I am often confronted with business owners who claim that Social Media isn’t right for their company. The excuses they provide are always the same. They are doing just fine without it. Their clients don’t use it. They don’t understand it. It’s a fad. It’s too complicated. And so on, and so on.
Let me state this clearly: There is NO opting out of Social Media! Whether you want to be on Social Media or not, is NOT up to you. Do a quick internet search of your company and look at what you find. You are already online. People are already talking about you. Other people are putting information about your company out there for others to read.
We don’t want others controlling the online conversation of our companies. So, we need to take control of the conversation and we need to be on Social Media to do this. Here I will debunk the myths and excuses that I hear repeatedly and help you take control of your online reputation.
Excuse #1: I’m doing just fine without Social Media
This sounds a lot like: “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it”. But here’s the thing with business, if a company doesn’t keep moving forward and developing itself, soon enough, it will be broken. When I talk to successful business people, they are always looking for ways to make their companies better – they aren’t satisfied with “OK”, they want to be the best. Social Media is another tool that can be used to help drive a company forward, and move beyond being “just fine”.
Excuse #2: I don’t understand Social Media
That’s ok. A lot of people don’t. The important thing is to understand the significance of the tool and hire someone who is proficient with it to make it work for the company. There are plenty of executives that may not understand all of the tools that different departments use, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t use them. Social Media is a part of the overall Marketing strategy and when treated as such, is an extremely useful tool to develop a company’s reputation, brand, and also sales.
Excuse #3: Social Media is complicated
There are a lot of things in business that are much more complicated than Social Media. Finding the right people to manage the platforms makes it a lot less complicated. Implementing a strategy that defines the overall goals as well as selecting the appropriate platforms and the ways in which different platforms will be used is critical. Once this strategy is in place, a lot of the concern and “complication” is resolved, leaving the Social Media Manager to develop the online presence.
Excuse #4: I don’t want people putting negative comments on my pages
It might sound counterintuitive at first, but people are LESS likely to put negative comments on your pages. When companies aren’t available online and there is no means to resolve a situation, that’s when most people post negative and defamatory statements online. These are the things companies have no control over. However, when a company puts itself online, in the public arena, they are inviting people to see behind the curtain. Customers start to feel a connection with the company and are usually more respectful and understanding – thereby being less likely to attack the company online. This isn’t to say that companies don’t receive complaints on Social Media – they do. But these platforms give companies the ability to address the issue immediately and offer a solution. When handled properly, the company not only restores the faith of the complainant, but also of the rest of the community.
Excuse #5: Our clients don’t use Social Media
You’d be surprised. Even if a company is targeted towards an elderly clientele, chances are many of those people are on at least one Social Media platform. Also consider that the clients’ children may also be researching on behalf of the elderly parents and these demographics are much more likely to be on Social Media. Current analysis shows that more than 50% of Facebook and Twitter users are over the age of 35. Another thought to keep in mind is that most people looking for a new business will use an online search engine (ie. Google) or a referral site (ie. Yelp) to find reviews, addresses, contact information, etc. Every company should have at minimum an online profile allowing them to be found via these search tools. As technology continues to improve, we see more search engines and tools like Apple’s Siri dominating the way in which people look for businesses. These tools use location-based search results from Google, FourSquare, Yelp, and others to provide results. The future of search will be speech recognition tools like Siri.
Excuse #6: Social Media is a fad
Social Media isn’t going away. It’s evolving and getting more entwined in everyday life. The Millenial generation is now preparing to enter the workforce. This generation has grown up using primarily online technology for everything. They, and future generations, will continue to push the limits of technology and online communication in ways we can’t even imagine. Businesses need to plan accordingly and expand their marketing to include and embrace Social Media platforms.
If your competitors are on Social Media, you need to catch up. Your potential customers need to be able to find you just as easily as they can find your competitors. If your competitors are not on Social Media, then you get to step ahead of them by getting online first. Commit to developing your online brand and community. Social Media is a vast and amazing tool at our fingertips. It provides so much possiblity for growth and branding. I want to see your company succeed and grow. Please take the time to learn a little more about Social Media and find the right people to implement it. It will be worth it!
Do you know someone who believes these myths? Share this post with them and help guide them to Social Media success!