5 Stupid Arguments Against Starting a Social Media Program

Posted: May 26, 2009 in Business, Guest Blog, PR, Public Relations, Social Media, Twitter
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

*When You’re Done Reading…Please Feel Free to Add to the List in the Comments Section! Thanks – @Aerocles*

Guest Post By Amanda Fontaine – @afontaine16

Social media is new and it can be scary to some people, especially to those working within larger organizations where everything must be tightly controlled. Below are some of the stupidest arguments I heard against starting a social media program.

1. Our competitors don’t have a Facebook page.

Now, do you wait until your competitor comes out with a cutting edge product before your launch your own? No! You need to beat your competitors out of the gate and prove what a dynamic business you are.

2.  Our customers don’t care about social media.

How do you know? Granted, some of your customers might not care about social media, but a simple search will most likely reveal a lot of them do. Using social media tools like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, which are all free by the way, to generate interesting content they can’t get anywhere else will make most people care about your social media program.

3. We need to control our message very closely and if we participate we will lose control.

The answer is bordering on cliché but you never had control of your message. I bet the gist of your message is that your product or service is the best thing since sliced bread.  Guess what, every company says that and if all you care about is “talking at” your customer and putting out carefully crafted marketing speak you are missing a huge opportunity.

4. I’m afraid of negative criticism.

If you have a dissatisfied customer they are sharing their distaste for your product or service whether you are involved in social media or not.  Taking advantage of all the free tools available to monitor discussion about your company or products allows you to identify anything negative quickly and rectify it before it grows exponentially.

5. I don’t think we should be doing anything groundbreaking.  Let’s stick to what we know, print advertising and press releases.

I didn’t make this up.  This was actually said by someone and I have no response to it.  Stick to what you know while everyone else passes you by.  Doesn’t make much sense does it?

I’m sure there are a lot more stupid reasons people do not want to engage in social media, but remember, if you hear any of these they come out of fear.  Don’t give up! Keep pushing for it.  Start small and with a specific measurable goal and see what happens from there. Keep track of companies who are making a big splash in social media and share it with your team with examples of what your company could do to get the same effect.  It’s worth the effort!

Amanda Is A PR/Marketing Specialist in the Greater Boston Area.  She’s a Fan of Social Media, PR, and Marketing Strategies that Make Sense.

  1. Very much like #3, I have heard this one::

    6. Our product has its flaws and Social Media would just “air our dirty laundry”.

    • aerocles says:

      Sometimes, the only way to clean dirty laundry is to air it out. exposing a brand to public scrutiny via social media is indeed risky and can engender backlash. But the bigger picture is that this brand will be perceived as
      A)Transparent – a quality consumers have begun to demand in their brands, politicians, and media outlets.

      And B)Open about their flaws and ready to listen to the public so that they might remedy any problems.

  2. This is fantastic. I’m in the process of creating a document for the higher-ups responding to these very arguments.

  3. herbholland1 says:

    In the political arena, these excuses seem to be part and parcel of every strategic discussion. I think that’s going to change but not without another round of proof, a la Obama.

  4. Nicely done! This is the #1 stupid argument I’ve heard: “It won’t generate revenue.”

    • aerocles says:

      Nice…everyone seems to have ones to add, I’m thinking I might have to update with all these comments!

  5. Nicole C says:

    I’ve also heard something similar to #2 which is that because not everyone is on social media, we should avoid it. “Not everyone will be on Facebook, so let’s skip it and stick with our ineffective newsletter that hasn’t worked for 15 years.”

  6. I’ve heard these too:

    – Social media is for kids
    – Too much noise
    – Social media is a fad, will pass
    – Don’t have enough time

    Stupid 🙂

    • aerocles says:

      “Social Media is For Kids” – That was said about TV
      “A Fad – Will Pass” – Said About TV & Phones

  7. techcommdood says:

    “It’s too much effort. We can put our time toward more important things.”

  8. I also like:

    “I don’t have time.”

    “My customer isn’t online.”

    “Social networking is for my kids.”

    “I don’t get it.”

    “It makes sense for your business because you’re a PR firm.”

    “Baby Boomers aren’t meant to do social networking.”

    Hey! No skin of my nose if you don’t do it, but trust me, your competition is going to kick your butt using it and you’ll be left trying to figure out what the heck happend.

  9. laughmaster says:

    What I hear a lot from my clients is that they are afraid of launching a campaign and not being able to sustain the energy level required to maintain it over a long period of time. Basically, can they keep it up after the initial excitement dies down?

  10. I love that! “Social Media is for kids.” I didn’t realize that I counted as a kid.

    I guess I was right, then: 50 really is the new 20…

  11. But that still leaves the question, “How do you use Social Media to communicate with your customers who aren’t using Social Media?”

    • aerocles says:

      i think that’s where integration comes in. TV advertising, In-Store Marketing – they need to motivate consumers to interact on social media platforms. more than just “join our facebook group” there needs to be ‘added value’ like customer service, coupons or deals accessible only via social media or online channels.” this type of integration will draw those customers into the arena where they can be engaged and monitored for feedback. I’d even go so far to suggest that some brands devise publicity stunts, live in-person and interactive activities meant on raising overall brand awareness, but more specifically, meant to target the part of their consumer base not on social media and provide them with incentive to participate and engage the brand on another level.

  12. David says:

    Amanda, I really like this post – I think it highlights the resistance to change we are seeing right now. Obviously this isn’t limited to social media, it could apply just as well to any organization that is seeing the old way of doing things slowly (or sometimes not slowly) fade away.

    There is always a fear of the unknown, especially when previous techniques have done a good job for a long period of time. Personally I’m not convinced that traditional marketing has always worked quite as well as we’ve all thought. A friend of mine has always like to drop the comment that “a raising tide lifts all boats” and that certainly has been the case for a lot of businesses over the last few years.

    Well, things has changed for sure and effective marketing takes on a new importance. For many that is going to mean there is a need to explore new ideas and new tools – get out of those old comfort zones.

    One thing that I think is important is that no-one (at least I hope not) is saying through away all the old marketing ideas and just use social media. This would be just as crazy as just sticking with the same old stuff.

    Organizations need to understand that social media can be used to enhance their traditional marketing, to increase its effectiveness – not replace it.

    In our company for example, we have increased our email marketing programs, are about to embark on some direct mail campaigns, have hired a full-time outbound phone marketer. One of the great things about all of these is that they can send people to our blog which has become our top lead generating tool. We are also busy on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter etc. Again, we can see the results in traffic sent from these sources to the blog and website. (In our b2b world, I can’t claim that these social networks are a huge part of our overall success yet, but I think it is important we are there – especially since our competitors generally are not.)

    So my point (after rambling on for so long) is that I believe that the best way to overcome social media objections is to focus on the fact that this isn’t an attempt to replace any traditional marketing programs, it’s a way of making them work better.

  13. […] title of the post is 5 Stupid Arguments Against Starting a Social Media Program which, to be fair, is rather hard to […]

  14. […] 5 Stupid Arguments Against Starting a Social Media Program « Legends of Aerocles Published June 1, 2009 Uncategorized 0 Comments 5 Stupid Arguments Against Starting a Social Media Program « Legends of Aerocles […]

  15. […] 5 Stupid Arguments Against Starting a Social Media Program […]

  16. […] 5 Stupid Arguments Against Starting a Social Media Project, Legends of Aerocles Blog (Posted May 26, 2009). Accessed: https://aerocles.wordpress.com/2009/05/26/5-stupid-arguments-against-starting-a-social-media-program/ […]

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