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When to Avoid Social Media.

May 23, 2009


Social media has become impossible to ignore. You are either involved in it or out of the loop. Some businesses and institutions are joining social media solely to keep up with the trends. However, social media is not for everyone and it’s important to understand when not to use it.

In a recent article written by B&B, a magazine for marketing strategists, it listed a few scenarios in which social media should be avoided. With a few of these tips along with some of my own, I compiled my list of five situations where a brand should avoid the use of social media.

1) Do not use social media if your company has legal, regulatory compliance, or information that you do not want to talk about. It is important to remain transparent and authentic when using social media, so you must be able to communicate openly with your users.  Rather than curving conversation around a topic, just avoid the use of social media entirely. One of the most important reasons to be involved in social media is to create an outlet that allows for two-way communication with users. If you can’t have this communication, why use social media?

2) Do not use social media if you don’t have time to invest in it. Social media requires a lot of time no matter what outlet you decide to use. Whether it be a blog post or a tweet, you must respond and react quickly.  People will lose interest if they don’t get a response or automatically assume you don’t care. This backlash will not benefit your company!

3) Do not use social media if you’re audience doesn’t use it. If you have only a few customers or your audience does not involve active social media users, it is more beneficial to use other tactics.

4)  Do not use social media if you are just trying to sell something. Social media allows for tw0-way communication with users. If you are constantly trying to sell something and push information on your audience, they will be annoyed and ignore you. Instead, provide them with a reason to listen.

5) Lastly, do not use social media without an objective (or “just to use it”). Without having a purpose, there is no reason to use social media. You are just wasting your resources!

Social media is an excellent marketing tool but it may not be right for a specific audience or brand. Before diving into social media, companies should research and determine whether or not these scenarios apply to them. This research will help  save valuable time and money.

By Niki Inouye

Find me on: | Twitter | Blog |

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