Since about January 2010, I have spent time speaking to people about the *dynamic* of social media. The range of questions that I have had to field include:
a) should I only give the job of social commuincations “expert” to a generation Y’er ?
b) how much time will all this *stuff* take up?
c) how quickly will I see the results (if they can, of course, identify the results then so much the better!)?
d) how much will it cost?
Now these are all perfectly legitimate questions, but my response has often surprised people:
“Why social media for Your business?”
It may surprise you to learn that I have yet to hear one cogently reasoned answer that supports the proposition that social media was right for the business.
One or two have had the gumption to say: “Do you know, I haven’t got a clue.” Others have offered a response which has nearly always focused on sales, but, when pressed, are not sure how social media can or might drive sales. Others have spun things saying that they were ready and willing to engage but had not found the time.
I have heard it said that no business is immune or should avoid adopting social media, and, to an extent, I accept that but before the adoption phase comes the understanding phase. And I don’t just mean the platforms. I mean the whole paradigm shift that will need to go on between the outbound vs. inboard marketing methodologies and unlearning a great deal of what has been learned.
In answering the question, perhaps the best place to start is to stand in front of the mirror and ask yourself what would it add to or take away from the business. If you cannot convince yourself that there is a strong enough business imperative to start down the road and see the journey out, then may be, just may be, social media needs to be parked up for the moment. One word of caution though: don’t turn the engine off for the moment because you may just find that all your competitors have driven right by you and you don’t have the wheels to catch up let alone stay on level terms.