitoring software can reduce the amount of time you spend on social media to about 30 minutes a day.

"Your social media manager should be really young, they're the only ones who get it."
Being good at social media marketing has nothing to do with age. Find someone creative and analytically minded.

"Social media is only for young people."
Forty percent of Facebook users are over 35 and 52% of 55-64 year old Internet users have joined a social network.

"Social media is just a "get found" channel."
Social media does more than drive traffic.

"I don't have enough content to feed the beast."
Repurpose content or use evergreen content.

"Social media gives people a venue to publicly bash my company."
The Internet already provides that venue. Staying off social media is no protection.

"Social media is too fluffy to have solid metrics around."
You can calculate things like how much traffic social media drives to your website, how many leads social media generates, how many of those leads become customers, and even average cost-per-lead and customer.

"Social media is free marketing."
Most is free to join, but a resource investment.

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TJ Shroat

Written by TJ Shroat