11 Ridiculous Excuses Organizations “Still” Use to Avoid Social Media

11 Ridiculous Excuses Organizations “Still” Use to Avoid Social Media

In all Honesty, I’ve heard way more than 11 unconvincing objections from organizations on why they’ve avoided setting a social media strategy in place. For the sake of your precious time, I’ll focus on the most overly used, silliest, most ridiculous excuses I’m faced with on a regular basis.

On a side note, to all the CEO’s, CFO’s, or any other C level management who put up a good fight, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to prove you wrong on such a large scale, once and for all. Here we go.

Our customers aren’t on social networks.

Let’s go to the scoreboard. Lucky for us, Facebook keeps its stats page updated and have recently announced that they’ve surpassed the 400 million members mark. Combine that with the fact that the average Facebook user has 130 friends in their network and it’s clear that focusing on Facebook alone would offer a potentially significant and diverse customer base. LinkedIn’s 60 million members are nothing to sneeze at either, especially if your target audience is the professional type. Twitter’s co-owner Biz Stone reveled the site has reached 105 million registered members at the Chirp Twitter Developer Conference, resulting in over 50 million tweets a day. Granted, there’s a fairly high churn rate of Twitter users.

We don’t have anything to say.

If you’re a business owner or in a managerial position and “not having anything to say” is your excuse, PLEASE leave your office right now and find another job. Go for something you’re at least passionate enough about that you’ll to want to share with others. Your perspective on what’s happening within your industry is a perfect start towards establishing yourself an influencer within your industry. As with almost every business, you probably also have a few whitepapers, presentations, videos or case studies lying around. Put them to work for you on sites like Scribd, Slideshare and Viddler which offer prime opportunity for you to increase visibility to your brand and offering. A good example of this is the – 5 Tips Towards Successful Multi-Channel Branded Campaigns presentation I posted for one of my clients, Clip in Touch. In one day alone it generated 122 views on Slideshare.

We’ve tried it, it didn’t work.

What exactly did you try? More importantly what were you trying to achieve? Your expectations may have been misguided. The main concept behind social media is building a connection and relationship with others. It’s not about looking at ROI but at ROV (Return on Value). Begin by asking yourself these key questions:

  • What values can our brand offer others by participating in social media?
  • What’s the biggest challenge our customers face?

Your social efforts should focus on offering solutions to these questions on a daily basis.
Once you’ve kicked off your social marketing tactics, immediately start tracking the effects of your outreach.

You’re probably going  to (or at least your boss will) ask: “Well, how do I know it’s working?
What you need to start keeping track of is:

  • Are more people following you’re brands social profiles?
  • Have you answered any questions potential clients or customers may have had?
  • Have there been more conversations “sparked” due to your active participation online?
  • Have you engaged with others via their blog or pages, increasing visibility for your brand?

A great way to track conversations you may have ignited is by using a URL shortner such as Bit.ly to find out how many people have clicked on a link you’ve posted. Highly recommended.

Our staff doesn’t have time.

Create a strategy. Put people in charge of specific tasks, from tracking conversations about your brand and business (Yes, there is now such a thing as chief listening officers) to posting and replying. Invest half an hour a day at first. Write 1 solid blog post a week and promote it with service like HelloTxt that broadcast out to tons of social networks. The tools are out there, whether it’s broadcasting content with HelloTxt or Tubemogul to tracking conversations with services like SocialMention or Google Alerts. Failing to invest at least half an hour to an hour a day participating in social media puts your business in a significant disadvantage from your competitors.

We need sales, dammit.

Customer retention, trust, engagement, service… Aren’t these all core values from companies we want to do business with? People invest in people they trust. Give your potential customers a reason to listen and engage with you and you’ll connect with them on more personal level than ever before. That being said, remember its “social” media. Pay attention to your past customers and reach out to those who haven’t decided yet. Helping them make a better purchasing decision offers the ultimate opportunity to let your brand shine!

We don’t want to divulge any “TOP SECRET” information

I’d give you the answer to this one but I’m afraid that’s classified.

It’s too overwhelming

There are literally hundreds of social networks out there. I hear you, it can seem overwhelming. Just like with traditional media you wouldn’t invest in every print or TV ad, there’s really no need to invest your efforts in every social media channel that pops up daily. That’s not to say you shouldn’t own all your social profiles before a competitor does. Research the top social networks before you invest your time and energy in them. Facebook’s fan pages are great way to establish a presence for the masses. LinkedIn’s groups let you keep it tight professional and focused. Understand where your audience is participating and get involved.

Our staff will waste time on Facebook

Chances are that your staff is already visiting Facebook daily, there’s no questioning that. Now it’s up to you to decide if you’ll create a page for your brand and invite them to post about the business, inviting more fans, or let your competitors

We’ll be flooded with negative comments.

Opening your brand to reviews and feedback offers you a wealth of knowledge you otherwise wouldn’t have received. Listening to your customers (good or bad) gives you the chance to better your service, quality, product, price, what have you. Want to really make a splash? Reach out and “hug” those who don’t see eye-to-eye with your offering. Thank them for taking the time to sharing their thoughts and helping shape the future of how you do business.

I get it, but management doesn’t.

Has there ever been a better opportunity for you to bring something so serious to your management’s attention?  The way we do business is changing. The days of broadcasting our message out over and over again until it sticks are gone. Marketing departments are looking for ways to drop costs and increase results. Businesses that don’t understand the impact social media can have on their bottom line are literally leaving money on the table.

Social media? We run a “professional” operation here. This won’t look serious.

Dell, Microsoft, Ford, SAP, GE and the list goes on and on. The biggest brands we know are increasingly spending more and more each year in their social marketing efforts. Annual growth in US B2B online marketing spend is forecast at 8% in 2010 and is set to reach 14% by 2012. The shift from understanding the social impact to benefiting from it is happening at this very moment.

There’s really no excuse. Today’s the day you need to leverage social media. The risks of not creating an engagement strategy for your brand, greatly outweighs the risks of jumping in with both feet.

I’m turning this post back to you.
What objections have you been faced with prior to setting a social strategy in motion?