10 Reasons Why Brands Refuse to Embrace Social Media

Corporate Brand Abstractions

Image by Thomas Rockstar via Flickr

Social media is useless! OK, we know it’s not useless, but many companies refuse to play in the social space. They feel the pressure to enquire because it’s the new shiny thing, but they are reluctant to engage. They want to talk, but the thought of listening doesn’t immediately add to the ROI question. Which means your spending time convincing them to play when they still haven’t understood the game. Because they don’t understand the game, the purpose becomes unclear and when the purpose is unclear  you never reach your desired goals.

Social media really isn’t that complicated. As Amy Mengel explains, “When you boil it down it’s about listening to your customers, being helpful by offering your knowledge and giving them interesting content to share and thereby advocate for you.” It’s pretty simple, but we continue to see brands refuse to engage and when they do, they fail quickly.

10 Reasons Why Brands Refuse to Embrace Social Media

1. They don’t understand it’s foundational elements
2. They don’t know to how measure their return on investment
3. They don’t want spend anything on this “experiment.”
4. The biggest question is, Who is going to do this?
5. They can’t see past the tools.
6. They don’t want to converse with their consumers.
7. They are afraid someone might say something negative about their brand.
8. If they can’t sell every time they engage with a consumer, than it has no value.
9. They don’t want to invest the time and energy.
10. They are reluctant to embrace the technology

However, when it’s embraced, brands such as Comcast, Zappos, Starbucks, Ford and Dell are convinced it adds value to their business goals and objectives. If they can do it, then your brand can as well. If you’re willing to listen, share and engage your customer, than your ready to begin building a presence in the social space.

What would you add to this list? How do you answer these questions? Leave a comment. I want to hear your feedback.

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  • Jorge Barba

    This is a great topic of discussion, glad I could add my 2 cents. Thanks!

  • Thanks for the link, David. I think for many companies, small businesses especially, even if they have bought in to the idea of social media as way to reach and engage with customers, they just don't know where to begin. Especially when they're not only tasked with marketing and customer service for their business but also operations, accounting, HR, and the many other hats small business owners wear. There are so many options and tools to learn that it can be overwhelming, even if they really want to be involved.

  • Jorge, thanks for the comment. I love quote, “The most adaptive prevail, it's as simple as that.”

  • Kevin, I think you're absolutely right. I hear the “fad' response a lot, but they also said that about other mediums. It will be interesting what social looks like in five years.

  • Jorge Barba

    I wouldn't add other reasons, we make them up as it goes.

    The whole key is they don't understand the fundamental shift in how business is being done, like everything else change is hard for most. There will be companies who don't 'get it' and will jump on board to understand it and others who will wait and see the train pass them by enough times and have no other option but to jump in.

    The most strategic one's will see it as an evolution and not make any excuses.

    History repeats itself. The most adaptive prevail, it's as simple as that.

    A tactic I use is I show them what they're losing by not 'getting it'. Show them a future where they no longer exist and you'll get their attention.

    Just my 2 cents!

  • kevinpalmer

    I think that some companies see it as a fad (which kind of ties into the experiment spot). Some companies just thing that this is a passing thing kind of like radio, television, the telephone, and the internet.