While social media has contributed many great things to marketers, all of the good stuff doesn’t come without its own baggage. We have talked about the good side of social media for marketing a lot on this blog, but we have under-reported on the negative aspects that social media has brought to the marketing industry. Stepping back to think about it, these seven negatives are clearly consequences of the growth of social media as a marketing discipline.
7 Reasons Social Media Is Bad for Marketing
1. Focus on Scale at the Detriment of Relationships - Many people view social media as a way to engage with more people in a faster way than ever before. Yes, information on the social web moves fast, but often at the expense of deeper personal relationships. Marketers, while they can reach customers in new ways and get feedback from them faster than ever before, still aren’t personalizing communications and engagement to the benefit of customers and the organization. Most corporate social media content is too often re-purposed from another channel or vague and not customized to the prospects' preferences in different social channels.
2. Focus on the Wrong Metrics - A fan or a follower isn’t a business objective. Social media has enabled marketers to chase metrics that don’t impact their business. The reason for most of the discussion surrounding social media ROI is caused by measuring the wrong metrics. Reach, leads and sales should be some of the tangible metrics that are measured as part of social media marketing strategies.
3. Time Isn’t Free - One of the big misconceptions is that social media is free. While many tools are free or low cost, they take a substantial amount of time to learn and use. Time isn’t free. Many marketing departments are becoming overloaded or passing off social media to interns because they underestimate the time it takes to learn and implement.
4. Another Organization Silo - Social media should be a catalyst for integration, but instead it has caused further silos in too many organizations. Instead of becoming a component of every department within a company, social media is now another group under the marketing umbrella and sits in a silo away from other disciplines like customer service and product development where it could be an important factor for organizational improvement.
5. More Noise Than Ever Before - Social media has reduced the cost of sharing information with others to practically zero. Because information sharing is now so simple, the web is getting continuously crowded with more and more information that is spam or irrelevant. All of this noise makes it harder to reach target prospects and for messages to resonate.
6. Online Gluttony - Now that online communication can be so easy and scalable, many marketers are going over-board with detriment to their marketing goals. This means that instead of having the right blend of online and offline marketing activities, some marketers are placing most or all of their attention online. While online is an important part of marketing, offline events and marketing still drive results and support important sales and marketing relationships.
7. Lack of Change - Social media has been a catalyst of change for the way millions of people communicate. Unfortunately, most marketers haven’t changed. The content marketers are putting into social media is the same boring and legally reviewed sound bites that people have tuned-out on TV and in print. Marketers are doing the same thing and expecting to get different results. Social media is not driving this change, but just enabling marketers to do bad marketing easier.
Do you agree? In what ways do you think social media is bad for marketing?