I have a love/hate relationship with social media.
I love it because it’s instant, fun, and creative. A successful social media post that receives hundreds of “likes,” comments, and shares gives you such a great feeling.
But I do it all day, every day. I do it at work, and I do it in my personal life. Because I’m immersed in it, occasionally there are things about it that make me want to throw staplers across the room. #socialmediaproblems
Why do I sometimes hate social media? Oh, let me count the ways …
1. Typos/grammatical errors
Social media is immediate; that’s why it works so well. Because of that, it’s easy to post something quickly from your phone without realizing you used the wrong “their.” When you return to your computer, you see the nasty comments from the grammar police.
You’d never misspell something on a billboard that reaches 100,000 people, but a tweet certainly could reach that many people. We never think to put as much care and thought into a tweet as we do a billboard, because we don’t consider the weight of our 140-character post.
2. Here today, gone tomorrow
Content comes and goes. This is why we have a hard time justifying spending an hour crafting the perfect Facebook post. It may get a lot of traction today, but give it 24 hours and it’s no longer getting any feedback at all. People have forgotten about it and are now playing Angry Birds.
3. Can’t post too much; can’t post too little
It’s hard to know how much you’re supposed to post. If you and your client post something at the same time, you’re ridiculed. If you post too much, you’re blocked. If you don’t post enough, you’re unfollowed. What’s the perfect amount? No one really knows, because social media is relatively new and constantly changing. If a rule of thumb arises, that “rule” could become obsolete within days.
4. It’s unpredictable
Social media is incredibly unpredictable. You could use the exact formula on one client and see amazing results, then use it on another and get no results. It comes down to human behavior and the ever-confusing and secretive inner workings of the social platforms themselves. Which brings me to No. 5 …
5. Platforms change all the time
You could spend all your working hours learning the intricacies of YouTube transcriptions, only to come into work one day to see they’ve completely changed the program. Suddenly your client is calling to ask what happened to their videos, and you’re left scratching your head.
6. Complaints/hate mail
These are incredibly hard to deal with. Every client has a different philosophy on how to handle adverse responses. But what about you? Maybe you think all negative feedback (if legitimate) should be addressed on the social media page, while your client thinks it should be deleted immediately.
If you’re going to respond, what do you say? Should you be funny? Should you be apologetic? There are so many variables that every situation requires a different approach, or at least a different conversation about what to do about it.
7. One day you’re up; the next you’re down
I call it stock market syndrome. You could have an excellent day on Twitter. Come into work and see your Twitter followers went up by 50. Then you come in the next day, and you’re down 70. How does that happen so quickly? How can you receive a pat on the back from your client when all that work just disappeared?
8. Hard to prove ROI
Prove to your client that what they’re paying you to do is delivering them monetary benefits is a challenge. There are ways to do this for e-commerce clients, but what about ones who don’t sell anything or generate leads from their website? How do you justify that your spending 10 hours a week on their Facebook, Twitter, etc., is going to be worth the money they are paying you?
9. Traditionalists are afraid of it
Many people tend to be afraid of social media because it’s hard to prove ROI, it’s easy to receive negative feedback, and so on. And that’s unfortunate when a client could benefit from a social media presence. Even if they agree to social media, they place extreme limits on what you’re allowed to post—which pulls the rug out from under your efforts.
10. Lack of control
Clients don’t want to feel a loss of control over social media. If someone posts a negative tweet about your brand, there’s nothing you can do about it. You can’t delete it; you can’t message Twitter and demand that it be taken down. All you can do is monitor, respond, and do your best to show you care.