Why Your Organization Might NOT Want To Use Social Media

Though a portion of my work is creating social media strategies and campaigns for organizations, I don’t think social media (SM) is suited to every business.

Probably every organization can benefit from some social media presence, but having a presence does not mean you have a strategy. Without that planning before and after, you could be wasting valuable time and money.

The four most common possible disadvantages I see:

  1. You will need additional resources to manage your online SM presence. That can range from reassigning some of a current employee’s time, hiring a new employee for SM, or having a third-party manage your SM.
  2. I have seen companies make the mistake of making a current employee take on SM “part-time” and it being insufficient. The same thing happened in the 1990s with websites. Social media is even more immediate than websites and needs daily monitoring. Organizations that don’t actively manage their social media presence, probably won’t see real benefits.
  3. Your strategy should begin with an audit of your current online presence and that of your competitors and partners, and include monitoring those other organizations. Do you belong in LinkedIn and Facebook? Is Snapchat something to consider or avoid? Do you need multiple Twitter accounts in order to target your messaging and be more granular about your audience’s interests?
  4. Social media open you up to the risk of unwanted or inappropriate behaviour on your network sites. Social media is all about engaging with the public, but that also open you up to harassment. Risks can include negative feedback, information leaks or hacking. False or misleading claims made on your social media channels by your business or by a customer can be subject to consumer law. Even customer/follower posts and testimonials that are misleading or deceptive to other customers, particularly about competitor products/services may result in your business being fined.

To Snapchat or Not To Snapchat

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To Snapchat or Not To Snapchat is a question I am asked by some clients. They recognize that Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn remain the big three for most businesses large and small, but no one seems very sure about using Snapchat.

In 2016, Snapchat had been around for 5 years, but Instagram got into their space by adding Stories to their platform with filters, stickers, and text overlay, and just last year Snapchat’s parent company, Facebook, also rolled out its own Stories and the option to crosspost between platforms.

Does Snapchat make sense for your brand?

Here are some numbers. Snapchat is especially popular with Generation Z. 79% of US teens have a Snapchat account and rate Snapchat above other platforms. On the other hand, only 2% of Baby Boomers use Snapchat.

If your brand bathes in the fountain of youth, Snapchat is a place to be. If Boomer dollars are your target, there’s no point in using the network.

One suggestion to stay in touch is to follow the posts about specific networks on the big social media sites – for example focus on posts about using Snapchat at blog.hootsuite.com/topic/snapchat/