Social Media- A Waste of Time?

Social Media is a waste of time.

Why? Well, as the famous saying goes “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.”

The same is true for social media. There are so many experts convincing business owners to establish a social media presence, yet so few are building the business case for social media in a strategic context, with measurable business objectives in mind.

Some ‘social media experts’ proudly proclaim their number of followers as if they were collecting souvenir spoons from their travelling expeditions.

My view is that social media is a waste of money, unless you are starting at the strategic level and working down to the tactical implementation, including the selection of the tools and platforms.

If someone approaches you and offers to ‘set you up a Facebook page’, without investing the necessary time to understand or develop the strategy – run!

It is a waste of time and money unless you have a clearly defined strategy in place, and the organisational will and capability to follow through on the plan.

Social Media is like grabbing a tiger by the tail. It’s fun at first but you can’t let go without consequences.

The consequences of a poorly defined social media strategy aren’t limited to financial losses, but it’s a fine measure to keep the mind focused when making marketing investment decisions.


Michael Field, Director at Michael Field Pty Ltd.

About michaelfieldcom

Michael Field is an independent strategy consultant with two decades of experience in strategy, marketing, strategic planning, market research, competitive analysis, needs based segmentation, e-commerce and innovation. His consultancy specialises in providing strategic advice to medium sized B2B and NF organisations. Michael has served as a Non Executive Director (NED) of Save the Children Victoria, is a former Save the Children New South Wales council member and former guest lecturer in marketing, small business promotional marketing and professional communication at ECU in Western Australia. He is the founder of the LinkedIn group Next Director for aspiring and emerging company directors serving more than 4,500 company directors globally. Specialties: - Strategy advice for medium-sized B2B, NFP and member services organisations - Strategic marketing - Market research and analysis - Competitive analysis - Market segmentation - Needs-based segmentation - Development of the value proposition - Marketing and business plans - e-commerce and online strategy development - Social Media - Keynote speaking - Technology and innovation - Ideas and inspiration

2 thoughts on “Social Media- A Waste of Time?

  1. I thought this post demonstrated some common sense that has been noticeably lacking in the rush to embrace the latest trends. The advice to begin at a strategic level is good advice as is the advice to understand what the business objectives are before embarking on the social media merry-go-round. Well said.

  2. I think you’ve made a great case here, and I like how Judy has called it “common sense” because that’s exactly right. I work in the field of blogger engagement and see the same thing there – a rush to the tactical strategy and any message or impact is that is achieved (which I have other questions about) is lost by the time the next post is up. That’s not to say there isn’t a place for these strategies, but they have to sit within a broader approach that looks at the whole picture and knows what it is trying to achieve. Business who are willing to invest in strategic campaigns, and take the time to build their reputation in this space will have a great advantage as this becomes more popular. BUT, I think it’s hard for companies starting out in social media to understand the metrics and even how to set goals for social media campaigns – my job, and yours, is to help them translate their commercial goals into something that fits the organic, highly relational space in which their customers are operating in online.

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