What if brands gave up social media?
Whether through questioning the ROI, the sale of personal data, or addressing unfair competition, not a day goes by that social media are not criticized by stakeholders in the digital environment. As an exercise in hypothetical thinking, we offer an argument reductio ad absurdum: what would happen if brands gave up social media?
In the context of this article, the term “brand” means all organizations using social media for promotional purposes:
- Companies from all industries (B2C or B2B).
- Traditional media or “pure players”.
- Non-governmental and charitable organizations.
- Political organizations.
If brands called it quits on social media:
1. Users would interact with the brand’s network without advertising interruptions.
2. Social media would not be accused of flouting users’ privacy on a daily basis through the monetization of their personal data.
3. Brands would no longer be subject to the vagaries of 2.0 communication.
4. Shopping websites would focus their resources on digital marketing tools, with only customer acquisition in mind.
5. Traditional media outlets would recover their market share via their advertising agencies.
6. Search engines would have a monopoly on the ranking and distribution of content.
6. Search engines would give up a component of their algorithm (content virality), creating a decrease in the relevance of search results.
5. Traditional media outlets would have their impression volumes reduced and therefore the prices of their services as well.
4. Online stores would face a decrease in terms of engagement rate with their target audience as well as with repeat orders with their customer base.
3. Brands would have to do without the support of a core of ambassadors.
2. Consumers could no longer follow their favorite brands, and thus, their interest in social media would decrease.
1. Users would have to pay to use their favorite platforms.
Brands are a part of the digital ecosystem, just as much as much as digital marketing is a part of brands’ ecosystems. One simply does not go without the other.