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Three Top Reasons Why Social Media is Still a Tough Sell

cliff.pngBy B.L. Ochman

Big companies have moved cautiously for eons. While many are corporations are making forays into social media, very, very few are taking huge risks. Instead of jumping in, they're still standing on the edge of the pool, diipping a toe in the water. As a result, getting companies to add social media into the marketing mix is still a hard sell. Here are three of the top reasons why.

1- Consultants make social media sound scary.
Consultants, eager to prove the viability of social media in the marketing mix, are overwhelming stodgy companies by making social media sound more complex than it is.

A lot of consultants make what they do sound like a cross between vodoo magic and rocket science. The goal, I guess, is to make potential clients feel there is no way they could do whatever is being sold on their own.

But social media is not rocket science. And even if it was, making it easy to understand will win every time. The best professor I ever had in college taught physics. He could break rocket science down into simple terms. Do that for management and they'll love you.

2- The magic word is "sales"

All most companies care about is whether they can make their numbers for the next quarter. Coolness may be the cherry on top, but it's not the goal for most publicly held companies.

Social media becomes strategically viable when - blasphemous as this may sound to many SM gurus - the goal of its integration into the marketing mix is to go beyond cool and actually help to sell products and services.

3- Companies worry that cutting edge consultants won't fit the corporate culture.
Changing the status quo can cause quite an upheaval in a company that has been dealing with silos for decades. Consultants need to prove to management that they will not make them look or feel inadequate because they can't change quickly.

Consultants worry too much about making themselves look good and proving how smart they are.

The role of a smart consultant is to focus on making the client look smart for hiring you.

All content copyright B.L. Ochman, Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, with the attribution: By B.L. Ochman, What's Next Blog, and a link to the post
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Join The Conversation

  • Nov 13 Posted 7 years ago TimErnst I couldn't agree more, as more and more clients come to me about social media implementation, I find I'm repeating myself just like I did when they wanted a website. Who's your audience? Here are the benefits. It's not that difficult. And once they are up and running, be human about your interactions. All great points, I've read here. Often consultants want to act like brain surgeons when often a helpful neighbor approach works best. Regards, Tim
  • whatsnextblog's picture
    Nov 11 Posted 7 years ago whatsnextblog Jeremy: You are so right. Social media tools are nothing on their own. The point is to drive traffic to a well-designed, interactive site where the company can build community, enhance reputation, put a human face on the brand.

    Topher - the consultants who don't consider the business model are usually members of the legions of self-declared SM gurus. Social media has to be part of a well-conceived, results-focused marketing mix.


  • Nov 11 Posted 7 years ago ChristopherVance The role of a smart consultant is to focus on making the client look smart for hiring you.

    I think this is the most important point for SM consultants to walk away with. It's easy to get caught up in all the "coolness" as you call it... but at the end of the day, sales have to come in or I can't make payroll.

    Embracing the beauty of social media's core... which is community... you can develop a history of making your clients look like geniuses, while also developing a pretty strong business model.

  • whatsnextblog's picture
    Nov 10 Posted 7 years ago whatsnextblog John: thanks for your comment. sorry to hear that one word could cost me my credibility in your eyes. :>)
  • Robin Carey's picture
    Nov 10 Posted 7 years ago RobinCarey Wow what a refreshing exchange.

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