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Social media is not all good

Like it or not, social media is here and is a major part of our society.

I think it is important that we all have some understanding of social media so we can make informed choices about participating or not.

Unlike some, I don’t think every business MUST be on social media to survive or thrive. Although it is becoming more important as more people expect it.

Mark Schaefer recently posted about social media sewage… and hope. He lists a number of the negatives social media (including blogging) has brought with it – I totally agree that leaving heaps of spam comments in a blog, disreputable SEO approaches and practices, and stealing people’s content are unacceptable behaviours and I don’t understand how people can live with such actions.

I haven’t had Marks ‘hope’ experience but I still believe in sharing information and believe social media has a part to play in my business.

mix of marketing methods

Social media is just one form of marketing

It got me thinking that perhaps some business people need to hear that it’s ok to not be on social media, that it isn’t the cure to all business woes nor is it perfect.

So here are some reasons against using social media which you can weigh up against the advantages when making your decision.

  1. it takes time and patience. You’re unlikely to see more sales or leads in the short term, and it takes time to put up some content (especially if you put thought into it and try adding value to your community)
  2. you open yourself up to more spam, malware and virus exposure, scam invitations and other undesirable people
  3. if your audience isn’t interested in social media, your efforts will go to waste – be sure to only use media your audience uses
  4. if you just want to advertise, rather than share information and build relationships, your presence on social media is probably a waste of everyone’s time
  5. social media gives you the opportunity to speak your mind and get on your soapbox. Great for people wanting to exercise their freedom of speech, not always so good for a business spokesperson – if you can’t moderate your words to suit your business brand, social media may be a little risky
  6. social media is about communication – if you aren’t interested in having a two-way conversation, a static website may be more your style
  7. the message you write is critical to your social media success so if writing and communicating your thoughts is a challenge, consider your social media strategy carefully – short tweets may work better than long blog posts, a ghost writer could help with blogging and videos for You Tube may be your best option
If you are already using social media, have you thought about how it is benefiting you compared to what it is costing you? Is it doing the job you ‘hired’ it for, another job or is it just costing you?

               

* Image courtesy of 123rf

4 Responses to Social media is not all good

  • Carol Jones says:

    TASH,

    Greetings from rural Australia.

    Superb. To the point. Spot on. Will think of more superlatives later.

    I wrote my own post this week about my own disenchantment with the antisocial behaviour I observe on social media. Especially those inflammatory and provocative comments left by that brave person, Anonymous.

    I put it on hold because I thought I was out of step with the rest of the online world.

    Until I read the post you link to written by Mark W Schaefer, Social media sewage . . . and hope.

    My post is still in its online drawer. Still thinking . . .

    You’re to be commended for your opinion about the suitability of being on social media, which I’ve copied and pasted below.

    “It got me thinking that perhaps some business people need to hear that it’s ok to not be on social media, that it isn’t the cure to all business woes nor is it perfect.”

    I’m of the same opinion that social media isn’t for everyone. And I’ve always questioned my own participation in Facebook and admit to dragging my heels on that platform.

    You do a splendid job as a voice for both the pro and anti-social media brigade. In the outside lane, away from the noise of those who choose to follow rather than think for themselves.

    Great post, Tash. Definitely for thinkers only!

    Best wishes and take care,

    Carol

    Carol Jones
    Director
    Interface Pty Ltd
    Designers of The Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover
    http://www.InterfaceAustralia.com

    Ironing Diva’s stories are at http://bit.ly/TheIroningDiva

    • tashword says:

      Thank you Carol – it’s a lovely comment and I really appreciate it. Meeting people like you is one of the definite pluses of social media.

      It is sad that so many people abuse systems that can do so much good but I like to think they are just a vocal minority.

      I am finding Twitter easier to grasp for business, too, maybe because it can be done so quickly and has less expectations of lengthy replies.

  • tashword says:

    Following on from the idea of businesses not having tone on social media, it is interesting to read that Hugh MacLeod is leaving social media to concentrate on providing quality blog content. He wants to focus his time in a place where he and he alone owns the content but many people responded to him with the advantage of using social media to drive traffic to his blog – both seem valid arguments to me.

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