Social media and your business

Nov 11, 2019

“Social media is a virtual world. It’s a false world. Spend more time in the real world and less time on your individual PR program, and encourage your staff to do the same.”

I’m sorry to say this, but social media is bad. While there may be SOME good that comes from social media, the bad far outweighs any benefits. And it is causing lots of problems for your business!

I’m not sure I can list all of the problems social media is causing for your business, but some of them follow:

  • It wastes a lot of your people’s time during work hours. The amount of time people spend on their phones or work computers on Facebook and Instagram in particular is significant. A recent study found that one out of every eight minutes online is spent on Facebook. This is time your employees are getting paid for and should be spent on their jobs. It is costing you dearly in terms of their productivity!
  • It wastes a lot of your people’s time after work hours. Why is this a concern for you? Your people spend plenty of time at work and getting to and from the office. When they go home and spend time on social media instead of time with their families or doing personal stuff, they may blame their jobs instead of how they are deciding to use their non-work time. That isn’t good for you if you think happy, engaged workers are going to be more productive.
  • It creates dissatisfaction in your people – dissatisfaction with their jobs and dissatisfaction with their lives overall. This is a biggie. When they see everyone else in the firm going on trips to cool places or eating luxurious dinners on company trips, they may feel left out and think “the other guy” has it better than they do. Conversely, if they have to travel constantly and miss out on home activities, seeing their coworkers doing fun things with their families may make them feel like they are missing out, too. Neither of these situations is good for you as their employer. Not to mention all the jealously that comes from coworkers when they see someone moving into their new house or buying a new car. They may think the other person is making more than they are or being treated better by the company. This can lead to them being dissatisfied with their jobs and lives.
  • It divides your people and creates relationship problems for them with their coworkers. We all know too much about each other thanks to social media. We know how everyone we work with feels about politics, religion, current events in the community, and much more. And all of this divides us. Some people find it difficult or even impossible to work with someone who feels differently from them about some of these contentious topics. They judge them when they wouldn’t if they didn’t have so much information. Not to mention all of the relationship woes that come from who “likes” or doesn’t “like” a particular social media posting. These things can give someone the idea that another person doesn’t like them. None of this enhances your employees’ work relationships with each other or with you.
  • It may show a side of your firm and people to your clients that isn’t helping your image in the marketplace. When clients see all of your company parties, or learn about the political orientation of your staff or the person in your firm responsible for their business or project, they may feel that they aren’t getting what they are paying for or that you even think bad things about them. Or perhaps all they notice is the person they are dealing with posts a lot of stupid, superficial stuff or bad jokes, and that leads them to think they aren’t very intelligent. None of this is helping you.

The only solution I know of for all of this stuff is to just get off of social media. And if you won’t do that yourself, you will have a hard time getting your people to do so. Remember, it’s “monkey see, monkey do” when it comes to leadership. And if you can’t make yourself get off social media entirely, spend your time on it carefully and only post things that are potentially helpful or inspirational to your clients and coworkers.

Let’s face it – social media is a virtual world. It’s a false world. Spend more time in the real world and less time on your individual PR program, and encourage your staff to do the same. Your relationships, both inside and outside of the company, will improve. We were all so excited with email and texting as productivity boosters. I know I was. But social media – I’m confident to predict – will prove to be a negative for us in the end.

Mark Zweig is Zweig Group’s chairman and founder. Contact him at

About Zweig Group

Zweig Group, three times on the Inc. 500/5000 list, is the industry leader and premiere authority in AEC firm management and marketing, the go-to source for data and research, and the leading provider of customized learning and training. Zweig Group exists to help AEC firms succeed in a complicated and challenging marketplace through services that include: Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategic Planning, Valuation, Executive Search, Board of Director Services, Ownership Transition, Marketing & Branding, and Business Development Training. The firm has offices in Dallas and Fayetteville, Arkansas.