By Rachel Strella
In our last blog, I discussed some of the challenges business owners face when trying to implement a social media plan, including a lack of time, money, and resources.
Many of these same business owners lack a general understanding about social media. Many are unclear about what it really is and what it can do for a business. To a large extent, social media professionals still have to be social media ambassadors. When I pitch to a business, I often find myself needing to establish the credibility of social media as much as my own credibility.
I reached out to a group of social media managers I know to see if they are having similar experiences. Here are some of the responses I received:
Many people do not realize the need or the value [of social media] yet. They don't understand what they are doing, but feel what they are doing is adequate. So putting any old post out there a couple times a week seems OK to them. I guess our job is as much about education as it is getting results. We don't get the opportunity until we educate.
My personal belief is that some don't understand the shift taking place in marketing, which is returning power back to the consumer. Many also want instant gratification on the ROI, but fail to understand that this is not an overnight process. I find that quite a few folks just aren't comfortable tooting their own horn, sharing information about themselves, or articulating various aspects of the business. There is also a lack of understanding about how social media ties in with traditional marketing methods.
What I've found is that many small business owners think that if they have a LinkedIn Profile and a Fan Page, that's all they need. I've created a flyer stating that a Facebook Page is only one prong of their online marketing strategy. I invite them to contact me for a 30-minute no-cost, no-obligation strategy session.
It seems it's ALL about education right now. It’s a huge shift in thinking.
Each company has to make social media unique and find a way that works best to meet their goals, but many have to first grasp that they can’t use social media with the same ‘advertising’ mindset and expect the same results.
Is your business using social media? What expectations did you have? Were you surprised by the results? What changes do you believe will be necessary in order to shift our way of thinking about social media?
Thanks for including my comments in your post, Rachel. As I attend more networking events and work with prospects, I realize that there is a lack of understanding among many of what to expect. In the first place the expectations are unrealistic as they expect to see results from tiny social media efforts in a very short time.
It means that, as commented on in your post, we have to take to educate them that it takes time and what I refer to implementing what I refer to as the various prongs of social media and connecting them together. It's a slow process but ultimately will produce results.
Well said, Yvonne. I try to include an 'education session' as part of my first meeting with a prospect. It's important that we manage expectations first and foremost.
[...] of this policy? Yes. But that’s a risk I am willing to take. While social media professionals are champions for social media and work to endlessly educate our audience, that doesn’t mean we have to give away our [...]