Unfortunately, marketers are guilty of getting it all wrong with social media more often than not because they view it as an easy way of making money. The reality is, social media may give you greater potential access to customers but you still have to make a supreme effort to get them to part with their money. Social media is causing marketers to relinquish their work ethic to the detriment of their sales. Below are 5 compelling reasons why social media is in fact bad for marketing.
1. Loss of Control
The thing about social media is that anyone can say anything at anytime. Give someone a Twitter or Facebook account and there is no telling what will happen. The power is almost entirely with the consumer now and if even a single person has something negative to say about your company, it could be seen by thousands of people in minutes. A rush of blood to the head on your part in the form of a cutting rebuttal could spell the end of your company! Seriously, make a rude or nasty comment in anger in reply to a negative statement about your company and watch all your followers disappear. You may be able to control your product but you can’t do anything about rogue consumers!
The thing about social media is that it’s not exactly a novel way to gain attention these days. You will be competing with hundreds if not thousands of companies for customers. This means you have to really raise the bar in order to stand out. For many companies, this involves time, expense and a great deal of stress with no guarantee of a reward. Some companies pour heart and soul into social media marketing only to find that they receive little or no reward in what is a classic case of putting all their eggs in one basket.
3. Limited Audience
This seems to be an incredible and false statement when you consider the amount of people that use social media but it is true. Of all the people you try to contact and add as ‘friends’, ‘followers’ or community page members, how many are really interested in paying money for your product? Social media networks are the haunt of perpetually bored individuals that will only spend time looking at what your company has to offer because they have nothing better to do.
It is a kick to the ego but you’re not likely to make major sales such as a car or high definition television on social media sites. Additionally, social media is not much use for business to business companies. Business sales depend on communications with high level executives and no matter what the media says, few members of any company’s hierarchy have time to waste on social media.
4. Low Quality Communication
Social media marketing is so congested and rapid that businesses feel compelled to fire off message after message in a bid to get heard in a crowded arena. This inevitably leads to a slew of low quality messages that are extremely ineffective. Sending numerous tweets on Twitter or messages on Facebook will do little for your company’s reputation as most of this communication will be transparent attempts at making sales. Ideally, you should send powerful messages that stir the emotions of your prospects. Marketing rule #1: Consumers purchase on emotion and justify with logic. However, few companies using social media marketing create such messages because they don’t have the time.
5. Different Medium, Same Message
Although social media should change the face of marketing, it appears as if many companies still use the same tired sound bites and strategies that are part and parcel of old-fashioned television and newspapers. The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect different results so this means a large proportion of companies are absolutely crazy! The very reason why social media marketing is embraced is because it is supposed to offer something different to the old norm but the actual marketing message delivered by companies has hardly changed in decades.
While the above reasons suggest that you should not enter social media marketing, that is not the point of the article. Its purpose is to show the flaws involved in this form of marketing. It can still be a very effective tool but only when used correctly. By all means become involved in social media marketing but do not base your entire marketing campaign around it or else you could be in for an unpleasant surprise.