Opinion

How Social Media Can Cost You Money in 2017

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Joanne Poh

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Each time I scroll through my Facebook timeline, I no longer get accosted by party photos or pictures of people’s kids.

No, the most aggressive Facebook posters on my list are property agents and insurance agents, plugging their latest property listing or trying to share tips on financial planning.

Then there’s the occasional post from some blogshop owner who annoyingly tags everyone in his pictures of cellphone covers.

Be that as it may, social media isn’t exactly the goldmine Facebook addicts might try to claim it is. You know that claim is only to justify the fact that they gaze into its eyes first thing every morning.

In fact, social media could be costing you money, whether you’re using it to promote your business or just to stalk people. Here’s how:

 

You can never predict your internet audience’s reaction

Social media might give you access to a large number of people to whom you can potentially sell your products and services, or ask for lobang.

But you don’t just stick in your ATM card and expect the cash to come rolling in.

The truth is, you can never predict 100% how your internet audience will react.

For instance, the folks who made influencer platform Faves Asia’s ultra cringe-worthy video most definitely thought it would give wannabe celebrity bloggers something to aspire to. But the video got so much ridicule and backlash they removed it shortly after.

The video follows a vapid local girl who stalks “influencers’” Instagram accounts. When she joins Faves Asia, she gets a ticket to the high life, and ends up going on dates with a Maserati-driving dude.

Since it’s been two months, you might have forgotten how bad it is, so watch the actual video here, in all its cringe-worthy glory.

 

Mistakes can be reputation killers

Whatever you do and say on the Internet stays forever. Even if you take it down, it will live on in people’s screenshots and Facebook posts.

And despite the adage that any publicity is good publicity, making a PR mistake on social media can decimate your reputation.

For instance, remember that HighBlood dating app everyone’s been talking about earlier this year? Yes, the one whose advertising slogan is “no banglas, no maids, no uglies, no fakes/bots, no escorts”.

Well, it’s gotten so much bad publicity that it’s pretty doubtful any of the rich, pedigreed audience it hopes to attract will ever sign up.

 

It can be a huge waste of time

Using social media to make money is hugely time consuming. Even if you’re so disciplined that you are impervious to cat videos, building up a following on any platform takes a lot of time. That’s why people get hired as actual social media managers.

For most ordinary people, resisting the temptation to avoid clicking on people’s holiday photos, stalking acquaintances and reading fifty shared articles a day is too much.

The average Singaporean spends 2.2 hours a day on social media which is, well, pretty sad when you consider the fact that we complain about not having enough time to sleep, read, exercise, date or spend time with family.

 

You become more vulnerable to scammers

Singaporeans are proud of living in a country where you can walk around at 4am without fear of getting mugged.

But on the internet, it’s a different story. Online scams are rife, and Singaporeans are losing more and more money to fake internet lovers and tricksters posing as WeChat prostitutes.

One woman lost $1.2 million to a love scammer she met on Facebook. OMG.

These scammers take to social networks to source for victims. For instance, love scammers have diversified from using mainly Facebook to getting on apps like Tinder.

For these victims, the amount of cash they’re losing on social media far outweighs any money they’ll ever manage to make on the Internet.

How is social media having an impact on your life and income? Tell us in the comments!

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Joanne Poh

In my previous life, I was a property lawyer who spent most of my time struggling to get out of bed or stuck in peak hour traffic. These days, as a freelance commercial writer, I work in bed, on the beach, in parks and at cafes, all while being really frugal. I like helping other people save money so they can stop living lives they don't like.