Why Using Social Media is Bad for Business

SocialB Digital Marketing Blog Last modified: 12 Aug 2019 by Lynsey Sweales
Digital Strategy | Old | Social Media

Social media today is a channel you can’t avoid whether personally or for business. It’s powerful, it’s successful and it is not going anywhere.

There are now 4.26 billion people active on social media – that’s 53% of the global population.

So why is it potentially bad for business?

It’s bad for business, in my opinion, for two reasons:

  1. It is rented space – the social media networks control the data, users, what we see etc. If they should disappear tomorrow, you would have nothing, nada, nil.
  2. Only using social media – in particular, one channel means that if that channel goes down you don’t earn money.

Let’s be clear here though – I’m not saying don’t use it, in fact, quite the opposite, I’m a huge fan, both personally and for business. My view is that you shouldn’t just use social media to target and generate business – it’s a super dangerous tactic.

I know of a number of businesses that are generating very good revenue each day through one channel alone; be it Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn. That’s great and I’m really pleased they are doing so well in business, being successful and generating ROI, but it concerns me hugely that they have put all their eggs in one basket.

Spread Your Risk

Think of it this way, if Instagram went down today (which it has a few times in recent weeks) how much money would you lose by the hour, day, week, month? How long could your business survive?

Futureproof Your Business

On the flip side of this, you don’t have to and shouldn’t be on every single digital and traditional channel out there. To start with it would cost you a fortune and take up more time than you can throw a stick at.

If you are on social media and your customers/potential customers are too, then take a little control back. How? Encourage them to sign up for your emails, offers, etc and then you can take the reins and have the opportunity to put the information you’d like them to see in front of them as well as the social media channels. Although, it’s essential to make your content compelling and useful to them if you want to stay with you.

Listen to Your Customers

To do this you, you need to be on the channels where your customers are. Understanding and getting to know your target audience is key. In most cases, this might be one or two social media channels.  A great way to understand where your customers are is simply – Listening!

I’m a huge fan of great customer service, it’s an essential part of any business. Good customer service starts with serving your customers to the best of your ability and experience every step of their journey. This means from the moment they become aware of you via marketing or social media, all the way to after they have purchased your product or service and may want to know more or need help with a problem.

Every business should be their customers’ number one fan, but many are not, they are too focused on the sale and not the wants and needs of the person they want to sell to.

Social media does have a powerful effect, but like any technology, it can be good and bad. The key is understanding that it’s not a “one size fits all” marketing solution, you need to build the right strategy for your business.


  1. Helpful…but how do you listen to you customer if you have both a small mailing list, not a huge social media following, not quite sure how to find your target customer on social media? I get it listening is key to serving the needs of your customers, but where do you do the listening?

  2. Thanks for your comment Bozena.

    There are a number of ways you can listen, regardless of the size of your followers on social media. Here are some suggestions:-

    – keyword searches on social media
    – Google Search Console
    – Keyword planner from Google
    – Google Trends

    We hope this helps


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