Why businesses are calling surrender on social media

“Small business has to get on Pinterest,” urges the social media advisor.

“Oh no, not another of these social media thingummies,” thinks the business owner or marketing manager.

Pinterest is just the latest of a dozen online services that businesses have been urged to join in recent years. An incomplete list would include the following:

  • Pinterest
  • Google Plus
  • Facebook
  • Facebook Timeline
  • Color
  • Yelp
  • Tumblr
  • Google Places
  • True Local
  • Blogging
  • LinkedIn
  • LinkedIn Groups
  • Twitter

The question for the time poor business owner or under resourced manager is “where do I find the hours for all this?”

It’s not just smaller businesses either – most corporations don’t have the resources to dedicate to all of these services, let alone provide the 24×7 coverage many are beginning to expect.

When it comes to online services and social media businesses owners and managers are like geese being stuffed for foie gras, they’ve had so much stuffed down their necks they can barely move.

Like the foie gras ducks, businesses have become glassy-eyed — when someone tells them they have to sign up to another online service, they just switch off.

We’ve reached the point where there are too many networks for even the most underemployed social media expert to handle.

For those advocating social networking or other online services for business, it’s time to start acknowledging the time-poor reality of most businesses and consider exactly which services are best suited for the organisation.

In business, it’s not time to switch off – that could be the worst thing to do – as so many new ways of talking with customers are developing.

Instead of feeling overwhelmed, it’s time to start carefully considering which services will work best with your markets, products and staff and choose carefully.

The days of just charging into the latest social media sensation are over, these services are growing up and they have to prove worth for businesses – or individuals – to invest their time.

Paul Wallbank is one of Australia’s leading experts on how industries and societies are changing in this connected, globalised era. When he isn’t explaining technology issues, he helps businesses and community organisations find opportunities in the new economy.


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