Social media . . . there’s a downside

The thumbnail version:

  • In some ways social media may be good for your business.
  • In other ways it may be a drain.

The full version:

In his book, Digital Minimalism, Cal Newport exposes the downside of social media. He draws comparisons between the way the social media giants engineer their products to be habit forming in the way  it was disclosed how cigarette manufacturers do the same thing. It’s essentially the same business model—the more social media companies can spread the habit, the more money they make. And by now we all know about the billions they’re making.

And the problem for a business buying into the habit is that it can be a huge time and energy drain with little or even no useful return.

So from a business perspective, don’t just plunge into it as so many “social media consultants” will have you do. If you’re using social media to promote or sell your product, you need to conduct a cost/benefit analysis where cost is time and effort spent, and benefit is the impact on your bottom line. The result may persuade you to find more lucrative ways of promoting your business.

Remember that page views, users, free downloads, followers, friends, likes, and You Tube views are all meaningless to  a business. The only metric that matters is sales.

To help you make an informed decision about the use of social media, I recommend Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport as well as the less scientifically-based but still illuminating Social Media is Bullshit by B.J. Mendelson.