4 Reasons You Should Avoid Social Media : Social Media Examiner

social media viewpointsCan ANY company or organization afford NOT to be involved in social media? It’s a fair question and one may argue that it’s a CRITICAL question!

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google Buzz, Foursquare, and others that have just joined the game—and the list goes on and on ad nauseam!

“We already have a website and we get email. Isn’t that enough?”

The words invading our vocabulary are legion… and silly at times: blogs, fans, tweets, diggs, etc. Is this trip really necessary?

PERHAPS NOT. Let’s start by exploring why NOT to participate in social media:

#1. It’s Just a Fad

Pet Rocks, Hula Hoops, Chia Pets, social media. It won’t last. It’s just a flash in the pan. Something new will be showing up soon. Moore’s law (the number of transistors that fit in an integrated circuit doubles every two years) has NOTHING on the changes in social media!

Don’t try to keep up. It can’t be done. By the time you figure out how to do it, it’s already yesterday’s news!

#2. It Takes a Geek

“I never got my VCR to stop flashing 12:00, so how in the world can I learn this stuff?”

So much to learn, so little time. Even for those from the newer generations, the technology can be dizzying. This may work for Jimmy Neutron and Boy Genius, but not for most of us!

#3. It’s a Digital Black Hole

Farmville, Mafia Wars, Restaurant City, Bejeweled, Texas Holdem, and so forth. We’ll be paying our employees to play the latest version of Minesweeper!

The amount of time wasted, loss of productivity, and “dead air time” make the use of most of these applications a bad investment. Even if they TRY to use it effectively, the maelstrom of social media will draw them into its time-killing vortex!

#4. We’re Already Too Busy

Spending all day staring at a screen can’t be profitable. We should be meeting clients, talking to customers, negotiating with vendors, and beating our competitors, NOT typing insipid 140-character messages to our followers!

“I already get more email than I can handle, and you want to add MORE messages?”

Well, these arguments seem to be pretty cogent. I guess we should just sit it out. Skip this dance. Let others experience the “bleeding edge of the leading edge.” The return on investment just isn’t there, anyway.

Or is it?

Let’s take another look at these concerns.

#1. It’s Just a Fad

If social media is just a fad, then it’s managed to dupe an impressive collection of heavy hitters.

According to a recent study of 100 of the largest companies in the Fortune 500 list, 79% use Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or corporate blogs for communication. Companies as diverse as Sony, Target, Ford Motor Company and Starbucks are all employing some type of social media.

These companies invest millions of dollars in creating a presence on the Internet, and they see social media as an important part of that investment.

Hmmm. . . . maybe they’re on to something?

#2. It Takes a Geek

If you can type (with 10 fingers or fewer) and click, you can use social media.

There are many applications out there to make your experience “friendly.” TweetDeck, HootSuite, Seesmic and even advances in the applications themselves allow most of us to navigate the wild and woolly world of social media with ease. You don’t have to be able to speak hexadecimal code to use social media.

Witness the lower right-hand corner of Ford's home page.

#3. It’s a Digital Black Hole

It’s a fact that there is a multiplicity of time killers out there. Facebook alone has screen after screen of games and adventures that have nothing to do with productivity. Not to mention all of the vacuous Twitter responses to “What’s happening?” that are typed in daily.

The ability to waste time online is ever-present. Of course, a company’s effective AUP (acceptable use policies) for the use of Internet applications can guide employees in the appropriate use of the plethora of applications out there.

Simply stated, social media does not HAVE to be a “digital black hole.” Just because it CAN be a waste of time does not mean that it HAS to be!

#4. We’re Already Too Busy

We ARE busy. The credo, “work smarter, not harder” has its place.  But “working smarter” has its limitations. You can only work so much “smarter” until you must make up the difference with “harder.” This places time at a premium, and clicking and scrolling do not seem to be very productive. Time spent on social media can be extensive, but there are ways to use your time more effectively.

And, a BONUS:

The Opportunity For Branding Is Extraordinary!

The amount of time the global public is spending on social networks has tripled in the past year. That’s quite an audience, is it not? There’s unlikely a better venue out there to ply your trade these days. The Internet itself is a goldmine of resources to educate you on the effective use of these new applications.

For example, there are Twitter tips here, as well as practical insights for both Facebook and Twitter here.  Investigate these extraordinary resources before making your decision.

What are your thoughts? Are you facing skeptics head on?  How do you overcome common objections to social media adoption? Share them in the comment box below.

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