I’m in the business of coming along side businesses and organizations and teaching them how to properly use social media and blogging as ways of building community and staying in touch with their customers. But not everyone gets it. While I believe that every business can benefit from a properly executed social media plan, not every business is ready for it. The key words there are “properly executed”.
So when shouldn’t you use it?
1. You’re not willing to invest the time – More than anything, Social Media is an investment of time. If you’re not willing to budget your time accordingly, don’t bother. If you think Social Media has value, you’ll find the time, especially since there’s a good chance it will save you money in the long run.
2. You’re not willing to invest the money – Social Media doesn’t have to be an expensive proposition, especially since many of the tools are provided free of charge. But you might need to either hire someone to help you out in-house, or at least pay a consultant to come in and work with you to create a plan for moving forward. Again, if you’re not willing to spend some money, (even though you are probably already spending money on the Yellow Pages or other forms of advertising/marketing) Social Media might not be a fit for you.
3. You believe Ignorance is bliss – A big part of Social Media is brand monitoring; listening to hear what others are saying about you. There’s a good chance they are saying something about you, but if you’d rather not know, then by all means, avoid Social Media.
4. You can’t handle the heat – The other week I blogged about the Importance of Bringing the Conversation into Your Own Yard. This is related to point 3. If your going to get upset every time someone criticizes you (constructively or otherwise), stick with traditional media where there’s no feedback mechanism.
5. You’re not willing to change – Maybe you can handle points 3 & 4, but after all that, you’re not willing to actually listen to what people have to say and make the necessary changes. After all, it’s your business. Who are they to tell you how to run it? Um. They’re your customers. The ones who pay the bills and allow you to stay in business. If you’re not willing to listen and possibly enact some change, you might want to avoid Social Media.
6. You’re a control freak – Right on the heels of point 5 is the fact that you want to control everything about your business or brand. Doesn’t matter that those days are gone, you’re going to hold fast to your perceptions of how business works. That’s how you’ve always done it, so why not continue? But if you change your mind, just fax me….
7. You plan on handing the job off to someone else – “My son/niece/neighbor kid is really good at that Social Media stuff. I’ll let them put me on Facebook!” or “Let the intern do it” or “I hear Twitter’s big, who can we get to tweet for us?” Are you willing to hand the care and feeding of your brand over to a kid, or someone who might be gone in a few months? Or even to someone outside your company who doesn’t know the inner workings? Pass.
8. You’re business/product/service really isn’t all that good – If you cut a lot of corners, and your work isn’t really very good, then you probably don’t want to put it under the scrutiny of Social Media, which acts as both a microscope and a megaphone. A mega-microscopo-phone? A micromegaphoniscope? Hmm. I’ll have to work on coining some kind of term for that.
9. You have nothing to say – The last thing you want to do is start a blog when you have nothing to blog about. Clearly, if you have nothing to say about your industry, business, product, service, customers, or their lifestyles, then you probably shouldn’t be in busi….er…you shouldn’t be blogging.
10. You have no filter – You’re incapable of using tact, particularly when talking about controversial topics. You have very strong opinions about things like politics and religion, and those who don’t agree with you are clearly wrong. And Social Media is just too $#%@# perfect for talking about all of these things.
11. You don’t want your business to grow – To quote Erik Qualman: “The ROI of social media is that your business will still exist in 5 years.” Sitting still is actually a form of moving backwards. If you’re OK with that, then there’s no need to sign up.
I’ll leave you with one more quote from Qualman:
We donâ€™t have a choice on whether we DO social media, the question is how well we DO it.
Are there any other reasons why you think you should be avoiding Social Media?