Whether you're a social media guru with fifteen years of experience or the new social media wizard on the block, we all hear the same objections from potential clients regarding the incorporation of social media into their marketing plan.
"Too much of a time suck." This, of course, is my most favorite objection. Yes, one can be easily sucked into the productivity black hole that is social media. Particularly someone who is inexperienced and not using the proper tools to curate content, gain followers, or automate their updates. Social media is time-consuming and difficult -- which is why you are outsourcing this unpleasant but necessary marketing task to a social media specialist like yours, truly.
"I'm afraid of the negative comments." This is a popular objection, and somewhat valid -- if you don't see it for the golden opportunity it is. Let's get real -- customers will post about your company whether you're on social media or not. Wouldn't you prefer to professionally address those concerns in a public forum, where your other followers can see a live example of your excellent customer service skills in action? It's a valuable opportunity to demonstrate your professionalism and sophistication.
"We're already on Facebook." Sure. So is the rest of the world, including your competition. And your competitors are actively engaging with their customers and with potential customers -- plus they're seeking out NEW customers on Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and Instagram. They even have a youtube video with 32,000 views. And don't get me started on their blog! Facebook is great, don't get me wrong. But it's not Field of Dreams, people. You must actively seek out followers, create/curate content that is valuable to them, and engage with them a few times a day. Over several platforms. Facebook shouldn't be a business' only social media face.
"It takes too long to see results." This is true. Absolute truth. Social Media marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. Your clients will NOT see results overnight. It's a long-term investment, not a short-term strategy. It takes a consistent presence to build trust. These are relationships you are building. Relationships take time and energy to grow strong. The time and energy spent on building a credible reputation through social media is well worth it, if it means converting those relationships into lifelong customers.
"I can do all of this in-house." As social media consultants, we all know how many hours are spent handling the digital marketing for our clients, and how much technical know-how is required. This objection is usually sub-text for, "we can't afford social media consulting". That said, our clients certainly could attempt handling SM in-house. Of course, they would need to know about marketing strategy, they would need technical expertise, access to the latest social media tools, and knowledge of all the latest social media offerings. However. Social Media management is not a task you should be handing off to an intern. Social media is the VOICE of your company. It's worth every penny to outsource your social media to someone who is experienced, competent, and above all -- committed to moving your brand toward its goals and objectives.
"Social Media is for kids." Whenever I get this objection, I know right away that this is a potential client who doesn't use social media and might never understand the true value of this marketing medium. If they WERE on social media, then they would know that Facebook's largest demographic are users between the ages of 35-54. Their fastest growing demographic are users over 55. Most of LinkedIn's users are 30-49. Twitter and Instagram's users are mostly 18-29. If your client's product is intended for geriatric patients or is a nursing home or retirement community, then maybe social media wouldn't be their first choice for marketing. But 'kids' are consumers, too. And sometimes, the decision-makers for the older population IS using social media. Something to consider.
"I'm using Yellow Pages instead of social media." Social Media can allow a much more modest investment with the chance to suggest the benefits of your product or services without your competitors being on the same page, AND with a much broader reach, provided the proper SEO is in place. With the rising cost of Yellow Page ads and listings, the money would be much better spent building a customer following through social media outlets. For a smaller investment, you could build and design entire campaigns, rather than trying to fit everything you need to say to potential customers in a 2x2 ad.
For me, using social media as part of business' marketing effort is a no-brainer. If you can overcome these objections, perhaps you can convince your potential clients of the value of social media, too!