“I’m done with social media.”
Every once in a while, we hear people say things to this effect. I know I’ve heard a variety of reasons, and undoubtedly many more exist. These are some of the more common ones:
- The detox effect that comes with “unplugging,” even for just a little while
- Putting social media out of sight and out of mind frees up our mental faculties
- Potentially massive time savings make time for more productive activities
- Recognizing that social media can bring out the worst in you, and then choosing to avoid it
These reasons are pretty substantial on paper, but I’m not really convinced that quitting social media actually works for any extended period of time without a zealous, unrelenting commitment. Social media isn’t a light switch to simply be turned off.
Why Businesses Can’t Give Up On Social Media
While personal social media use continues to fuel think pieces by the thousand, I don’t think social media ennui extends into the business realm. As I’ve written before, social media grants businesses unparalleled access into the safe personal spaces of consumers. Many business owners tend to think about social media narrowly, and only in terms of the largest platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and maybe a few others). YouTube is also a legitimate social network, and I’ve seen businesses do some really valuable PR and marketing work through Internet forums. Any media in which people can interact—and that would have to be just about everywhere on the Internet—must be considered “social media.” If marketing efforts matter to your business, then your business can NEVER just be done with social media.
Ease of Targeting
Social media marketing holds sway in marketing circles for two key reasons.
- Almost everybody who uses the Internet with any regularity uses social media of some sort. The smart businesses recognize new or niche social media platforms where their targets can be found.
- Because so many people use it, and in so many ways, social media offers potentially the best avenue for targeting specific markets currently available. Even if you have zero Facebook competency, people of all niches congregate somewhere on the Internet. As segments get more and more niche, they become easier and easier to target as long as you can find them. If you find social media difficult, then simply finding your people should concern you more than attempting to go viral.
Done with Social Media?
I still get the sense that aspiring businesses want to be on television—and perhaps in other traditional media—but TV spots involve casting an inefficiently wide net. The old adage holds: if you buy traditional media, you throw away half of your spend (especially with TV). You can target social media and—just as important—you can control your spending as easily as turning a faucet on and off. If you do it right, waste is negligible. Even if you’re not doing it right, you’re still no worse off than with traditional media, and you probably aren’t spending nearly as much.
The “It” Factor
Traditional media still have their places, but the way businesses think about them may be outdated in an increasingly segmented and efficiency-driven world. Let us not even mention cord-cutters.
Perhaps you’ve decided social media is a headache for your business, presenting new rabbit holes that you’d rather not investigate. But the fact remains that social media, in all its varieties, is where “it” is at. Some companies don’t need to do much marketing, but many more do. Giving up on social media entirely means excluding yourself from a lot of potential business. Of all the marketing opportunities you may be considering, this one merits special attention. You should prioritize social media, not trash it. Stick with it, people!
People can say they are “done with social media.” Businesses cannot.