Pros and Cons…

Most things have both positive and negative aspects, right? Whether you’re buying a new home or evaluating a business plan, “Pros and Cons” must be weighed.

Take Social Media for instance.

Social Media has plenty of positive aspects. It gave us a great way to stay in touch with far away family and even old high school and college friends. It’s made publishers of us all, allowing us to use our imaginations to create every day.

Unfortunately, there are plenty of cons.

It’s made publishers of us all, allowing us to create every day. Yeah–not deja vu. Often information on Social Media comes across as if it carries the same journalistic integrity offered by news organizations who are legally liable for their reporting. It’s created foreign interference in elections and plenty of misinformation. All cons.

Further, it’s introduced us to the cyberbully. And, created illusions among youth and adults alike, that self-worth is based on likes and views. Suicide rates have risen 70% among Females, 15-19 and 151% among Females, 10-14 since 2011.

From a marketing standpoint, Social Media is still a great way to connect with consumers. It injects plenty of fun into the marketing equation without all of the hardcore sales pitch messages. Examples are not hard to find. Take Popeye’s ‘feud’ with Chick-Fil-A. The former felt like the latter had fired a Twitter shot over it’s kitchen regarding Popeye’s new chicken sandwich. They fired back with a simple “Y’all Good?” It went viral and interest…and sales soared. The brand’s sales increased 42.3 percent, compared with 6.3 percent the previous year! They even had lines out of stores, prompting a teenager to take the opportunity to help register people to vote…something Barack Obama even tweeted about.

So, yes…Social Media has plenty of pros for businesses and consumers alike, but reform is desperately needed. If you haven’t already, watch The Social Dilemma on Netflix.

As a marketer and a consumer, this documentary is eye-opening in many respects. The marketing aspects had always been very fascinating to me, but the level of manipulation that goes into these algorithms is…well, it’s wrong.

As the movie points out, if you’re not “paying for the product…you ARE the product”; and manipulation of your time and thought processes often seem to be the marketing strategy.

With that said, I still believe in Social Media, at least a version of it. However, change is most certainly needed.

#socialmedia #marketing #branding

By Scott Trueblood, of BrandVision Marketing. BrandVision Marketing is a full-service marketing agency based in Knoxville, TN.

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