Solveita logo
16 Reasons Why Social Media is NOT Enough for Business in 2024

16 Reasons Why Social Media is NOT Enough for Business in 2024

Duane Chetcuti avatar

Duane Chetcuti

February 5, 2024

13 min read

Social media is a key marketing channel and a powerful platform for connecting with customers, building brand awareness, and promoting products or services. 52% of small-medium business owners found that social media marketing helped increase sales. However, many small business owners make the mistake of relying solely on social media to market their businesses.

Small businesses found that social media (25%), their company website (20%), and online advertising (18%) were their top three most successful digital marketing tools.

This means that you're potentially leaving lots of money on the table by not utilizing multiple marketing channels.

This article dives into social media's limitations for businesses and suggests alternatives on how to market your business on alternative channels.

Why Social Media is a Great Marketing Channel

Why Social Media is a Great Marketing Channel

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a strategic approach to creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.

Content marketing is not just about posting on social media. It's about creating high-quality, informative, and engaging content that your target audience finds valuable. 

Content marketing is a long-term strategy that takes time and effort to build, but it can be very effective for businesses of all sizes.

Target Audience

Social media offers businesses an opportunity to connect with their target audience, but effective targeting is crucial for maximizing the impact of these efforts.

Each social media platform possesses unique characteristics and user preferences. 

Understanding your ideal customer's demographics, interests, and online behavior is essential for crafting a tailored content strategy that resonates with them. By creating content that aligns with their pain points, aspirations, and preferences, you increase the chances of gaining their attention and generating leads.

Once you identify your ideal audience, utilize social media analytics to analyze your audience demographics and engagement patterns. 

However, will all these benefits, is social media enough to promote your business online?

Limitations of Social Media Marketing

Limitations of Social Media Marketing

1. Control and Ownership Challenges

You have no ownership rights over the content that you post on social media. Once content is shared on a social media platform, it can be used by the platform as they see fit, as written in their terms and conditions. The platform holds the authority to redistribute the content for its financial benefit, all without the business's knowledge or permission, even if the content is deemed proprietary.

It's commonly heard that social media accounts get hacked, and business accounts are compromised. This could mean that you permanently lose all that you built. When it comes to recovering a compromised social media page, you're at the whim of the platform's customer support, which is often unresponsive and impersonal. Even worse, you're at the mercy of the hacker, hoping that they haven't inflicted irreparable damage and that they lack the motivation or expertise to cause further harm. Since you don't own your social media page, you have no access to its data, and you can't back it up, there is no way to recover it.

2. Sales on Social Media

Social media platforms were designed for socializing, and therefore prioritize user engagement over sales.

The algorithm favors content that sparks interactions rather than product promotion.

Successful businesses on social media don't directly sell to their audience. They use social media to build engagement and a community around their brand. Then, they indirectly sell to their audience.

This makes it challenging for businesses to find creative ways to build a following and sell to that audience without being too direct.

3. Entertainment, Not Products

Users primarily use social media for entertaining or educational content. Nobody likes when door salesmen knock on their doors because people don't like being sold to.

The best marketing doesn't feel like marketing.

Tom Fishburne

Tom Fishburne

Founder, Marketoonist

If you are directly promoting your products on social media, people will instantly skip so that they can continue being entertained by someone else's content. This is why platforms prevent you from skipping ads right away because almost everyone would do so.

This makes social media platforms not an ideal platform for business sales. However, if you are creative and build a brand personality, you can still indirectly generate sales.

4. Visibility Issues

Social media platforms often change their algorithm, which affects your digital business strategy. These changes often come without warning, allowing you no time to prepare.

LinkedIn recently stopped allowing carousel posts, which was the format of most ROI on Linkedin. Businesses that relied on those carousels took a big hit. (the only way to post "carousels" on Linkedin now is to upload PDFs)

Another popular example of this is when Instagram rolled out reels, making carousels less effective and "forcing" everyone to start posting short-form videos because that's the only format that worked. Businesses that initially saw success with carousels took a big hit when Instagram reels rolled out.

Social media platforms are a business, and their primary aim is to make money. This means that such platforms will prioritize paid promotions over organic reach, making your content visible to less people if you don't pay. This means that your competitors will be more visible than you if they pay more than you.

5. E-commerce Limitations

Social media platforms are designed for content to be consumed, and users get the entertainment that they are looking for. Such platforms are designed to hook people into wanting to see more so that they spend more time on the platform.

Social media platforms were not designed for products, for shopping, or customer support.  It's not always easy to find information about products from social media if you're browsing a gallery of separate and unrelated posts. People usually cannot buy products directly from social media because the functionality is missing. This is why e-commerce brands on social media send their audience to the business website for them to buy products.

To make it worse, if people don't like seeing direct product promotion, then the platform would not show such content for fear that people would just quit the application.

If you want the platform to help you show your content to a bigger audience, you need to provide the content that people like seeing, so that the algorithm will favor you.

6. Content Challenges

Every social media platform is different and what works on one does not always work on the other. This makes it more challenging and time-consuming to make and adapt content for multiple platforms.

Gary Vaynerchuck explained how important it is to understand the tone, the tenor, and the creative strategy of different platforms.

Every brand is different and certain formats don't align with certain brands. This makes it more challenging to find a format that works for your brand and works for the platform's algorithm.

A piece of advice from us: If we had to pick one format, we would make valuable and digestible short-form videos and post them on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube Shorts; but this all depends on your kind of business and marketing goals.

7. Ephemeral Content and Messaging

Ephemeral content is digital content, such as images or videos, that is visible for a short period. A common example of this is "Stories" on social media platforms.

Social media platforms favor ephemeral content because it keeps people coming regularly so that they don't miss out on any content, and it keeps the content fresh.

On the other hand, this is not favorable for businesses because the longevity of marketing messages is limited, making the budget and effort challenging for such a short period of visibility.

8. Product Demonstration Challenges

Social media platforms can be a great place to show your products and spark demand.

The challenge is to show the product in more detail. This is because showing too much can be boring for most, and showing too little might not be enough to spark demand.

People cannot easily browse to learn more or see the product in more detail. This is an even bigger problem if the business page consists of many products. 

Some products need a lot of writing to describe and share technical specifications, which on certain social media platforms, such as Instagram, is not possible as they only allow videos and images. X only allows up to 280 characters which forces you to write less.

Every platform has different rules, so relying only on social media can limit the way you show and explain your products or services.

9. Navigation and Information Accessibility

Navigating social media platforms poses challenges for businesses aiming to provide a seamless user experience. With limited navigation options on social media pages, users may struggle to efficiently find specific information. 

A common example of this issue is restaurant menus. Usually, it is posted as an image with all the other content. This means that your audience has to go through a lot of content to find your restaurant menu.

At this point, you possibly already lost the potential customer, and your competitor's social media page is right next door.

10. Inadequate Analytics and Insights

Analytics are important to make informed decisions as a business.

Most social media platforms do provide some form of analytics, and in many cases, they are enough, however, they are not as elaborate as some that we see in custom-made websites.

Such missing data can leave you wondering about your audience's behavior, such as how many people who visited your social media page have clicked on your email and sent you one.

Social media platforms provide only a fraction of the analytics needed for a holistic view of your business's online presence because they can only provide data from that particular platform.

Something that is missing from most platforms and can be very useful for certain businesses is real-time data.

11. Competition for Attention

Social media is oversaturated with content, creating fierce competition for attention. Once something is favored by the algorithm, many will start doing it, until it becomes oversaturated again and a new trend is discovered.

To make it worse, your competitors are very easy to find, sometimes even from your social media page, as the platform recommends other similar pages.

All this competition means you get fewer views, so you need to find creative ways to stand out. This requires strategic content planning and continuous effort.

Just because you have more likes, doesn't mean you have more customers.

Dr. Jonah Berger

Dr. Jonah Berger

Professor & Author

12. Lack of Customization

The lack of customization options on these platforms restricts businesses from tailoring the "look and feel" to match their brand identity.

Since you only control a portion of the platform, elements such as colors and fonts are not something that you can tailor to your brand.

This means that apart from the profile and content, you and all your competitors are the same. 

Something that successful businesses tend to focus on is the user's journey. This means that you build the structure in a way that users tend to follow a particular flow, which usually ends in them making a sale and eventually coming back for more. Since the platform is built by others, the user journey follows their agenda, not yours.

13. Data Privacy Concerns

As time progresses, and more horror stories are heard, people are getting more conscious about data privacy. Social media platforms are usually far from private, as your data is used by such platforms for monetary gain, as one can read in their terms and conditions.

This means that users are increasingly wary of sharing personal information on social media platforms. This hesitancy can translate into reluctance among potential customers to engage with businesses on these platforms.

14. Lead Generation Challenges

Despite the widespread use of social media for business promotion, small enterprises encounter substantial challenges when it comes to lead generation.

Social media platforms may offer limited features for effective lead generation. The absence of comprehensive tools can hinder businesses from capturing and nurturing leads directly on these platforms.

The intense competition for user attention on social media makes it even more challenging to stand out and capture leads effectively.

15. Multilingual Limitations

In a globalized business, or Malta's diverse society, reaching and engaging a multilingual audience could become crucial for expanding your market presence. However, social media platforms present significant challenges in achieving effective communication across languages.

This can force businesses to manage multiple social media accounts across regions and languages.

Language is important to people. A great example of this is Airbnb, that provides a seamless user experience when it comes to language barriers. Airbnb hosts and guests can speak in their primary language without worrying about the receiving end, as the app automatically translates for you. This gives a much better user experience, but social media platforms do not translate content for users.

16. Business Searches on Social Media

While social media serves as a valuable tool for brand visibility and engagement, it falls short in catering to users seeking businesses.

Social media platforms are not designed as dedicated search engines, and their search functionalities may not provide comprehensive results for users seeking specific businesses. This limitation reduces the chances of businesses being discovered through direct searches on these platforms.

People usually use social media to be entertained, so they discover content by endlessly scrolling, not searching. This means that your content strategy has to be working for you to be discovered by potential customers.

Other Marketing Channels to Build Your Brand

Other Marketing Channels to Build Your Brand

Email Marketing

Email marketing can generate 10 times clicks than social media marketing, and can generate 174% the conversions of social media.

Establishing an email list allows direct communication with potential customers. It's a personalized way to share promotions, updates, and valuable content.

Since they provided their email, you know that they are already somewhat interested in your brand. This can also help you to sell to your existing customers.

Emails often have higher engagement rates compared to social media. People tend to check their emails more consistently, providing a better chance for your messages to be seen and acted upon.

Compared to traditional marketing channels, email marketing is cost-effective. Sending targeted messages to a large audience doesn't require significant budget allocations, making it an efficient strategy for small businesses.

Email marketing allows for precise segmentation of your audience. You can tailor messages based on demographics, behaviors, or past interactions, ensuring that each recipient receives more relevant content.

Implementing automation in email campaigns saves time and ensures timely communication. You can set up automated workflows for welcome emails, follow-ups, or personalized recommendations, enhancing efficiency in customer engagement.

You don't own your social media page and can lose it in a heart beat, but you own your email list.


Integrating a website into your digital marketing strategy offers several advantages, providing a more robust and sustainable platform for your business.

Firstly, you own your website and its content, and you have full control. You dictate the content, design, and user experience, reducing the risk of sudden changes affecting your online presence.

A website allows full customization, from colors and fonts to the overall look and feel. You can create a consistent brand experience that aligns with your business identity.

You have the flexibility to showcase a variety of content formats, including detailed product descriptions, high-quality images, videos, and blog posts. This versatility enhances your ability to engage and inform visitors.

A website can host an integrated e-commerce platform, allowing customers to browse, select, and purchase products directly. This seamless shopping experience enhances user satisfaction and encourages sales.

Robust analytics tools like Google Analytics offer in-depth insights into user interactions, allowing you to understand your audience, track conversions, and make data-driven decisions to optimize your strategy.

A website allows you to cater to a global audience by providing multilingual options and adapting content to diverse cultural preferences.

Websites offer greater adaptability. You can incorporate the latest design trends, technologies, and marketing strategies without being solely dependent on external platforms.

Tips for Effective Marketing


Implementing search engine optimization strategies for your website enhances its visibility on search engines, attracting organic traffic and increasing the likelihood of being discovered by potential customers actively searching for products or services.

Unlike social media, where content quickly fades, SEO provides long-term visibility. Well-optimized content continues to attract organic traffic over time, ensuring a sustained presence in search engine results.

SEO allows businesses to target specific keywords relevant to their products or services. This ensures that your content is shown to users actively searching for information related to your industry, leading to higher quality and more targeted traffic.

SEO is a powerful lead-generation tool. Users actively searching for products or services are more likely to convert, making organic traffic a valuable source of potential customers.

Ranking high on search engine results instills a sense of credibility and trust in users. People often trust websites that appear at the top of search results, enhancing your brand's reputation.

While social media advertising often requires a budget, SEO is a cost-effective strategy for small businesses. Once optimized, your content can continue to attract organic traffic without ongoing expenses.

SEO helps align content with user intent. By understanding what users are searching for, businesses can create content that directly addresses their needs, increasing the likelihood of conversions.

Traditional Marketing

If you want to target an area and your business is not a niche, you can use traditional marketing materials, such as brochures, business cards, and flyers, to provide a tangible and memorable way for customers to interact with your brand. Physical items can leave a lasting impression and serve as a constant reminder.

Traditional marketing methods, such as television commercials or billboards, have the potential to reach a vast and diverse audience simultaneously, making them effective for brand exposure on a large scale. Repeated exposure through traditional channels can also contribute to brand recognition.

Integrating traditional marketing with digital efforts creates cross-channel synergy. For instance, featuring a QR code on a print ad can seamlessly direct customers to your online platforms, enhancing overall brand exposure.

Referral Programs

Referral programs are a cost-effective method for customer acquisition. Leveraging existing customers to bring in new ones minimizes advertising expenses while maximizing the potential for high-quality leads.

Referrals come with a built-in level of trust. When a customer recommends your business, it instills confidence in the referred person, making them more likely to engage with your products or services.

Implementing a referral program reinforces customer loyalty. Customers who participate in referral programs often feel a stronger connection to the brand, knowing that their recommendations are valued.

Referral programs have the potential for exponential growth. As referred customers become advocates and refer others, the network effect can lead to a continuous cycle of new customer acquisition.

Referral programs incentivize word-of-mouth marketing. When customers are rewarded for recommending your business, they are more likely to actively share their positive experiences with friends and family.

Revolut grew 150x with referral marketing. People earned money for successful invites, incentivizing word-of-mouth in a very cost-effective way.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is a powerful tool for businesses to connect with their target audience, build brand awareness, and drive sales. It leverages the reach and influence of social media personalities to amplify brand visibility, foster authentic connections, and reach highly targeted audiences.

Influencer marketing offers a cost-effective and scalable approach compared to traditional marketing methods. Businesses can partner with micro-influencers or influencers with smaller but highly engaged audiences to effectively reach their target market.

While challenges exist in measuring the exact ROI of influencer marketing campaigns, businesses can still gain valuable insights through analytics and data analysis. Tracking engagement metrics, conversion rates, and website traffic generated from influencer collaborations can provide indications of the campaign's effectiveness.

Partnering with reputable and authentic influencers significantly enhances a brand's credibility and reputation. When a respected influencer endorses a product or service, it carries weight with their followers, increasing brand trust and desirability. This positive association can lead to increased brand loyalty and advocacy among the influencer's audience.

Tips for Effective Marketing

  • Know your audience and target your marketing efforts accordingly.
  • Create high-quality content that is relevant to your audience.
  • Track your results and make adjustments to your strategy as needed.
  • Be patient and consistent with your marketing efforts.


Social media is an excellent tool, but it's just one piece of the puzzle. By integrating social media with other marketing strategies, businesses can create a comprehensive approach that delivers results.

Successful businesses use social media to connect with their audience, build brand recognition, and drive traffic to their websites. However, they don't rely solely on social media; they use a combination of marketing channels to reach a wider audience and achieve sustainable success.

Don't be afraid to experiment with different marketing channels and find what works best for your business.

Need our help?

Empower your business, with us.