Social Media and Crowdsourcing: Cons

As I wrote in my previous article about crowdsourcing and social media, Crowdsourcing has been successful in finding out a void in the market and creating a brand new market out of it on being applied properly through social media. But yet depending upon few factors the very idea of crowdsourcing done through social may go all in vain. 

The Negative Impacts: Reasons

Though crowdsourcing has been very effective for most of the organizations and agencies, yet it is not free from cons. Generally these negative impacts are always being induced by some factors like the misplacement of need theory into the target crowd, wrong targeting of the crowd, improper handling and improper implementation of the concerned campaigns etc.

The Negative Impacts: Counted

A crowdsourcing campaign may results in differed, unexpected outcomes and even in nuances. The negative impacts of a crowdsourcing campaign are:

  1. Unexpected Results:  Though most of such campaigns serve the purpose very well and yield the best, yet there are campaigns like the one by Time Magazine where it went all wrong. Time magazine in 2006 decided to get its cover page influence person through an online poll and that’s where they faced hard ground. It was a total disaster to Time; finally they decided to put ‘YOU’ on the cover page instead of the funny poll result.
  2. Non Reliability: You cannot always rely on crowdsourcing, whether it’s being done through social media or any other medium. Remember how Coke was trying to dispose their Classic Coke off with the ‘New Coke’? That was purely the result (better say a negative impact) of crowdsourcing. Finally Coke realized the brand positioning of their Classic Coke and brought it back. The all waste of time and effort in New Coke was simply a blunder created by reliability that Coke counted on that crowdsourcing.
  3. Effect on Sustainability: Companies/organizations using crowdsourcing for bigger changes should follow the rules of need targeting among the crowds so selected, without which such a campaign Irrespective of the medium, be it social media or anything else, would directly affect the sustainability of the concerned company. 
  4. Effect on Reputation: Most of the failed crowdsourcing campaigns catch the attention of internet pranksters, as a result of which the applying company feels the heat of abusive words & comments, jokes and even profanity on their concept/s. Under such an impression, it’s a brand under threat.

So, these are the points I wanted to sum up as the negative ones. But in a crowdsourcing effort the stress should always be given on the use side over the yield side. 

Crowdsourcing done either through social media or any other medium is not as simple as it looks. It needs proper planning, strict targeting and a proper strategic implementation. 

Have a look at the scene SMEs all over the world applying crowdsourcing; you would notice these negative points very clearly in all the unsuccessful campaigns.