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Social Media Myths 1: It’s a level playing field

social media playing fieldGoing to spend the rest of this week talking about social media myths because as more companies in Scotland ramp up involvement and interest in social media, it amazes me that some of the old lies are still out there – and being peddled by businesses who should really know better.
And the first of these is the classic “social media makes it a level playing field”
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Money talks

Social media can do many great things but just setting up on Twitter, Foursquare, Facebook, having a blog and so on doesn’t earn you anything. It may show a willingness to engage but the creation isn’t the hard part – it’s the ongoing content, it’s the having the time to curate and create conten, it’s being able to design a nice looking blog, a personalised YouTube page and so on.

And all of that takes time and people and people still like to be paid for their efforts. Yes, you can get lucky and crowdsource your efforts and have help from friendly locals but the odds are that the designer at the big firm hired by the big brands on the big bucks is going to do a better job: their Photoshop skills will be more advanced, the video will look a lot slicker and so on. Their big bucks can go and buy followers – either through blatant buy follower sites or fancy promotions

So yes, while you may be on the same platforms as Coke, Amazon, BP or whatever, the odds are that it’s a totally different experience. To go back to the level playing field argument one of you is Manchester United or Barcelona, the other is Cowdenbeath.

Don’t despair, you can still win

Does that mean you shouldn’t do social media? Heck no, far from it. You can make this work for you. You might be the upstart but that means you’ve got the hunger the big boys don’t. Also, you can react quicker, be more nimble to changes in your market. You can also probably be more authentic with your tone of voice and personality as the larger the company, the harder it is at times for that to come across.

So if you’re a small business, it’s not a level playing field, but what it is, is a playing field where you can find your own strengths and use them.

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