“Social Media is the answer” has become a regular phrase. The popular perception lately is that you should be using Social Media. While I’m all for you exposing yourself using this medium, it doesn’t replace everything else.
Here are my 10 reasons why you should NOT use Social Media
1. Having a large following turns into business leads.
The rise of Social Media disproved a lot of the known laws of traditional marketing and advertising. The concept that you are likely to build a paying customer base if a lot of people are talking about you is not true. However, being part of the conversation works. If you think you will bombard the web with irrelevant and unwanted messaging, this won’t change a thing for you.
2. You will follow a lot of people on Twitter and hope a lot of them are listening.
The web and spammers have taught us that noise does not amount to good content.
3. You want to make small talk in a public domain.
Nothing is more annoying than 2 people using a platform to exchange information that no one else is remotely interested in, this is sufficient grounds to have your bandwidth terminated. Some popular names have started using Social Media sites and talk about parties or who they saw, which has no relevance to the people using the same platform.
4. You take ownership of the site.
The other day, while talking to a friend of mine, I found myself saying certain people should be taught the usage of Social Media. Right then, it became evident that I shouldn’t be the content they send me. We use media for different reasons and if they don’t send or write what’s relevant for me I should reject it.
5. Because of the Digital v/s Print Media debate you think Digital Media has taken over.
Print media might have lost its traction, but the majority of South Africans still read print and it is arguable that the rest of the world has more access to the internet than print. As much as we may think traditional media has lost its significance most people believe and reference newspapers than social media sites. If you think it replaces traditional media, it hasn’t yet.
6. You think it’s easy to convince the CEO of a corporate company that your Facebook group will give them the needed exposure.
Senior managers and CEOs of large conglomerates still believe in traditional business ethic with its known laws and restrictions. Very little can be proven about the people who follow you on Facebook and more so with the tech-savvy individuals. The more technologically inclined know firsthand why you cannot build a campaign using the net exlcusively.
7. You think it replaces having a thoroughly thought out marketing plan.
8. Everyone is using it, where else are people lately?
How about out there doing their own things? An estimated 7 out 10 South Africans (based on whom I’ve spoken to) don’t have a clue what Web 2.0 is.
9. You think everyone is using it, if not you strongly suggest they do.
Not everyone ‘has’ to use social media, especially if the reason is for them to find you.
10. You think it makes you an authority.
If you think because you have a blog, website, Twitter account, 1000 friends on Facebook and a website you are suddenly more interesting and are a reliable source. You are not.
Understanding that social media and the web in general act as a support system to other things you are doing to give value, it does not eliminate connecting with clients and making contact outside this space.