When Companies Shouldn’t Use Social Media: Top 3 Excuses that Will Simply Backfire
Posted by Amy Drill
I’ve seen a great deal of articles, blogs, and conversations out there surrounding the concept of whether or not social media is right for businesses. There are some very poignant reasons to get involved, engage, and listen. The question of whether businesses should think about engaging in social media activities is an easy one to answer. Every business should certainly consider it, but should definitely weigh the pros and cons and see if it is the right fit for their organization.
Here’s a list of reasons why a company shouldn’t jump right out there and start tweeting or building that fan page:
- Everyone’s doing it. If everyone jumped off a bridge, would you? Seems a little silly to put it in the same perspective as a lecture from Mom and Dad, but when you break it down – is it that drastically different? Successful businesses hardly make strategic decisions based upon the notion that “everyone else is doing it, so we should.” You shouldn’t look at or operate your business as if it were in a vacuum. Some things just make good business sense, and some things don’t. You need to evaluate which one of those things social media is to your specific business.
- Our competition is doing it. Although this sounds like a far better reason than “everyone’s doing it,” it still could be the wrong answer for businesses. Is your competition doing it, and doing it well? Are they floundering around without a clear direction or purpose, offering you an opportunity to seize? Maybe there is a reason they are failing – but can you identify what that is and correct so as to not repeat?
- We have people here who use social media, so they could totally do that for the business too. Whoa, whoa there. Personal use of social media and social networking sites can be far different terrain than using it for business purposes. Take it from someone who’s seen the short-end of where that line blurs. Just because you have an employee (or employees) who seem well versed in posting Facebook status updates on what they’re doing that weekend or sending out tweets about the latest and greatest iPhone apps, doesn’t mean they are qualified to just transition into engaging with customers via the same tools. There’s a certain etiquette that can be involved that must be understood before jumping in with both feet.
All in all, I strongly encourage businesses of all forms to engage in some kind of social media activities to supplement or enhance their business. My premise is that the reasons outlined above aren’t the justification that you should be using when making that pitch to upper management. The “me too” mentality might have worked for getting curfew extended another hour, but doesn’t always work here.