So lately when speaking with Chief Marketing Officers and Executives at larger organizations I have heard this statement quite often…”Social Media will take up too much time to do them all”. So why is it the larger corporations are using Social Media. Corporations like Dell, P&G, IBM and many more. I mean isn’t their time just as valuable as small to mid-size corporations. Oh and then I get the answer that larger organizations can afford to have several people in their marketing department working on Social Media. Well larger corporations are reducing resources in their marketing departments too. Sometimes down to the bare bone, just like small to mid-size companies are having to do in this economy. If they had more resources to manage Social Media that would mean that the expenditure costs for Social Media would involve using additional human capital which would increase costs and lower productivity right. But that is not the case when you look at the gains and the reduced spending for these organizations or they would not be moving their budgeting dollars to social media.
So why are large companies using social media? Because that is where their customers are.
There are great tools like “listening stations” (Google it if you need more info.) that allow you to manage and post on more than one Social Media community, engage in conversations concerning your organization that you may have been unaware of, and find out what others are saying about you and your organization. You can also schedule your posts. There are free listening stations and more enhanced listening stations that you can purchase on an enterprise level like Radian 6 and Vocus. No I do not work for either of these companies nor am I relatively attached to one or the other. They are just good examples of what is out there, but there are a lot more and more being developed every day. They are tools that allow you to save time on social media not spend additional time.
So with everything new there is a learning curve but that happens with everything. Think about the first time you worked in an office with a database, or used a prospecting tool like Salesforce. These tools, you were told would save your company time and money. And put that money toward the bottom line. They did or the executives would not have purchased them.
So ask yourself why are companies moving large sums of their marketing budgets to Social Media? Well here are the top 5 reasons:
2.Less Up Front Cost
3.Effective tool for speaking directly to their customers and prospects
4. Lower cost of doing business.
5. Quicker way to get new services and products to market.
There seems to be a trend or I like to say a transition period happening right now. Companies know they need to do something new so they are changing their websites. See my blog on the difference between static and dynamic. I see this as a bridge for changing over to Social Media. Change is hard and sometimes painful. But if you don’t change, as the saying goes, you die!
So Social Media is not a time waster! It saves time and money. Yes there is a difference between Social Media and Marketing and that is usually where the problem actually lies. How do you take years of traditional marketing and turn it into a story or information that adds value to human life. You do it with a strategy. Here is the formula:
People = Define your audience. Who do you want to reach?
Objective = Decide your action steps for that audience. What do you want them to do?
Strategy = What will be different when you are done? What will success look like?
Technology = Which is best for you?
Most companies choose FB or Twitter or LinkedIn or a number of other Social Media technologies without knowing who their audience is and without a clear strategy. This is why it is a time waster. Those looking to gain real revenue and customer growth from Social Media have a strategy in place that is consistent across all platforms. That is the missing ingredient.
The next time someone tells you Social Media wastes time you can A. Direct them to this blog or B. Just smile knowing that you are reaping the benefits of Social Media and they are not. Oh there is a C. Have them Google “Companies using Social Media for B2B”