This post first appeared on my slot over on the great Sprout Insights blog.
Have you ever tried to convince a business owner, or someone in a senior position at your company/employer about the merits of using social media as part of a marketing and communications mix? If the answer to that question is yes, I can bet that you came up against one of the objections below! Being able to counteract those objections is a great weapon to have in the quest for social media adoption – this post will help.
1 – ‘I don’t want to open up our business to negativity’
Ah, that old chestnut! A business should be committed to delivering the best possible experience and service to its customers. Yes, actively using social media platforms may well give people the opportunity to tell you about a less than flattering issue, however, wouldn’t you rather know about that issue? From experience, I know that many modern consumers won’t bother to make a complaint via ‘traditional’ routes such as telephone or email – they want to be able to make a quick connection via Twitter, Facebook etc. Give them the tools to be able to do that. Being active in social media is a fantastic way to uncover insight and opinion with regards to your business. If you have the right processes in place, you can take a negative experience and turn it into a positive one, all via social media. Who knows, that may even lead to a future purchase or a retained customer. Cool huh?
2 – ‘We don’t have anything to say’
I’ve heard this one time and time again and each time, I’ve managed to uncover a number of things that could be used as the basis of impactful content. A few years ago, when businesses really started to adopt social media, many of them used it as an opportunity to give a sneak peak behind the scenes of their company. This is becoming less and less common now and I can’t understand why. Focus on the people that make things happen at your business and you add a human edge to your brand. Share pics of them doing what they do best, interview them, allow them to be the voice of your organisation (with some structure!) and before you know it you are saying a lot! Product news, competitions, polls, live Q&As etc are all simple ways to create meaningful content, or opportunites for your audience to open up a dialogue with you. After all, this isn’t all about you talking! It’s called social media for a reason.
3 – ‘We don’t have time’
Does the business in question have people within it that take care of customer service? Perhaps they take phone calls, respond to emails or even letters (remember those?). Is their time as efficient as possible? I’ve worked with a company to train their customer service staff in the use of Twitter. Now those staff respond to queries and issues in-between calls and email responses. This approach ensures the business is using staff who live and breath customer service and are at the heart of social media efforts, but also alleviates the need to have dedicated social staff. In an ideal world a business would have people with the sole purpose of delivering service via the social media platforms, however that is an understandable step too far for many businesses.
4 – ‘Social Networks are for Kids’
Wrong! Take a look at these charts from the guys at Kiss Metrics and take in to consideration the age breakdown of Facebook and Twitter users.
Armed with those stats, you can’t go wrong!
5 – ‘We Can’t Prove It’s Working’
The ROI (Return on Investment) from social media question is one that is failing to go away. The web is full of debates around the subject and it would be a waste of pixels for me to spend too much time giving advice on this issue. However, if I can give one piece of advice, it would be that the thinking must move away from the ‘bottom line’. Yes social media can effect sales and revenue (and ultimately should do if done well) however getting hung up on that is the reason that may social media strategies fall by the wayside at an early stage. Shift thinking to customer retention, sentiment increase, queries answered versus pre-social media introduction, product feedback and advocate creation and you are well on the way to have a nice round ROI picture. For more on this, read ‘Social Media Isn’t Free, But It’s Worth It’.
There are many other objections out there! What have you been stared down with when trying to make people understand the importance and power of social media? Have you been successful in changing those views? Please do tell us in the comments below.
If you liked this post, please do share on Twitter >>>Tweet