Social Media: The Good, Bad, and Ugly

Social media is a must-have if you want to stay relevant in promoting a business or promoting yourself. These days, when anyone wants to learn more about you or your business, they will first rush to Google. From there they will discover your Facebook posts, Tweets, and Instagram images ... if you have accounts and consistently post. Should you dive in? Before you do, know that -- just like most things in life -- there are good, bad and ugly aspects of social media.

The Good

Businesses who have a large social media presence have better sales and more access to their clients or customers. Social media accounts are a gold mine for start-ups with small marketing budgets and a willingness to invest time in posting. The best marketing tool is word of mouth from a satisfied customer, and social media gives customers the power to make quick posts that are shared instantly across the world.

A recent example of this tremendous effect is the Patti LaBelle pie frenzy. James Wright posted a video on YouTube that went viral, now bolstering over 4 million views. Wright gave an animated review of Patti LaBelle’s sweet potato pies being sold exclusively at Wal-Mart. With each share and re-post, pie sales increased, reaching $2.3 million in just one week.

Wright wasn't a celebrity. He simply posted a video, but the power of social media not only increased the sales of those sweet potato pies, it led to the launch of his musical career.

The Bad

Social media is perceived as all facts and no fiction. Celebrities and athletes understand this concept all too well.

In the world of "share first" and "verify the truth" second, celebrities and athletes are at the mercy of gossip sites and professional social media users looking to gain followers at any cost. With any post, followers weigh in on Vine videos, Snapchat, Tweets or Facebook posts, and develop conclusions that may be far from the actual facts.

Unfortunately, the dog-eat-dog world of social media lives to get as many followers as possible, meaning users will sacrifice quality content for an audience.

The Ugly

Ayesha Curry Social MediaAyesha Curry -- wife of NBA Champion Steph Curry -- is no stranger to social media buzz and recently made headlines after tweeting her wardrobe preferences. Ayesha is typically adored by fans for her cooking skills, relationship with her husband and children, and her relationship with God. Photos of her and her husband are often followed by the hashtag “relationship goals” due to the perception of her perfect life.

Unfortunately, where there’s praise there will be criticism. Ayesha tweeted:

“Everyone's into barely wearing clothes these days huh? Not my style. I like to keep the good stuff covered up for the one who matters”

She was immediately bombarded with accusations of judgment, self-righteousness and self-hate. How could a single tweet -- seemingly harmless -- lead to such an uproar that it makes the headlines of every news website? But she is not alone.

The fact is that,once you post, you open yourself up to criticism and judgment ... especially by those who do not know you personally. These “followers” create a perception of you based on a compilation of your Facebook statuses, Instagram photos, Snapchats, Vines, Periscope podcasts, and even your LinkedIn profile that may or may not be accurate.

Social media may carry some bad and some ugly, but the fact is that social media is a necessary evil in marketing yourself or your business. The exposure reaches masses unparalleled to any other marketing tool and the cost is incomparable. There is no hard rule on staying clear of the bad and the ugly of social media but a great tip is think before you share!

For more information about how social media affects your business, email me at:!

Tenisha Patterson Brown, Esq.

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