Top 10 reasons that your company shouldn't try social media

I was inspired to write this post after a few recent bad experiences in the corporate social media world.  No, they weren’t at my employer and no, I won’t divulge where they came from.  It’s the conclusions that are important, not the details of how I got there.  So without further ado, here are the top 10 reasons that your company shouldn’t try social media:
10 – You are uncomfortable with public displays of affection (and “dis”-affection).  If you aren’t ready for some of the crazy things your biggest fans and biggest haters will say, then stay away.  Its amazing what people will say about you when they think they are anonymous.  If you can’t take the heat, stay out of the kitchen.
9 – You’re only doing it because its “cheaper than advertising”.  I’ve got bad news for you: no it’s not.  In the long term it’s probably more expensive.  You’ve got to have people to create all that content, systems to monitor everything that’s going on.  Everyone knows the long term costs of hiring an few people that actually can learn the core of a business AND not have issues with item 5 below are way more expensive that a full page spread in the WSJ every few days.
8 – You thought it would give your new intern something to do.  Sure, your new intern already has a facebook, twitter, myspace and youtube account.  And I’m sure all of their friends, fans, followers and stalkers are right in your target audience.  Not to mention all of the previous pictures and videos they’ve posted – just make sure HR has a quick peak before they start acting as your brand advocate on the interwebs.
7 – You think you have all the best ideas.  If this is the case then you should definitely keep them to yourself .  Why share with the rest of us idiots?
6 – Your main objective is to get more “eyeballs on your site”. 1998 called and they want their website stickiness strategy back.  Seriously, if your main objective is to just get more people to look at your junk, buy some Google ads and hit the golf course early today.
5 – You have the in person social skills of a feral chicken.  Just because you have electrons as an intermediary doesn’t mean that social media will somehow transform the social slug into the social butterfly.  If you can’t hold a face to face conversation with someone you just met for at least 10 minutes without talking about the weather, then stay perched in the woods.
4 – You’re doing it because your agency told you that all the “cool companies” are doing it.  This argument didn’t work on you in High School, so why should it when the guy telling it to you is wearing an $8,000 watch (that you helped pay for)? I’m guessing right after they tell you that, they have a suggested contract resource to hire that can get you started…you know where this is going, so why even start?
3 – You still have your secretary print out your emails for you to read.  I admit you don’ t have to build your own computers from silica and solder, nor write your own code in assembly language to be proficient in social media.  But you do have to know the difference between a PDA and a Smart Phone and realize that you can’t get something posted on the internet if you don’t have internet access.
2 -You don’t like uncertainty.  If this is you, then stick with the media plan.  You get to define your message, your audience and your result.  It’s all known before you start.  Of course you probably iron your underwear too, so not engaging in social media will give you more time for perfect creases.
And the number 1 reason your company shouldn’t try social media: You are boring. This is the hardest one to self diagnose, but the most critical.  But best to take a page from that old sage Thumper: “if you don’t have anything nice interesting to say, best not say anything at all”.
Hopefully this post will help someone out there who’s boss has asked them develop a social media strategy come up with a few good reasons why it might be a bad idea.  If not, at least I have my plan 😉






4 responses to “Top 10 reasons that your company shouldn't try social media”

  1. Jackie Avatar

    I would add a #11. Don't try social media if you don't have the time to proofread your article. While the content was smart and well-written, I found the poor grammar distracting. ("You're" vs. "Your"? C'mon!)

    1. aakelley Avatar

      Sorry 'bout that. That'll have to go on the list of why I shouldn't try social media personally.

    2. aakelley Avatar

      OK seems I was a little apostrophe happy – I think I fixed them all and even found a sentence I forgot to finish (shudder for the ones I missed). I think it reads a bit better now (that will teach me to multi-task).

  2. cbeck Avatar

    If you're cool with user submissions, I will add my own:
    13) By the time you write your content, the target audience you surveyed before getting started will be on a different platform.

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