Why Social Media Isn’t So Dumb

Mark Ritson takes a hostile and suspicious view of social media benefits in The seven dumbest sins of social media, released last week in Marketing Week.

I don't agree with the depth of his criticism, I do share some of his sentiments. And for the record, I'm pro-social media.

What Mark is really complaining about is some folks are getting so caught up in the shininess of social media they’re forgetting something important.

Social media is not exempt from Business 101 fundamentals.

At the end of the day, there's only one set of reasons for businesses to do social media and they are to:

  • Increase revenues and profitability and
  • Increase shareholder value.

Unlike Mark, though, I believe well-executed social programs can show a good to great returns depending on the size and scope of the initiative.

What Mark fails to mention about social media failures is this. There are a lot of failed corporate initiatives (outside of social ones) and for a lot of reasons. Initiatives fail because of any combination of poor planning, leadership, insufficient buy-in among relevant audiences, as well as poor associated processes and (technology tools).

Bottom line…Social initiatives aren't going to succeed just because they're social. And they aren’t going to fail just because social is a new business model.

Dr. Natalie Petouhoff and I are working on a series of soon-to-be released eBook series that will focus on Simplifying Social Business. These eBooks will help companies understand the business impacts on people, processes, and technology so they can better design and implement successful social programs.

Stay tuned. The first eBook will be released in the next few weeks.