Everybody always talks about why social media marketing is so important. I agree. But, I also think there are reasons against social media marketing. Here are 10 reasons NOT to partake in social media marketing.
1) You don’t have the basics right. Your business model is non-existent. (Call Joe). You don’t have a tested product. You don’t have a goal. Your website hasn’t been updated since 2002. Social media marketing comes last.
2) Your boss isn’t on board. I’ve seen this happen, and it never ends well. No matter how much you LOVE social media and think it could turn your business around, it doesn’t matter unless your boss is on board. Even if you are able to get some traction, your boss will pull the plug if he or she wasn’t sold on the idea from the beginning.
3) Your employees aren’t on board. I sat through a wonderful lunch the other day where a boss was ready to make things happen with social media. His manager on the other hand was not. The manager was clearly too busy handling operations, and didn’t think he could handle one more of his boss’ ideas. If you think social media is for your company, make sure your employees see the value first.
4) You want a short term solution. I am sorry guys but no one is going to say “ooh look! a business consultant on twitter. I want to hire you!” Social media is NOT a short term solution. It is, more or less, a lifetime (at least business-wise) commitment.
5) You want to see a direct impact on ROI. Will it impact your ROI? Yes. Will it directly impact your ROI? No. The bigger the sale, the more touch points a business needs. This is how must people buy from us: Someone refers them to our website or they find us on (gasp!) a social media site. They sign up for our newsletter. Six months later, they hear me speak somewhere. They continue to follow me on Twitter. Another month goes by. They decide they need their website optimized or their facebook fan page customized or to entirely outsource marketing. They call. They are ready to buy. Did social media impact our ROI? Not directly. But, did it create a channel for us to keep in touch until they were ready? Absolutely.
6) You don’t want to build content. Somewhere out there, Newt and Joe are vigorously nodding their heads. Social media is a channel. It is a medium. It is two tin cups with a wire in the middle. It is NOT a substitute for the message. When you mistake the medium for the message, you get inane status updates like “just had a PB&J.” Seriously? Just because you now have a megaphone does NOT mean you no longer have to have something valid to say while using the megaphone.
7) You have a zero budget. Social media marketing is not free. The tools are free, but the tools are no good without a strategy. Just ask B.L. Ochman. If I handed you a hammer, nails, and a few boards – could you build a shelter? Yes? Okay. How long would the shelter last? If it collapses on you, it can cause more harm than good.
8) You don’t have time. Social media takes time. It doesn’t have to be your personal time, but it does take SOMEBODY’S time. And, it takes quality time.
9) You don’t want to work within a changing landscape. Social media yesterday was blogging. Today it is video. Tomorrow may be location based social networking. If you are truly interested, you have to keep up. Or, you have to assign someone to keep up for you.
10) You don’t believe in giving it away. True story. A couple of months ago, I am sitting in the boardroom of a leading accounting firm. I am explaining the concept of blogging, and the head partner asks me: “Why would I give away what I know?” I explained I wasn’t talking about trade secrets or anything of that sort. But, instead, I was talking about content that would build their expertise as a firm. He scrunched up his brow and said “for FREE?!” This isn’t a social media problem. This is a mindset challenge.