piecesIf you listen to the pitches and hype, social media & networking can solve all the problems of your company’s internet presence; from search engine placement to connecting to new customers & clients.  Simply get an account at Twitter, Facebook and MySpace and your worries are over.  It’s a magic bullet and no cost or effort  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of several of the social media outlets and I do think that they have some serious, productive uses for the enterprise users, but there are limits and misconceptions that get glossed over far too often.

3) Social Media is a Link-Building Machine That Will Catapult My Web Site to Epic Proportion in Search Engines

Between the likes of “no follow” attributes on external links  and automatic URL-shortening services,  many social media services are seriously underpowered in terms of link-building for Search Engine Optimization purpose.  Take heart though, these links can still drive traffic to your site and there is good news from Google… they’ll soon begin indexing the contents of Twitter.

2) Social Media Will Dramatically Raise Awareness & Interest About My Business

There is a fine but important line between the Message and the Signal.  There’s a lot of Signal out there, so much so that its easy for any Message, regardless of how good, to get lost.  The biggest advantage of a social network (vast numbers, connected to one another) is also your worst enemy.  There is a tremendous amount of data out there, from the trivial to the competitive.  Are you going to get involved in a shouting contest with 150 million people?

1) Social Media is an Effortless Process to Increase My Online Presence

And this sums it all up.  For some reason people believe that setting up shop on the far-flung corner of each of the major social networks is all they have to do.   This is the equivalent buying some radio time only to say “Uhm hey there.”   Social media is just that, a media.  What you put out into it will ultimately determine how effective your presence there will be.  This means you will have to create compelling, quality content and actively cultivate a real relationship with those that do respond to your presence.   In short, it’s a Marketing and Networking effort. The big difference is you have unprecedented ACCESS to a means of distribution.

Sorry, no magic bullets.