7 Reasons NOT to Engage in Social Media

I run into people almost every day who are  not ready or willing to jump into the social media pool. Some of them are just plain scared of new technology, but others have more focused reasons for not engaging. Here are the top 7.  Add yours in the comments and how you resolve them! And if you’d like to talk about this topic more, vote for my presentations on this topic at SXSW. Even if you don’t attend I’ll be posting the slides on this site afterwards.

People will talk about us!

Do you really think they aren’t already? Do some searches on Social Mention and you’ll likely find they are already talking about you, you’re just not part of the conversation. Wouldn’t it be smarter to find out what the buzz is and dispel untrue rumors and engage your users?

It’s a waste of time

OK, it can be. There. I said it. But in almost every example I’ve seen of social media time-wasters are people who have no plan, no direction and are flailing around out there making noise. Get a social media strategy  and you’ll find social media can be quite efficient.

It’s not measurable

That depends on what you want social media to do. Before you start any social media or other marketing plan you want to figure out what your goals are and how you will measure those goals. Are you planning to increase online sales? Traffic? Buzz? Relationship building? All are quite measurable if you gather benchmark data and put the tools in place.

It’s not for business

There is a common idea out there that social media is just for connecting with friends and family and playing online games. Yes, that’s one use, but there are countless examples of corporate entities using social media sites (even the ones that are loaded up with games and personality) for business quite effectively. Check out these case studies on for examples of corporations using blogs and other social media tools quite effectively.

We can’t control it

Yes, that true and it’s scary, but you can’t control it anyway so why not at least start listening so you can see the wave coming? Isn’t it better to get into the conversation than turn a blind eye? As for your own staff, set up some corporate guidelines and then start listening and engaging with people talking in your space or about your company.

Who’s going to do all the work!

Another valid question, and one you should certainly ask yourself before you get involved. Who in your business can spend a little time monitoring social media and engaging at least a moderate level? Can some of your social media efforts balance out time spent on other projects? Reduce customer service costs? Reduce the cost of print media replaced with on-line offerings?

Too many networks

It can be overwhelming with so many options to choose from, but with a little searching you’ll see that there are probably only a few where the most conversations of interest to you are taking place. Do some searches. Set up some social media listening tools. Identify where you need to participate and pick the top 2-3 to get started.