Guest post by Jessica Goulding -- With social media on the rise the past few years, there has been a lot of speculation surrounding its existence, effectiveness and lifespan. When websites like Blogger, MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube first started coming around, some users were skeptical. Why would people put what they were doing or how they were feeling online? Who was really going to read it and what purpose did it serve? A few years later, users became more inclined to share data and their lives online, yet it was still seen as a “young person thing” to be on these networks and participating. We now see people of all ages utilizing these networks and sharing multiple times throughout the day.

First myth, “My customers aren’t on these networks, so that’s worthless to me.” To limit your brand to a certain demographic that may not be using social media is skipping out on an opportunity to capture vital information. Why not grow your brand and allow consumers to interact with you? You can only gain knowledge and further insight into how you are seen by your customers.

Another myth, “I can’t measure ROI on this, why should I use it?” While it is challenging to measure the exact worth of your brand being in social media; you are gaining access to a large amount of information that you would’ve had to pay for in the past. You now have access to customer habits outside of your brand, and the opportunity to establish a connection you couldn’t have done before outside of social media. Essentially all that traditional Market Research that had to happen in the past is now available if you just pay attention and interact with your consumers online.

Consumers have a heightened awareness of how companies interact with their customers and becoming increasingly selective of who gets their business. Truth be told, there are a lot more than these two myths out there that companies tell themselves. If you aren’t allowing your customers to interact with you on these platforms, you’re constricting your opportunity for growth.  Every company should be utilizing what tools they have available to them in this current space. This is the age of knowledge and sharing and it’s time to get on board.

Jessica  Goulding has 9 years of Marketing experience and has primarily worked in hospitality as well as the financial service industry. She has recently immersed herself into the technology field and is constantly learning new aspects of it all. In her spare time she enjoys hiking with her dogs and enjoying the great outdoors of Colorado.