Social Overload – (Not?) for profit

How much is too much social media? Can your online presence be too large? What happens if you over do it? These are all questions businesses should ask themselves before embarking on the journey of social media for businesses. The answers may in fact surprise you. Who would have thought too much social media could have a negative effect on your brand or business?

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Many businesses, small, medium, large or not for profit businesses are increasingly using social media as a way of getting noticed. They use it to create trust and loyalty with their customers, as well as awareness for their products. This seems harmless at the outset, so why are so many businesses complaining that social media isn’t increasing their profits? Is it just a waste of time?

Who’s using social media?

More and more businesses are turning to social media. Small and medium businesses find it a useful way to advertise cheaply and draw brand awareness. However, according to Manta more than 60% of small business owners haven’t seen any return on their social media investments. Ted Rubin suggests that businesses are going about social media in all the wrong ways.

social-1989152_960_720According to Ted Rubin, the most important factor is time, closely followed by patience. Simply put, the reason small business owners are not making the returns they would like is because they are not spending enough time developing and maintaining their social media profiles. To be more precise, they are not putting enough time into the correct areas of social media. Relationships take time, think about how long relationships can take to build in person? Now transfer that to a virtual relationship? How quickly do you trust a website?

Surprisingly, small and medium businesses are not the biggest users of social media. According to Marketing Management Journal, not for profit organizations are the biggest users of social media. In fact, 97% of charitable organizations are using some form of social media to promote their cause.

Let’s talk about LinkedIn.

linkedin-911794_960_720LinkedIn is a professional social networking site with over 160 million users. It encourages like minded professionals to interact and create networks. It’s a more formal type of social media, allowing users to create online profiles, almost like your resume.

You can connect with people you know, and people you don’t. LinkedIn can be used for hiring potential employees as profiles can be filtered by education, skills and experience. LinkedIn also allows those skills to be endorsed, acting somewhat like a reference.

Networking with like minded people is a valuable resource and can lead to greater career opportunities. It’s easy to see why businesses choose to use LinkedIn as a popular business tool.

Small businesses, closely followed by not for profit organizations are the greatest users of LinkedIn. They are using LinkedIn for many different reasons within their businesses, however – exposure, awareness, contact, sales leads, recruitment and public relations are all top of the list.

Social media via App?

Not only are businesses utilising social media, but it’s now become a part of the mobile app world for businesses. Take Facebook Messenger for example, instead of a having to call a help center and wait in a queue of calls on hold,  you could just click onto messenger and have your problem resolved almost instantly.

messenger-1495274_960_720The great thing about messenger is that you can see when somebody is online, messages can be drafted unlike a phone call, and help can be provided almost immediately.

Unfortunately there is a down fall. Security.

Social media apps are not generally secure platforms, meaning that they can be the subject of cyber-crime. It is difficult to restrict staff using these apps, or control the content. As a result, sensitive information could be leaked, carelessly or even maliciously.

Why the fall?

twitter-1460520_960_720What happens when businesses use social media too much? Could constant posting actually have a negative effect on the business?

When businesses over use social media, it can be in an attempt to gain recognition in the form of as many followers, likes and tweets as possible. The content being posted may not be relevant, but posted simply for the sake of it. The end result is perceived as noise and people stop listening. Or alternatively, they just un follow your brand or business.

Think about that one friend on Facebook who clogs up the news feed with pointless and somewhat annoying posts. The problem is, you can’t unfriend them, but you can unfollow them. If we can to do this to our ‘friends‘, why would we think twice about doing to it a business?

Posting too often and wall domination can be damaging and cause followers to disengage. Businesses must find the balance between providing good and useful information and being seen as annoying the customers.

Ultimately the main reason for over using social media is profit. Be it profit in a monetary sense or desperate attempt of recognition – what ever your reason – make sure you know how much is too much.

 

Images have been obtained from Pixabay, and are free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0.

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