Why Not Exploring Social Media Marketing for Your Company is a Mistake

Jim Tobin, who heads Ignite Social Media in Cary, N.C. said of social media,  “There are tons of studies that say word-of-mouth is more effective than any other marketing, and this is essentially word-of-mouth on-line.” He also wrote a book called Social Media is  Cocktail Party.  (I haven’t read it, but I just ordered it because I love the title.)  However, I keep hearing that social media isn’t for everyone, and many companies simply are NOT interested in learning and incorporating social media into their efforts. My question is why? If it really is as great as everyone all say it is then why isn’t EVERYONE jumping on board? Other than an attachment to the traditional methods (which is hard to break away from), why are some companies uninterested?

There are a few different answers to this question. Some don’t want to deal with regulations, or being held accountable for what is said in discussion on their websites.  Others don’t have the man power – blogging and social media involvement and upkeep is definitely a time consuming branch for any company. Also – there is a huge risk of opening doors to negative criticism , like this example below found in, “More Companies are Using Social Media for Marketing

In its work for a financial services company, Capstrat detected a popular YouTube blogger who had posted a video slamming the customer service he had received from the company. The video attracted more than 100,000 viewers within 90 minutes.

The client’s vice president of customer service e-mailed the blogger, expressed regret for the problem, and gave the blogger a number to call to discuss the situation. The executive also posted a contrite message on YouTube.

The problem was resolved, and the blogger quickly posted a second video praising the company’s response.

In the end — it really ended up benefiting the company because their positive response was widely heard of, and their customer service turned it around for an unhappy customer, SUCCESSFULLY.  That’s real, that’s transparent, that’s honest… and that’s word-of-mouth at it’s best. That’s what social media marketing is all about.
I have come to a conclusion about these companies that think social media might not work for them, or are uninterested in giving it a shot to see what it would mean. I’m going to go out on a limb here and saying- bad idea.  I think they are wrong. Wrong not to look into social media, work not to explore how it might benefit their company. Just because  not every outlet of social media works for every type of company doesn’t mean there isn’t at least one outlet or way you can be using social media. There are different tears, different levels, and so many creative ways to use social media.  Not ever opening that door is 100% of the time going to be a big loss for that company.

My advice – get yourself out there. Hire a social media expert to evaluate what your company or brand can be doing on the social web. Just do it.



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7 responses to “Why Not Exploring Social Media Marketing for Your Company is a Mistake

  1. eric imbs

    Hi Taylor.

    My view on this is to do with familiarity and some generational considerations.

    The likes of you and I cannot fathom how any business cannot appreciate the opportunities of marketing through the social web.

    Conversely, there are business owners out there, perhaps with many, many years of success under their belts without having ever had anything more than a simple web page, who cannot fathom why anyone would think they need the additional IT spend.

    In this context, social web (marketing) is still in it’s infancy and we could be considered pioneers with respect to marketing strategies built around online community activity.

    Dave (http://kmsystems.squarespace.com/) and I recently had an experience with a couple of prospects who are both veteran marketers for a large company here in Oz.

    They approached us and simply said; ‘Guys, we know we need to do something in this space, we just don’t know what it is. Can you help us out?’. This is a common theme we are seeing here.

    In this example, the client is quite forthcoming and comfortable with their lack of social web knowledge, but for other uninitiated prospects, we really need to focus initially on the educative stuff before trying to get them to write the cheque.

    As part of the suite of sales tools, we need to have a site that is dedicated to educating naive prospects, relaying to them social web marketing opportunities in simple, non-technical terms, enabling them to more easily conceptualise how those opportunities can be applied to their business model.

    Have a great weekend.


  2. Anthony Wallace

    I applaud your writings on your social marketing post. I think that social networking is definitely a train that is leaving (if it hasn’t already) the station, so to speak.

    I also put your link in one of my posts. It definitely reinforces what I am saying!

    Keep up the good work!

  3. Well said. And you just reminded to write a follow-up post on my blog. I’ll be linking to you shortly…

  4. Hey Taylor,

    Let me know what you think of the book when you get a chance.

    I think people hesitate to jump in because they’ve been taught to control the message. That ship sailed quite some time ago, but some folks haven’t realized it yet.


    • taylorgraves

      Jim, thanks for the comment. It’s supposed to come from Amazon on the 29th… Once I crack it open, I’ll be sure to tell you what I think…. I agree with you, that ship has sailed, and can’t wait to read your book!

  5. Pingback: Taylor Graves on Social Media Marketing: Why not paying attention to Social Media is a mistake | devinsblog

  6. Prahna

    The train has left. Are we to assume that future passengers will be corporations? They will bog down the train until it grinds to an ignominious halt.

    Marketing+Social Media=The End of “Social” Media

    Sad, but true. Users will go elsewhere if marketing encroaches on their online experience. It just isn’t social. Trying to pin this one down is like trying to pin down mercury with your bare hands, it will be toxic to the system. Usenet newsgroups are a perfect example. No, I’m not naive, just an experienced forecaster of future trends.

    Thank you, Taylor, for your insightful views on PR. I hope there is a more effective solution to this issue than eroding current infrastructure.

    This Wall Street Journal Section has signaled the death knell.

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