We have all heard of the amazing success stories that other businesses have told about how social media is the reason they are successful and thrive over their competition. While some businesses might be profiting, others could be hurting themselves with it. Social media isn’t all happy times and loads of money.
There are certain aspects that could seriously hurt a business or drain all of their resources without giving anything back. While we would all love to just hop on board the social media train and start raking in cash, it doesn’t work that way. Here are 6 reasons why social media won’t save your business.
The biggest part of social media is that there are other companies on it, and they have been doing this for years. They know what to expect, how to overcome any problems, and can manipulate social media to their advantage. I’m not saying that you won’t be able to learn the ins and outs of social media just as they did, I’m just saying that even if you do, you will still need to deal with your competition. Since you are just getting into the game, they are holding the entire market share of social media’s potential customers. You are going to need to figure out ways to take some of the market to make social media worth your while.
So, let’s say that you have been studying a lot about social media marketing and how to implement it into your strategies, that is all good, but why would your audience want to use your company over your competitors? After all, they probably have been dealing with another company the entire time, so they have more loyalty, trust, and history with them. You have a long road ahead of you to try and steal away customers from other established companies.
When someone that hasn’t really been into social media to long reads about those success stories told by other businesses, they always seem to think that just because there are billions of people on social media sites, that they will be able to get money off of it quickly. This is definitely not the case. A proper social media marketing campaign requires a lot of time before it even shows a little beneficial improvements. It isn’t something that you are able to rely on to make sales or give leads. It is something you use to help increase your overall visibility, and hope that people will be attracted to your website through the content you post and other strategies that you implement.
Usually it takes a few months just to see a big improvement on the amount of people following your profiles. Then it can take a few more months to even get those people involved with your business and convince them to visit your website. People use social media to interact and consume content. Do they eventually end up buying stuff? Yes, but that doesn’t mean they are on and ready to buy. It takes a lot of time and work to introduce them to your business, provide them with enough information to get them interested in your products or services, then after all of that, you have to convince them to actually purchase from you. It isn’t a short or simple process at all.
Another reason your business won’t be able to rely on social media is because of the amount of work it takes to even keep up with everything. You will need to create content, post content on a regular basis, keep your audience engaged, try to attract new viewers, interact with everyone, and on top of that all, implement your actually marketing strategy to convince these people to buy from you. We are not talking about how many months it will take for social media to be profitable, we are just talking about how many man hours you will have to invest per day to have a chance at making it successful. Even after it is all said and done, social media isn’t a guaranteed way to increase your revenue. After a year of hard work and hiring people to manage your campaign, you could still not be seeing any profits from it whatsoever.
Communicating with your audience alone will take you more hours that you will care to spend. The hard part is, the more people that you attract, the more time you will need to spend talking to them. So at first, when you only have 1 or 2 followers, it might not seem like such a bad time. Just wait until you have over 1000 active followers.
If you have a healthy budget to spend on your campaign, you might decide to hire a few people to run the whole campaign for you. This is usually what every other successful business does, because it is almost impossible for just 1 person to handle a successful social media presence. If your business is in a bad situation and you can seem to find any extra funds to allocate towards social media, you are going to be trying to manage the whole thing by yourself. Like I just stated, it can be nearly impossible. You might be able to do it, but be prepared to spend the majority of your time trying to deal with social media stuff.
Some businesses try to use the good old fashion marketing technique of throwing as much money as they possibly can at social media in hopes that it will bring back some profits. While there are plenty of advertisements and paid services on social media sites, don’t expect them to turn your business around. There are a couple different reasons for this.
First, people’s loyalty and trust cannot be purchased that easily. They might see your Ad and then click on it, but in the end, they will probably just purchase from another company that they are more familiar with. Sure, you might get a few sales here and there, but you will be spending much more money putting up the Ads than you will be making back. Making customers over social media isn’t about just presenting your products or services, it is about making a connection with those people and overtime gaining their trust and allowing them to make the decision to purchase from you. After a lot of time and effort, more and more people become attracted to you.
Another reason is going to be that social media users are already used to advertisement. A good amount of people have started using ad blocker programs so they no longer have to deal with advertisements, but even if they don’t use those programs, they will usually just ignore them. The advertisements are usually in the same places on the websites, so users know exactly where to focus their eyes for the content they want to see. The more exposed they are to advertisements, the less effective those advertisements become.
Most businesses will associate social media with good branding strategies and getting more visibility and recognition. While this can be true, it can go both ways. There have been plenty companies that have been derailed completely due to social media and its ways of spreading bad news fast. The fact that people are able to share anything they want with everyone they know at the touch of a button can make a bad review or bad customer experience spread like wildfire. Once that happens there is very little we can do to contain it or counter act it.
A great example of this was when McDonalds had a branding disaster when customers were sharing their bad experiences on twitter with the hash tag #McDStories. It become extremely popular and people all over the world started talking about bad experiences they had at one of their establishments while always using the #McDStories. So anyone that wanted to check on new stories posted, would just need to type in that hash tag and they would be able to read all about it. This was a major brand that has incredible amounts of resources and they were still affected. What course of action would you have if you all of the sudden started to get a lot of bad branding issues?
People are very strict with their companies nowadays, if you provide bad customer experiences, bad content, accidentally offend anyone, and anything else, you are risking your entire company’s image. You will need to make sure that everything you do on your social media campaigns are ok and won’t get any bad reviews.
You will eventually run into those internet users that have no shame and will just put you down in every which way, just because they can and no one knows who they are. Social media can attract some very bad personalities that you will need to deal with in a professional manner. Since social media allows people to say anything they want without need to be accountable for it and without needing to feel guilty, you will see some horrible things being said. Whether it is about your business or maybe someone else’s comment, either way it doesn’t give your company a good impression to other viewers. Although most other people will understand that it isn’t your company that endorses this behavior, there is little you can do about it.
Some social media sites allow you to block users, but sometimes this can just fuel the fire. Since they are able to just make another social media account for free, if they are trying to get on your nerves, you will see them right back as a different user making even more of a scene. Now, the real threat of people like this is when multiple people get together and start to form a mob. I’m sure you have heard of mob mentality, well that term can definitely be associated with social media. As soon as a situation gets bigger and multiple people are involved, it attracts more and more people which could end up just snowballing your company down. The #McDStories can fit into this example as well. It just started out as one person, but then as soon as a few other caught on… it became such a large part of McDonald’s brand.
In conclusion, these 6 reasons should be enough for you to think twice before using social media as a tool to try and save your business. While it can be good for certain businesses that have time and money, yours might not be. It would probably be much better to use your time and effort on other strategies that can be much more effective.