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Seven Reasons to Skip Social Media

by Randall Craig on February 7, 2014

Filed in: Blog, Blogging, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Social Media

Tagged as: ,

If you read anything, anywhere about marketing, sales, customer service, recruiting, IT, or executive leadership, you can’t help but notice that Social Media seems to have become mandatory – full stop.  But are there circumstances where it makes sense NOT to use Social Media?  Where turning down the volume on blogging and tweeting – sometimes to zero – actually makes sense?  The answer, much to the surprise of the many Social Media “experts”, is yes: there are times when skipping social media is the right thing to do.

Here are seven reasons where it makes sense to be anti-social:

  1. When there is a higher-value alternative to your time.  This can mean anything from writing a proposal, dealing with an urgent client issue, or spending time with friends and family.
  2. When the activity isn’t tied tightly to strategy.  If there isn’t a straight line from your activity to a defined business goal, then why bother in the first place?  Yes, if competitors are doing it, then you should probably consider it too – but don’t actually do it unless you understand why.
  3. When it is a significant chore.  Let’s face it: some people are great writers, and enjoy writing a blog, while for others, it is terribly difficult.  Why not delegate the task to someone else?  Or using a social venue that you enjoy (think YouTube video, Twitter, Pinterest)?
  4. When it is bumping critical activities.  If Social Media is preventing you from meeting your deadlines, then it doesn’t deserve a place on your calendar.  Social Media can easily become addictive.
  5. When “Personal” Social Media time is masquerading as business Social Media time.  It is altogether too easy to spend time browsing the social web, checking in with friends, favorite brands, and interesting news stories. But is all of this activity really business-focused?  Or is it more personal interest?
  6. When one-on-one is better.  A message that is sent to one person (or a small group) is special: the recipients know that it was crafted for them, and it is a validation of the strength of your relationship.  Too often, we assume that a Social Media posting has the same value: it doesn’t.
  7. When it isn’t the right channel of connection.    Just because we can connect with Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, doesn’t mean we should.  Long before Social Media – and long before email – people used to pick up the phone. Or they actually meet in person.  Put yourself in the shoes of the intended recipient: how would they best like to be communicated with?  Convenience for us does not equal effectiveness in the eyes of the recipient.

Consistency is important when it comes to the timing of blog posts, but Social Media does not trump your other responsibilities – nor your organization’s strategy.

This week’s action plan:  Have you ever found yourself questioning whether a particular Social Media activity was really worth doing?  Or have you ever been stressed because a critical project deadline was looming… and you were “stuck” doing social media?  This week, aim to be more big-picture productive: if you are uncertain about a Social Media task, then skip it.

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Randall Craig

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Randall has been advising on Digital Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of eight books, including Digital Transformation for Associations, the Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business, and Social Media for Business. He speaks and advises on Digital Transformation, Digital Trust, and Social Media. More at

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