Hear ye, hear ye, the Court of Public Opinion is now in session. Yesterday we heard the case FOR social media in business. Today, the nay-sayers have the floor. Tomorrow, the verdict.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury
Why should you turn your backs on all of this social media hype with no substance?
One slip of the tongue by you, your employees, your friends or relatives is part of the permanent public record. There is no retraction, and there are many hungry wolves waiting to grab your words and turn them against you. There are many notable cases of companies getting slammed by the public for inadvertant, ill-timed opinions, jokes or videos released to the social networks. Publish at your own peril! Disgruntled employees or competitors can disparage you all they want and bring your sales or public relations to their knees, and you have no recourse but to spend time and money monitoring social media and defending yourself. Are you listed on Yelp or other public review sites? Watch the sales drop off as soon as one negative review pops up. What can you do about it? Never make a mistake. Better yet, close up shop. It's easier that way.
Remember the good old days when news came from journalists? Most of those folks had to get a degree, double check their facts and get reviewed by editors. Now it's a free-for-all of bloggers, most of whom have no credentials and plenty of unfounded opinions. Turn one of these folks against you, and you will have the wrath of thousands of like-minded citizens harassing you from every direction. Now suddenly everyone's an expert on your industry and happy to provide a review of you and your company. Everyone has their favorite channel to go hear the propaganda they like, so there goes fair-and-balanced information. Who can you believe these days?
Remember the good old days of Viagra and Cialis spam? Now everyone's a stay-at-home business with at least 4-5 great opportunities to make your life whole again. I wish I had time to attend all 4,000 webinar invitations I receive each week. Amazing how many experts can pop up in a couple of years while education is on the decline. Oh, and don't forget, every time you make one of those new fuzzy friends on Twitter or Facebook, you get a cool new e-mail thanking you and inviting you to a great new webinar. And then you get 10 more, and so on...
OK, maybe we went overboard with the secrecy thing during the Cold War (anybody remember that?), but now? I'm sure all the evil doers have fired their spy networks. There's no need anymore, it's all on Twitter and Facebook and your personal blog. I'm guessing the guys in Langley spend more time and money checking out social media than they do on just about anything else these days. And for business folks like you and me? Same deal. If you think anything's proprietary anymore, think again.
Tomorrow - THE VERDICT (you decide).
What say you about the issues with social media?