Why Social Media is Not For Business – Seven Reasons

One of the business fads of today is to use social media sites, directly or indirectly, to advertise, boost link numbers and PageRank, and increase sales. I’m not here to argue that businesses have no place on social media sites, but there are reasons to avoid them if used to generate business.

(1) Most of the sites are opposed in policy and practice to business promotion. Imagine how you feel when you get a sales call in the middle of dinner conversation, or worse, when someone crashes your dinner time to try to sell you something. It is the same with social media chats that are interrupted by sales pitches.

(2) Your viewers’ demographics often make most of them improbable candidates for what you want to promote. If visits to your site rarely translate into subscriptions and sales, this may be why. People use social media sites for their own agendas, and these are not related to your business … unless in individual cases you find your business can solve their problem.

(3) The social media chat topics usually have no relevance to your business and conversely (save for certain types of businesses, perhaps such as dating services).

(4) Traffic generated may be fadish or sensation-driven. Once the fad or sensation is over, traffic stops. And if the sensation is largely irrelevant to your business, probably the traffic is largely unqualified for your business.

(5) Using social media sites effectively takes a lot of work consistently. If you are to engage in conversations and develop relationships properly, most of the time and energy spent will probably be on matters irrelevant to your business. And you can easily lose parties in whom you have invested time and energy, whether you say something offensive once or they leave for reasons entirely their own.

(6) Search engines do not value links to your site from social media sites.

(7) Depending on the drift of conversation, you may run out of ideas and things to say. And you have no control over what complainers and hecklers say.

Of course, there are success stories of business people who have done well using social media for business, but this is because they

have solved or minimized the difficulties,
are gifted in the task,
put in the work developing relationships, and/or
uniquely provide what a lot of people want.

And some businesses lend themselves to social media more than others.

In any event, businesses seeking to use social media for business purposes would do well to keep the above warnings in mind. There are other forms of forms of online marketing that may be tackled first.