May 2015

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The Updated Disadvantages of Social Media

– 2015 Edition

Manny MandrusiakManny Mandrusiak,
Managing Creative Consultant,
4 Bravo Marketing

Contributing Editor

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Back in September 2011 I had the inspiration to write a column entitled The Disadvantages of Social Media Marketing and years later it is still one of the most read columns on

The intention behind the article was to share some of the social media wisdom that I picked up from mentors and marketers over the years, and now years later it is time to write an article that highlights some of the pitfalls of social media as it continues to dominate every part of our lives.

As technology evolves so does the way that we use social media in both our personal and professional lives, and also comes newer advantages and disadvantages.  Here are my top six new disadvantages:

  1. The “Must” for an online profile- I teach a job seekers workshop called Setting up for Online Success using LinkedIn for people 45 and up, who are back in the job market for one reason or another.  One of the first things that I tell students is that in five years “Millennials” will start occupying management positions and they have been brought up with mobile technology.  They use it for everything that they do, and if you are looking for a job at their company, then you had best market yourself to them where they are going to look for you.  The LinkedIn profile is an absolute must for anyone looking to get a new career, or build a business network. I get the students to Google their own names and see what the search returns are.  There are always people in the room who have no search results when they perform this exercise.  They feel that they are secure and will never be threatened with things like identity theft.  Unfortunately we are now a society that does not want to believe what they see in person in front of them, we would rather believe in what Google tells us. Not having an online profile as a job seeker tells a “Millennial” that the job seeker fails to embrace the technology that they love, and they don’t want that person working for them because they are dated.
  1. The Need for Doing Damage Control- It used to be years ago that if a marketing campaign went bad, or there were incorrect details in a press release or article, you had time to come up with a plan for damage control and not allow a mistake to damage your brand.  Now with every cell phone being able to put everything online instantly, damage to your brand can happen quickly.  Marketers need to constantly be vigilant so that they can respond to problems quickly and minimize the impact of a bad campaign or post.
  1. Breaches in your Privacy- Every time we create a new profile on a social media platform we are forced to give personal information.  Every time we post, or like, or comment we are providing marketing data to the providers about the trends in our life, and our buying habits.  You can’t tell me that whenever someone posts a picture on Facebook that they just bought a new Ford F150 that some marketer at Ford is not noticing that? We never have a problem posting things online because we are conditioned to want to contribute.  The problem that keeps people up at night is what happens with all that data that these social media platforms collect?
  1. Desensitizing our Society- Social media provides the opportunity for instant gratification and as a society we have become infected by it.  Who among us has not made a post on Facebook or Twitter and received some gratification when people in their network hit like, or retweet, seconds after it was posted.  We all have.  That is part of the power of social media.  It is also making us less sensitive as we receive so many things in our feeds that we can interact with that we lose sight of what the message of the posts actually is.
  1. The Need for More Training- As with any new software platform on the market today there is always the need for training to master its features.  Social media platforms are no different.  By taking the time to receive proper training on how to effectively utilize social media platforms users do not only become more effective contributors, but also receive less frustration using the platforms and improved ROI on their campaigns.
  1. Control Solutions, Inc Dealing with Real-time Feedback- The ability to post something on the internet instantly naturally means that users will receive instant feedback. If the feedback is positive then it can be extremely ego building, but what about when the feedback is negative?  Possibly hurtful, or even bullying.  Negative feedback can be extremely damaging to individuals and businesses.  Users of social media now have to worry about how negative feedback will affect them both personally and professionally.

Social media is well ingrained in our lives on every level.  The disadvantages that we deal with now are from over use, over stimulation, and bullying.  Things that we never worried about a few years ago, but our society tends to go to extremes before it finds an acceptable rate of use. Through better education, and more social controls with younger users, social media can continue to remain a useful and productive part of our lives.


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