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.