Dr. Carlos DIAZ RUIZ

Professor in Marketing & Consumer studies

Unrealistic expectations, the pitfall of Social Media

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The biggest pitfall of social media has to do with unrealistic expectations. I am very careful of the claims made for the relevance of Social Media as a business tool. The argued importance of social media for firms, any kind of firm, includes reductions of advertising costs, direct customer feedback, and even increased persuasiveness. Perhaps some of these arguments are true; nevertheless, I seldom share the generalized optimism of Social Media-advocates.

Social Media is useful, granted, but I do not see it as an all-solving panacea. Managers and consultants believe that social media is the answer. Although, social media can greatly expand the reach of corporate communications, and sometimes even reduce costs; the pitfall is that managers begin to see that their investments do not pay off as much as they expect, and then the bubble explodes, as yet another fad.

This already happened before. Overrated advertising was the cause of the .com bubble in 2000. People thought that online ads would solve everything. Then, managers saw that while it is a useful complement, it was not the solution to everything. Today, I see social media in the same cross-road. Too much is expected indiscriminate of context; social media is not a one-size fits all.

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Author: Diaz Ruiz

Carlos A. Diaz Ruiz is Assistant Professor in Marketing at Kedge Business School in Bordeaux

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