Welcome to the first edition of our brand new weekly blog series, Marketing Myths. Each week’s installment of Marketing Myths will aim to bust a commonly held belief about marketing. Last week, we busted the “What Works Today Will Work Tomorrow” myth.

This week’s myth = Be More Social

When new trends emerge, there is a tendency in the marketing world to overreact to them. See QR codes as an example.

Marketers do themselves no favors by adapting new technology before consumers do.

In the early days of social media, the same phenomenon took place. Businesses decided that everything they did before no longer mattered, that social media was the way of the future, and they needed to do everything they could do to get involved.

This was not necessarily the wrong idea. But there was no strategy to it. Companies joined social media for the sake of joining. Nobody had any idea how to incorporate it into existing business practices to add value to the brand and its customers.

Now, more than a decade on, many companies still haven’t recovered. And a common myth abounds, that we need to incorporate social media into everything we do; that the most social companies out there are the most likely to succeed.

The truth is, the companies that succeed with social are the ones that have thought long and hard about how social fits into their strategy. Social media is not a channel on its own. Rather, it is a tool, a platform that can be used as a part of larger processes or campaigns.

For some companies, that means doing more with social media. For others, it means doing less.

Don’t approach social without a clear plan. If it doesn’t make sense to incorporate social media, don’t. Ignore the pressure from marketing critics telling you that if you’re not on social media you’ll fail. You know your business better than they do.

Stay tuned next week for another myth. If you have a marketing myth you’d like me to bust, add it in the comments below.