The Biggest Reasons Companies Don’t Use Social Media
It seems like most companies are on social media.
Some, though, are engaging and creating much more than others.
I’ve certainly been guilty of not using social media in the past. For both person and business situations.
So for this post I wanted to go through the common reasons companies don’t use social media and look at maybe why those reasons don’t hold water.
#1. Resource Requirement
This is a big one. I think a lot of companies were encouraged to “go social” and it’s easy to launch an account. It’s much more difficult to create the content over and over again.
It can feel like a big rat race.
I see it with blogging and podcasting and video blogging all the time. The same on social media. It’s easy to start. It’s easy to get through the first ten or so ideas. Then things get difficult and the activity grinds to a halt.
But obviously there is a way around this. You can hire people to create content and manage your social channels. Even interns.
The big caveat there is giving them enough direction without micromanaging them. If you hire an intern, for example, you have to be comfortable with them learning. They’ll make mistakes, but give them freedom to create quantity so they can learn what works and learn how to create quality.
#2. “It doesn’t work…”
You’ll hear this one after that initial excitement stage. you post for a month and have no followers and nothing is happening and you just figure that it must be the platform’s issue and not yours.
Another way you’ll hear this one is that it doesn’t work for a specific industry. That’s just not true either.
It doesn’t matter the industry or how boring you might think it is. If you create the right content for the platform people will come to pay attention. But it takes time and a long-term commitment to learn what the “right” kind of content is.
A good place to start is with the idea of marrying education and entertainment. I loved the videos for Will It Blend.
Does it get more boring than blenders? Not when you’re putting iPhones in them and seeing what happens…
#3. No ROI
This is a big one in the marketing world in general. And I totally get it.
But there is an easy way to measure sales for things that you can’t really measure.
See what sales are now. Invest in something for 1-2 years. See where sales are at the end of that period.
Now, it can certainly get convoluted if you’re doing all kinds of things at once, but if you have the discipline to limit your investment you can track sales back.
The thing with social media is that you’re not going to get direct sales. Very rarely will someone read a tweet or click a Facebook link and buy something.
Social media is about awareness. Awareness that leads to sales once people are in buying mode.
We’re only ever in “buying mode” 3% of the time. At most.
That doesn’t mean that you don’t want to earn attention the other 97% of the time.
What you’ll often see if you invest in social media marketing is that over time the number of searches for your brand name increase. These are people remembering your brand name from social media and finding you now that they’re in buying mode.
But Google gets the credit instead of social media.
#4. PR Gaffe Risk
Definitely a big risk here. But I think it’s a little overblown. There have certainly been some high profile cases over the years. Sometimes when an intern has been left in charge of the big corporate account and they post something very bad.
But I honestly can’t think of the big ones…
People forget and move on. If you keep making the same mistakes people notice trends. If you make one mistake and people see that it’s out of character and that you get back to doing good things people quickly forget.
The upside is worth so much more the downside of one or two possible mistakes.
#5. Content Ownership
This is the one that’s always been big for me. I’m in the blogging world. I like owning the content. I like being able to control the content. I like knowing that a website will probably always be there while social platforms come and go.
But over the years I’ve grown to accept that it’s about brand awareness. And content is really just video, audio or text. If you’re learning one or all of those you can adapt to changing platforms.
The reality is that websites might be in danger. But creating content still has value. I’ve had to learn to accept this and the brand awareness opportunity makes it worth it.
#6. Effort & Long-Term Commitment
I think commitment is a big issue. It’s definitely long-term. You’re not going to put effort into Facebook or YouTube for a year and get return. It takes years.
Look at the business accounts on social that you admire most. Chances are they’ve been doing it for 5+ years.
That’s a big commitment, but it’s also a big opportunity. Many companies feel that it’s just too much to commit.
But people want as much content as possible. That’s an opportunity for those willing to think long-term.
#7. Changing Rules
There is always an uproar when Facebook changes the rules for content on their platform.
It’s definitely frustrating.
It’s just kind of the nature of it. If a platform has the audience you have to adapt to their rules. If they change things to the point where their audience goes to another platform them you have to go to that platform and learn their rules as well.
Is it frustrating? Yes. Is it effort? Yes. Is it worth it? Yes.
As I thought about this question these were the top excuses I came up with for why companies don’t give social media a fair shot. They’re legitimate. I get them. But when you think deeper you start to realize that the more barriers and excuses there are like these the more opportunity there is.
If you’re looking for opportunity in your business there might not be a better one right now than social media.