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Quitting on Social Media: Knowing When to Discard Unprofitable Social Media Presences

Posted on: July 29th, 2010

Experts and analytics-driven marketers chase sales at any opportunity while direct marketers refine their entire processes in order to boost returns. On the other hand, social media marketers carefully monitor their efforts to ensure that their processes – while being completely free – are worth the time invested.

In an environment as competitive and difficult as social media marketing, oftentimes, the results gain is just not worth the time invested. There are thousands of marketers out there, many of whom could be competing directly with you and cutting into your potential revenues. While there are hundreds of reasons to invest in social media, there are also a growing number of reasons to quit marketing in such platforms. Some of them are discussed below:

The Term “Free Media” is Deceptive

Yes, social media is completely free. There are no hidden costs, subscription charges, or upfront payments to be made when marketing on such platforms. However, thinking that any effort is free is quite deceptive and illusionary. Any amount of time invested in social media is time that could be spent elsewhere, perhaps on a more profitable or important marketing action.

Invest time in social media, and measure results not in terms of mere profit, but in terms of profit-to-time ratio. If you’re making much less per hour on social media sites than you are from your other sales or marketing efforts, you should think twice about keeping your social network marketing campaigns running.

Social Media Can Hurt Your Other Marketing Efforts

When social media marketing is pursued in isolation, it is very easy to gain perspective on how effective it can be. When used alongside a pay-per-click campaign, a dedicated SEO effort, or a direct offline sales strategy, it can become a difficult activity to monitor.

Whenever you invest in social media, do it in a measurable way. Minimize ambiguity and ensure that all leads and sales are tracked. Doing so will allow you to check whether it’s worth maintaining a social media presence or whether it is best to discard it.

Social Media Creates PR Expectations

Businesses without an investment in social media are often at an advantage. When a negative story breaks, they have every opportunity to ignore it and hope for its disappearance. While social media experts constantly speak of the responsive power that a dedicated presence provides, they pass over one important detail: that a social media presence also gives the expectation of a response, no matter how inflammatory or inaccurate a story may be.

So, carefully think about having a dedicated social media presence. If you are in an industry that often attracts complaints, controversy, and potentially damaging accusations, it might be worth eliminating your social media presence. Doing so is even more important if you do not have the resources to run a full-scale PR campaign through your social media presences.

Social Media Needs Adequate Management

Outsource your social media presence and you will inevitably run into issues – poor public remarks, unintentionally controversial statements, or an unprofessional approach to public conduct. Everyone has seen it happen with celebrities, politicians, and public figures – an inexperienced assistant causes a stir due to poor judgement or pure mistake.

If you outsource your social media presence without care, it can easily become a liability. The best way to do it right is to monitor and maintain your social media presence yourself. However, doing so will surely keep you away from your other business responsibilities. If you can’t do it yourself and you can’t find a reliable and professional entity to outsource it to, it’s time to discard your social media presence and focus on other channels that will surely generate revenues.

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