Dare To Share – Conquering 5 Myths About Social Media For Business

Social media is the ultimate equalizer. It gives a voice and a platform to anyone willing to engage.

–Amy Jo Martin

These past months have allowed me to dive deeper into an area I have always been keen to promote: enterprise social media. It is a topic worth exploring because it dictates so much of our daily life. According to AdAge consumers spend over 5,5 hours a day with digital media. Whether you publish posts yourself, read and share them, we are all influenced by the power of social media. It also remains one of the most controversial topics what comes to content sharing. In the foreseeable future, I cannot see that changing. Social media will evolve and eventually ‘enterprise’ will become a larger concept than it is today: an omnipresent, online society. New generations will always change the way a society behaves, digital natives will see it happen.

Exploring some of the social media myths can be helpful if you still procrastinate how to approach social business, or if you manage teams starting their own development.

The 5 social media myths and your benefits in conquering them:

Myth #1:  “Social media is not a serious business tool”

31% of high-growth firms (greater than 20% revenue growth) have a formal employee advocacy program in place for sharing business content (more than double the percentage of all other firms) and 27% of those reported shortened sales cycles. (1) The seriousness is given further weight if we think about the power of an individual: for the first time in the history of influencing anyone with access to online tools has the opportunity to become an influencer, a game-changer, in an international scale. Selecting a media e.g. like LinkedIn (467+ million members) (2) indicates that you are helping your network of professionals to become more productive and successful, providing value to your business relationships. (3) Twitter’s growth has continued to plateau but if you are established with a business account it continues to be a viable tool. Other tools like Instagram and SnapChat create a visual moment in time. They work best for enterprises with a story unfolding in seconds (one example: celebrity-endorsed products). (4)

  • Your benefit: Personal empowerment: You gain a voice in internal and external publications. If you want to influence a positioning of an offer, technology, people & career development, life-work balance or any other topic, enterprise social media is an easy way to connect and start sharing your thoughts and constructive suggestions. You may find many other like-minded people who support your point of view.

Myth #2:  “I do not have anything special to share”

Our professional network consists of people with a decade or a few of experience in the telecommunications and other industries. We have hardworking, successful and valued employees with international networks and experience ranging from complex deployment and program management to transformational leadership. Yet, many feel that they would not have a story or two to share with their peers.

  • Your benefit: Self-branding and development: Through developing your social media presence you gain an opportunity to define your own brand and communication style (5). Your ideas and approach are unique. Why do we win or lose, succeed or fail? What have you learned? Writing, creating visuals and expressing your thoughts is an effective way to develop yourself. As a bonus, you might learn something new about yourself.

Myth #3:  “No one in my network is using social media”

Communication is a two-way street. To make your social media engagement effective, you need to invest the time and effort to create your network, look for topics your contacts and customer segments are interested in. You need to discover which media they are already engaged with. Follow what your contacts are posting, comment and contribute to their content. Personalize your messages for the network, geography, and segment you are networking with. (6)

  • Your benefit: Current information and networking: all social media tools drive for developing people networks. When you prepare for a meeting you are looking for current information about the company and the people you meet. A social business network can give you a quick 10 min snapshot of key contacts, their network, influence, and interests. It gives an opportunity to post current news topics supporting your agenda and show interest in your customer’s online presence.

Myth #4: “I do not have the time to be in Business Social Networks”

Do we ever have the time to learn new communication styles unless we plan and take the time? How about scheduling 20 min per week in your agenda to start with. Time is limited to keep in touch with all of our customers and partners. What happens during projects and RFPs (Request for a Proposal)? We get locked into a few major programs for 6-18+ months and fall out of touch with other customers. Outside our focus area, we have effectively opened the door to competition.

  • Your benefit: Consistent networks with soft-marketing: Through social media tools you can easily keep frequent contact with a large network of customers and prospects. Even if you do not have the opportunity to be in regular face-to-face meetings your network will remember your profile. They know you are interested in sharing current events and business information with them. You will not fall off the radar.

Myth #5: “I do not know how to start. My manager is not in social media either. I don’t know if I can.”

Management culture varies country by country even within the same enterprise. You may find that your managers are not engaged due to e.g. #4: lack of time. Let your management and sponsors know that you are interested in developing in social business. Get their buy-in to include it in your personal development plan. Look for training and mentoring from other colleagues, departments, and peers who are further along using social media engagement. (Examples of free on-line social media classes (7))

  • Connect & share: Read your company’s Social Media Policy and Guidance. Connect with industry partners for training in social business skills. Start by sharing news, company press releases, and topics you are most familiar with. Take the time to learn who you are and reflect on what is happening around you in other business units and outside our company: in the market place, competition, technology, science, news, psychology… Look for inspiration and stay curious.
  • Your benefit: It is all about people: In highly complex, international B2B organizations we will not gain enough time to show the world who we are as professionals and persons through legacy sales engagement. Superb skills and the resilience of global teams in sales, programs, deliveries, operations, etc. remains largely hidden unless the achievements and lessons learned are shared. If we took the time for 30 min a week sharing our knowledge, multiplied by, say, 5’000 people, it would not go unnoticed in our marketplace.

Through Social Media, we have the power to change the world one word at a time. Use it well. Carry your responsibility in the world you create.

–Maria Lehtman

Wishing you all success in social business development and courage to become thought-leaders!

References and more reading:

(1) Tribal Impact: Social Advocacy Benefits to Both Employer and Employee. What’s The Impact On Business Performance

(2) About LinkedIn

(3) LinkedIn: About us. Mission.

(4) Percolate: 10 Essential Social Media Marketing Statistics for 2017

(5) Bryan Kramer: Six Types of a Personal Brand.

(6) Creating a strategy for using LinkedIn for B2B marketing

(7) Buffer Social Blog: 37 Free Marketing and Social Media Classes to Elevate Your Skills Today


Maria Lehtman
Maria Lehtman
MARIA has over 20 years of Sales, Marketing, and Professional Services experience from the international telecommunications and travel industry. Her achievements include successful global Transition, Transformation, and Competency programs in management roles in the the global telecommunication field. She is currently working in International Sales & Marketing department with transversal employee and executive social media engagement development programs. Maria is passionate about digital empowerment and the opportunities it can provide for people around the world. She is a dedicated photographer and digital artist engaged in several creative projects at any given time. She is a compassionate leader, and her mission is to support people in self-transformation and in embracing new skills. Her trademark is her capability to share a smile even during the most challenging circumstances and keep a 'mindfulness'-attitude. Maria’s posts and thoughts represent her own view of the world. See Maria's current publication on Maria is a contributing author to the inspiring book Chaos to Clarity: Sacred Stories of Transformational Change and Crappy to Happy: Sacred Stories of Transformational Joy

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  1. Finally a really serious article on the importance of social media. Congratulations.

    It is truly incomprehensible how even today the importance of these tools can be questioned: the social media architecture not only stimulates the motivations and interests of people, but increases the equality between them, since it is an environment in which everyone can check the contents, create them, enjoy them.
    Through social media we all actively participate in the production of knowledge by realizing that learning (or the stimulus to it) that should be the participatory social process that supports the goals and needs of everyone’s life.

    • Much appreciated, Aldo! I agree, and keeping wider world around us, if we truly keep our eyes open using social media, creates one of the best transversal people tools I have worked with.

  2. Finally a really serious article on the importance of social media. Congratulations.

    It is truly incomprehensible how even today the importance of these tools can be questioned: the social media architecture not only stimulates the motivations and interests of people, but increases the equality between them, since it is an environment in which everyone can check the contents, create them, enjoy them.
    Through social media we all actively participate in the production of knowledge by realizing that learning (or the stimulus to it) that should be the participatory social process that supports the goals and needs of everyone’s life.

  3. What a great article Maria, social media has the greatest data-base of of intellectual minds in business and personel development and if used correctly can change lives, but I still feel that the success of how social media is used (NOT ITS POPULARITY) IS DOWN TO ITS ACCESSIBILITY, DEVELOPMENT, AND MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL, HOW WELL IT IS REGULATED FOR THE BENEFITS OF ITS BUSINESS AND PERSONEL USERS.

    • Thank you very much, Andy! Yes, lots to do on the social front to also protect and serve users in the right way, cater to the different needs for groups, think tanks and collaborators. And as you point out, the requirements differ depending on the user type. Thank you for your insightful comments.

  4. It’s always refreshing to read an article about Social Media that is written by somebody who clearly understands its power, potential, and benefits. I find the articles that bash and condemn Social Media to be very disconcerting as well as terribly misguided. Thank you, Maria

    • Thank you so much, Joel! It is like looking into the mirror – at times, we really do get back what we give. I have had many positive experiences through the business side of social media and found good friends over the networks, great writers like you :).

    • Maria,
      In your case, you give so much to reading audiences.
      The experiences you mentioned from your time on Social Media mirror mine.
      It angers me when people chose to discourage usage or participation in this amazing vehicle that offers something virtually for everyone.
      I get even more angered (for lack of a better adjective) that these naysayers are using Social Media to present their arguments against it which in my book is called being a hypocrite.
      Thank you for your very kind and touching words with respect to my writing.
      This was a great article that was long overdue to be written.
      Please take care and keep the words flowing.

    • Thank you so much for your encouraging words, Joel! Your feedback means much to me. It takes a lot of effort to keep the flag high despite the varying attitudes. It is great to have good peers on this journey that I believe provides a voice for a better world if we keep it true.