What social media won’t do for you

In Business Class, Connecting to Communicate, social media, Uncategorized on May 24, 2010 at 7:35 am

You’ve no doubt heard a lot about what social media can do for your life or your business. Build it, maybe. Improve it. Transform it.

In fact, if you listened to all of the hype, you could be forgiven for thinking social media can do just about anything. But it can’t. So, to offset the endless hype about what social media can do, here are four things it won’t do.

Social media won’t substitute for a strategy. Social media is a tool. It’s one of the things you use to implement your strategy. It’s not a strategy. Before thinking about how you can use social media, think about what it is you’re trying to achieve and consider the best ways to achieve it. Perhaps social media will be a part of your strategy.


Social media won’t substitute for a message. Yes, once upon a time the medium was declared to be the message. But, face it: Without a message, you’ve got nothing to put into the medium. If you don’t have anything engaging to say, no one will listen – no matter what media you use to say it.


Social media won’t substitute for a brand. You’ve heard it over and over, but sometimes we forget these sorts of things. Your brand is not your organization’s name, a product name, a slogan or logo. It is, indeed, the complete experience a customer has with you. As such, social media will help you build, establish and connect a brand, but it won’t substitute for a brand.


Social media won’t substitute for a purpose. Even if you started Facebook, founded Twitter or came up with whatever is next, social media is not your purpose. Know why you exist or no magical media will make you worthwhile. Or interesting. Or successful.

Keep social media in perspective. It’s a great tool that can help some businesses succeed. For other businesses, though – those that don’t have a strategy, a message, a brand or a purpose – it will be a drain on resources and an unnecessary distraction. And, ultimately, OK, sure: It will indeed transform those businesses. In a bad way.

  1. Short and very much to the point!!! Sometimes it is hard to explain to people that social media is a support tool and you need your foundations in place to allow it to help you.

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