Social Media Use and Abuse

Social Media Use and Abuse

By Paula Anderson

As with most new ideas, the original intent of a product or service may change once it has been on the market for a while.  This is the case in the social media world.  Most platforms were developed by college students to connect with each other. The idea of marketing and advertising were not the focus.

However, since the business community has focused a lot of human and financial resources into social media campaigns it is trying to target huge markets (i.e. millennials). As such, we have started to see instances of misuse and abuse.

The goal is to generate content that allows users to connect and share information with family and friends.  Some of the misuse stems from over-marketing on social media sites. As businesses work to increase brand recognition, there has to be a balance between marketing and engagement.

According to the article, “How Businesses Are Misusing Social Media to Reach Millennials,” it recommended users to focus on one-third of brand content, one-third curated content and one-third promotional content.

This strategy is suggested because social media should focus on building and maintaining relationships along with conversation.

Another factor about misuse is related to the number of followers.  In the article, “The Abuse and Misuse of Social Media Marketing,” having a high number of followers does not determine quality.  The article also points out that people are your measurement factor not numbers.

The next key factor for misuse is the ability to protect your brand in social media channels.  Downloading photos and other copyrighted materials can have an impact on various platforms. This is significant because photos, images and logos can be downloaded and shared by any Facebook ® user and it creates an opportunity for malicious behaviors to occur. Companies spend years and resources to build and establish brand equity. It is highly recommended that some best practices be used to ensure protection in the social media realm.

The final piece to this is that social media can be a revenue stream for businesses. The advertising campaigns target specific individuals and this is driving e-commerce and millennials are the primary target for these ads.

Although there are privacy settings and controls, there will always be individuals behind the scenes trying to disrupt and interfere with social media strategies.

Paula Anderson is the founder and president of Writing by Design Media. She can be reached at