Tuesday, May 20, 2008

10 common objections to social media

I found the excellent post by Marshall Kirkpatrick with the most common objections to social media and ideas how to respond. He got them by asking 1300 twitter connections. You can find the full blogpost here. It is very recognisable and I'm going to make a list for the Dutch situation on my Dutch weblog.

Here are the common objections:
  1. I suffer from information overload already.
  2. So much of what's discussed online is meaningless. These forms of communication are shallow and make us dumber. We have real work to do!
  3. I don't have the time to contribute and moderate, it looks like it takes a lot of time and energy.
  4. Our customers don't use this stuff, the learning curve limits its usefulness to geeks.
  5. Communicators [bloggers, tweeters] are so fickle, better to stay unengaged than risk random brand damage. We don't want hostile comments left about us on any forum we've legitimized.
  6. Traditional media and audiences are still bigger, we'll do new stuff when they do.
  7. Upper management won't support it/dedicate resources for it.
  8. These startups can't offer meaningful security, they may not even be around in a year - I'll wait until Google or our enterprise software vendor starts offering this kind of functionality.
  9. There are so many tools that are similar, I can't tell where to invest my time so I don't use any of it at all.
  10. That stuff's fine for sexy brands, but we sell [insert boring B2B brand] and are known for stability more than chasing the flavor-of-the-month. We're doing just fine with the tools we've got, thanks.

I recognise mainly number 1,2 and 9. I notice some are objections by marketeers, others by 'normal' users. The list might be stronger if that would be separated. Marshall provides possible answers too. I think it is important not to overestimate the power of social media and 'push' it onto people. Some objections are real. For instance, the time it takes, I've invested little time in Facebook, but feel like most of that time is wasted. So the advice to step in hand-in-hand with a more experienced social media users makes a lot of sense. A person guiding you will help you direct your energy into social media that make sense for your particular goals.

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