Wednesday, 28th October 2020

This Month's Magazine
Social media is here to stay!!

Social media is here to stay!!

Sure, but letÂ’s not confuse this with marketing or interactivity with consumers.

Telling your circle of friends and family about your business is only a very small part of what is intended by marketing, there is a big difference between advertising and promoting a business in the market and pushing the information to friends, family and anyone else on social media.

Interactivity is when a business interacts with the consumers. Of course I am all for Facebook and Twitter and the suchlike, but I believe it is important to maintain a professional business image and not be taken for a peddler or Dell Boy using such means only to avoid paying for advertising and even legitimate taxation at the expense of those who do.

Some advertising agents go as far as offering to maintain and update your social page, though I do not think what good that does when your announcement will only last a few hours, sometimes even minutes, before it is pushed all the way down out of sight by all the others. And if you keep sharing the same announcement you make a nuisance of yourself.

Some intermediaries offer to make comparisons online for different products, with the idea to save you time in searching and money in finding the cheapest provider. These are certainly not social media. Many advertise quite heavily especially on television, but has it ever occurred to you where does all that massive advertising investment come from to offer you such a
service free of charge? You of course!!

They are agents; Insurance Agents, Car Sales Agents, Travel Agents and so on. The minute you decide to buy something, your purchase price pays them a commission which in turn pays for their profit and for advertising their own business. Quite frankly, if it is money I am trying to save I could save quite a bit more going direct to the supplier and avoid paying the intermediary.

Regrettably some advertising agencies are aiding such intermediaries to acquire a certain status they do not deserve. Take Tripadvisor as a classic example.

Tripadvfisor is not a social medium; it is a Travel Agency for flights, hotels, accommodation earning its money through the bookings made through them and now also trying to extend its potential earning services from restaurants and other possible


They are entering the restaurant sphere by pretending to be a social medium contributed to by the consumers themselves. Damn it, it is clear that they do not bother to provide a professionally researched service for genuine users and rely entirely on unprofessional opinions and views expressed by users, a system that is abused by restaurants themselves paying others to say how good they are or paying others to say how bad a competitor might be.

Some consumers are known to use the threat of a bad review in order not to pay their bills or get a reduction. The reviews are certainly not all unbiased and the proof lies in the number of serious complaints and court cases against Tripadvisor worldwide. How else would you explain some opinions about the famous Ritz Hotel in London: 43 said it was average, 31 said it was poor and 22 said it was terrible.

Contrary to what some advertising agencies may tell their clients, Tripoadvisor is most certainly not a reliable source of information, even assuming there are genuine reviews by consumers, they could not be reliably provided by unbiased trade professionals.

On the other hand, trying to contact Tripadvisor to inform them of an incorrect piece of information, like “the restaurant is not closed”, or a defamatory comment on their website is quite impossible, not even by phone. Clearly not a social media!! They could not careless.

The next time an advertising agency tries to sell you their marketing services on Social Media, especially Tripadviosor, your answer should be “Bollocks”.

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