Way back in 2016 we wrote a blog post about where your business should be in social media. A lot has changed since then. Could we be looking at the death of social media as we know it? The question still applies: should your business be in social media? It depends. Let’s jump in.
To quote that same blog post…”Let’s start with a list of some of the players in social media (this is by no means a complete list!): Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ (GONE!), YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Flickr (does anyone still use that?), Reddit, Snapchat (dying a slow death), Vine (GONE!), beme (GONE!), Skype, periscope (GONE in the sense it’s no longer called that), Foursquare (GONE in the sense it’s no longer doing what it used to), Kik, Yik Yak (GONE!), WhatsApp, etc. Consider this; those are some of the sites/apps in the United States. This list doesn’t take into account all of the other social media sites/apps around the world.”
The challenge with any social channel that your company may take “residence” in may not be advantageous to your customer and/or you. If you’re a business to business (B2B) company being on Facebook or Instagram may not be the place for you as you’re not selling your product or service to the general public. If you’re a business to consumer (B2C) company being on Facebook or Instagram could be the place for you as you ARE selling your product or service to the general public. We’re getting ahead of ourselves.
Something we tell B2B clients ALL THE TIME is when you do social posts, expect about 99% of the time to get absolutely no response from your perspective audience. Where that differs is if you’re selling something B2C. Are you selling electronic racks to the government (B2B) to be used on ships, you’re very likely NOT going to get a response. Are you building pools or a new widget (B2C)? People may respond with questions.
Let’s dig in a little deeper. The old adage of if there’s nothing being offered to sell and you’re getting something for free you are the product being sold or more concisely: If it’s free, you’re the product. We might be thinking the same thing. Yes that’s Facebook’s model. It’s also the model of Instagram and Twitter and… See what’s going on there. Add to it the “infractions” that many of the social media companies have done to sell you and your data, there’s been a significant backlash & mistrust by both consumers and businesses.
All of that being the case. The question I pose to you is, how responsible are you with your current and potential customers? I’ll bet, like most, you do as much as you can for your customers, including protecting their data. Do you feel that advertising in a social channel is the best place for your customers and potential customers? I’m not at all stating that you shouldn’t be in these social channels. Rather, most if not all, companies state they want to take care of their customers. When I ask this next question know that it’s also being asked of Bull & Company. In taking care of your customers and advertising or posting on a social channel that isn’t in turn taking care of their customers, the “infractions” mentioned earlier, who are also our customers, are we truly taking care of them? It’s quite the quagmire! Again, I’m not suggesting that you do or don’t advertise or post in different social channels that make sense for you & your customer. Rather, I’m simply posing the question.
All that to write, should you advertise or post in social media? Well as we’ve stated several times, it all depends. We most certainly believe that the mistrust of social media is going to change how we all interact with it both as consumers and businesses.