When Social Media is NOT Good for your Business

In Social Media how to I wrote about achieving a return on investment using these websites.

It must have triggered Roger Rae to write this great guest post below about the limitations of this phenomena.

It’s a great warning for every Internet marketer not to make these mistakes.
Here goes.

When Social Media is not good for your business

Every internet marketer and online business owner is talking about the usefulness of social media these days.

Some of them have even termed social media as the future of online marketing. Well they are partially correct.

Social media grew at the staggering rate in 2009 and continuously growing. According to a study on the impact of these kind of sites on the consumer behavior, more than 90% of buyers visit social media websites before buying anything and 50% of them take decisions under the influence of information they get from these websites.

So, does that mean that Social media is good for every business? Or, every kind of business can generate leads from these websites? Unfortunately, the answer is NO. Like every other technology, Social media has its own limitations too.

social media
Photo Credit: Stephan King

Here are the five situations when Social media is not good for your business.

  1. Too Focused Niche
    The most important thing to do to get successful in social media is to identify your target audience and then to develop relationship with them.
    But if your niche is too focused and your product caters the needs of only a specific group of people then social media can’t help you a lot. Well you can still use these websites to increase the awareness about your products and brand but then your main objective should be sharing information and not generating sales.

  2. Trying hard to sell
    Social media is not a market where you can start selling your products and services moments after creating your account.
    It’s a platform where you can develop relationships with your target audience. It’s a platform where you can listen what your target audience thinks about your products and your industry.
    It’s a platform where you can listen what your audience wants and then create customized products tailored to their requirements.
    So, if you are joining social media only to boast about your products and not for building relationships, then it’s not worth it.

  3. Overcautious nature
    Most of the social media users prefer transparency and openness. They use these websites because they can easily express their opinions here about anything and everything.
    If you are the type of company that does not like transparency or where the person managing social accounts has to consult with upper management or legal department every time before sharing anything on social media websites. Then your business is not a good fit for social media.

  4. Looking for quick results
    Time and again, we see companies that create accounts on social media websites and then sit back and start waiting for leads and sales.
    Sorry, Social media don’t work in this way.

    Promoting anything on social media is a process which takes time and a lot of time. Consider social media like watering a plant. You’ve to water it for months to get fruits from it. If you want quick results then there is nothing for you in social media world.

  5. Don’t have enough resources
    Well, many companies think that social media is just about creating accounts on social networking sites which is WRONG. Like everywhere else, you need to have a social media strategy for promoting your business and enough resources to execute that strategy successfully. Social media should not be interpreted as Twitter or Facebook, it is what you can accomplish from these websites.

  6. Roger Rae is working for Fortepromo Promotional Products , a Pomotional Flashlights company based in Minnesota.

    Case again.
    So, what’s your opinion?
    Post your comments on how to use social media below.

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20 thoughts on “When Social Media is NOT Good for your Business

  1. Toronto Movers says:

    I’ve heard it said that social media can work for every business (by a social media authority) but that is simply not true. If sites like facebook and twitter are not monitored at least daily, negative comments can go unanswered for days giving a double whammy effect – looks bad for your business and looks like you don’t care.

    I really think some businesses need to stick to advertising or word of mouth and allow themselves to concentrate on what they do best.

  2. mark says:

    I agree that Social networking sites were built for the purpose of people interacting. I think that what they have become is an advertising tool. I am on Facebook and I get probably 10 friends a month that try to add me that are fake accounts just for advertising. I think it might be because of this that people are less responsive to businesses.

  3. Dan says:

    Definitely not all that’s good for a business will work for you too, so indeed social media is a tool that needs to be adjusted to the needs of your business.

  4. I think the part that most people did not consider is the resources. Starting a social media promotion of your product is equivalent to create another platform beside your website to promote your business.

    This is not a set and forget site and it does require constant updates and followup to be effective.

  5. Mr Phuket says:

    I am all new to social websites marketing but I thought you had some good points which seem to make sense. Most of what I read in this topic sound to me as a hype that I think will soon end, but it also sound as if this kind of marketing really can be great for some businesses.

  6. Jason Acidre says:

    Constant interaction, that’s the key to a successful social media campaign. More often than not, marketers are mislead in advertising their products directly on media sites, since it is clearly visible and easily exposed to those who follows them or users listed on their fans or friends list. But that’s where they usually get pummeled, since it’s now mostly ignored by users, especially those who you don’t really interact with. Not unless you have something really really really interesting to share.

  7. Great reading. One simple word for marketer. You have to be social when you are into it and should know you have to be active to get some proactive result.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Everything you say is true and it reminds me of what I am doing right and wrong. I have been to concerned with just selling my products that I have not put my time and focus on building relationships with people that I meet through social media. Good Stuff.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Everything you say is true and it reminds me of what I am doing right and wrong. I have been to concerned with just selling my products that I have not put my time and focus on building relationships with people that I meet through social media. Good Stuff.z

  10. Karl Kelman says:

    The fundamental purpose of a business website is to inform customers and generate sales. That’s what customers expect when they go to the website. In fact, I’m often disappointed when a website doesn’t try to “close the sale” by providing me with the information I need to make a buying decision and large links that speed me through checkout.

    In contrast, social media sites are, well, designed for people being social. However, many business managers and owners with little personal interest in social media have been bombarded with propaganda about how they need to be involved with social media. So, they get halfway involved, which doesn’t sell anything and leaves a poor impression. As one of the earlier comments mentioned, it’s not a “set and forget” undertaking.

  11. Rob says:

    With everyone saying “you’ve got to do social media!”, it’s nice to see the reasons why it may not be the right thing for your business. My wife and I started an e-commerce store less than a year ago, and we haven’t done any social media, and sometimes we wonder if we should have done so already. But this post makes it’s really clear… it takes time to do it right. We plan to start when we have the resources to do a good job and make it a revenue source instead of a source of frustration.

  12. Case Stevens says:

    Thanks Glyn. Sometimes somebody has to say it! 🙂

  13. Anonymous says:

    Most businesses having business website use the social media expecting to share something about their product. Furthermore, the impact might not be that huge since it also depends on the industry that you’re at but you’ll be able to create a conversation where visitors and marketer can have an interaction of words.

  14. Ronnell says:

    Roger you make some good points…Social media marketing must be very targeted. You need an understanding of what it is and what you need to do. Social= socialize…so you have a point there. I know one thing we all agree about is it takes time.

  15. Good article thanks.

    I have found twitter to be of some success for my blog as my niche is somewhat concentrated and most of my followers are in the industry.

    In relation to your point 4, I was able to generate a lot of ‘followers’ quite fast initially, but it took quite some time for my followers to become engaged in what I had to say.

    Take care


  16. Anonymous says:

    personally I have clicked on a link to a site I’ve seen on Facebook. I think as long as people take the TIME to do it correctly, AND depending on what their niche is, it could be very effective. The biggest problem I find is taking the time to keep up on it properly.

  17. Anonymous says:

    It’s like going to a party where you know a friend who knows what you do…This friend will introduce you to all of his friends and he will tell them what you do.You don’t have to sell anything…just go with the flow.That’s how social media is. You find a friend online who has other friends. Now,you let the friend introduce you to his friends. Which will in turn benefit you if you be patient…I hope this makes sense.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Yes totally right. Im glad you brought up the negatives. I always come across an argument with some of my friends in using social media because I personally think it is a waste of time. Most members in social media are just fond of games, posting comments and thats it. No pure business, if there is, they don’t mind most of the time.

  19. Daniel Sharkov says:

    Social media sites, such as Digg and Stumbleupon can be a great way to generate thousands of visitors to your site, but getting sales is a bit more difficult. A friend of mine, who is an affiliate marketer from around two years tried those type of sites and he was far from satisfied. Although there were sales, the effectiveness was very low. It is just not as easy as it sounds.

  20. Michael says:

    One area that social media has been beneficial for the traditional internet marketing approach is the inbox.

    People are spending more time in their inbox due to notification messages from social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, meaning there is more opportunity for your email marketing messages to be opened. There are more people online, more messages, a lot more noise – it’s going to take a lot more effort to get the same results as once was.

    As many of the contributors to this post have said the main issue with social media is finding the time to monitor the profiles you have set up, but many brands have made social media work for them, I guess it’s knowing what you want to do with it.

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