Social Media: A Welcomed Tax on Business?
If you’re a business with social media presence, you’re likely to be on Twitter. In only a couple of few weeks after Elon Musk purchased the social media site, more than half of its employees have been fired or have left. Personal and business accounts have been “randomly” losing followers. Advertisers have been fleeing fast and Twitter’s top brass have been or are in the process of being fired. No one knows for sure how things will turn out with Twitter…maybe Musk will sell because he’ll buckle under the combination of the financial weight of the deal and his dumpster-fire-inside-of-a-train-wreck management style. Twitter is worth about $10 Billion, he paid $44 Billion. Anyhow…
The issues with Twitter are fundamental to all social media platforms/publishers, including Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok, or whatever, so it’s important to understand the implications across the ecosystem because they’ll impact your business…I’ll reiterate my position on all social media platforms for business in bullet form:
- Your company works for social media sites. Not the other way around. Your social team and agency efforts (cost = time + money + risk/reward) are traded for data that social sites use/sell.
- You do not own anything on social media. Not your content and more importantly not your network.
- Your network is more important than your content will ever be.
- Social media advertising is a black box. Facebook removes a billion fake accounts every quarter and your ad budget is in the hands of its algorithms and bots. Don’t believe me, it’s widely researched and documented. Google it.
- You should be on social media, but understand how to use it for your best interest, not in the best interest of your digital agency, who will never have these conversations with you.
- For most brands, Twitter is about as useless as Elon Musk’s management style…so is Facebook…
- The most important social media tool is…you ready? Email…again, your agency will be silent here because “it’s a lot of work.”
- You must actively manage risks associated with social media — social media for business is the riskiest of all media.
- Ask better questions about analytics and don’t fall in love with dashboards. The entire digital marketing ecosystem is fraught with fraud. Know the incentives of your digital agency/partner.
- Your social media FOMO won’t help you promote your business. Herd mentality around social media only adds to the potential and real waste in the space. Can I be frank here? I’ve been all over this since 2006. Data upon data tell us social media is low yield/high cost, inefficient media. But this particular hype, based on a bunch of lies (no more Mr. Nice guy because too many good businesses are being side-swiped in this mess) that get perpetuated by either PAID, incompetent but well-spoken, or well-meaning “thought leaders” keeps the machine greased. CEOs don’t understand the space and CMOs tell me that CEOs want to see analytics, so they keep feeding the machine, but it’s also no wonder that many studies show that CEOs’ trust in CMOs is low. If you think this is harsh and want to challenge this statement, please make sure you bring real data, I’ll meet you anywhere any time, and if you need a plane ticket, I’ll buy it for you.
- Social media’s risks must be actively managed because businesses have already wasted billions on this autopilot hot mess by really good people in business.
- Final point: Businesses of all sizes mistake social media “marketing” as digital marketing. Not the same thing, digital marketing at this point in its lifecycle is integrated marketing; again, your digital agency and thought leaders will be silent on this because “it’s not simple to sell.”
The beautiful thing about what we do Verasoni is we challenge our own assumptions and put our feelings aside, feelings don’t count.
We follow the data and execute…when data and trends change, we change. It’s the right thing to do. And it’s why we always (yes always…sorry not sorry about being unapologetic) give our clients a business-driven edge over the competition in immediate and tail duration.
#GettingBetter and be careful out there…good luck as we continue to navigate Q4 and look forward to 2023!