Spending on social media marketing has exploded, and all signs show that spending will continue to increase at a sharp rate over the next few years. This year alone, social media spending is expected to be in the billions. That’s because a ton of companies – from small businesses to huge corporations – are jumping on the social media bandwagon so they can “join the conversation.”
But not all companies are on board. Many are still skeptical of social media, and they’re holding off before they commit. While I’m a big believer that social media can yield impressive results when leveraged properly, I’m also a believer in healthy skepticism. More companies should show it before blindly tossing away their money.
So, why are some companies still skeptical of social media? I’ll give you 7 reasons.
1. ROI is still relatively unknown – Before a company drops thousands of dollars and a lot of time into developing a social media campaign, they want to know what they stand to get back from it. And while there are many ways you can measure the performance of your social media campaign, the truth is the ROI of social media marketing is still largely unknown. Sure, you’ve seen a few success stories here and there, but how is it working for the average business?
2. They think their target audience doesn’t use it – I’ve heard this one quite a bit. “Naw, my customers aren’t doing all that social networking stuff. That’s for kids.” First, it’s not for kids. The average ages of social network users are probably much higher than you’d think. And as millions and millions more people continue to sign up on Facebook, Twitter, and other sites, the chances of your customers being in that audience are constantly growing.
3. Concerns about hurting the brand – Without a doubt, social media is a loaded gun without a safety. Any misstep from you or one of your employees can put the brand in danger. Things can get out of control quickly on social networks, and your audience can turn on you fast. It’s a legitimate concern that needs to be addressed.
4. Social media is time-consuming – Tweeting, updating Facebook, interacting with your audience, and posting blog updates can be really time-consuming, and if you’re like most business owners, you already have a lot on your plate as it is. What can you do? Either find ways to manage your time spent on social media effectively, or consider hiring someone to manage your social media efforts.
5. It’s all so overwhelming – If you’re new to the whole social media thing (like many skeptical businesses), this world can be very intimidating. Not only is it rapidly changing (what’s hot one week, may not be the next), but the environment can be difficult to figure out. Each social media channel has its own unspoken rules, and if you violate them, you could appear phony.
6. Other users have too much control – When you get involved in social media, you’re essentially giving up control of part of your brand. You’re placing it in the consumers’ hands. They now have control over it. Consumers influence what others think about your brand, which content of yours they’ll share, and so forth. To be successful with social media requires a lot of help from consumers.
7. They don’t have a good plan – According to one study, about 60% of businesses using social media don’t have a plan. In other words, they’re just blindly going about their business without any real direction or goals or measurement of results. What’s even the point? Savvy businesses have a plan before delving into social media marketing.
Is your company still skeptical of social media marketing? Why or why not?
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Grab your free 160-page copy of the Big Press Release Book – Press Releases for Every Occasion and Industry here: http://www.ereleases.com/insider/bigbook.html