In talking to prospective clients, I hear resistance to social media all the time. The source of this resistance is very simple: Is the input of time actually going to yield a result? That’s fair. You should measure everything in your business against that standard.
But how will you know unless you try it — and give it an honest effort? Where did your starting assumption come from — that it won’t work for your business? From what you’ve read about it? From a peer or competitor who didn’t get results? Or simply from a bias against it?
You could read just as many success stories. There’s almost undoubtedly one of those success stories in your sector. So, you could start with a bias for it instead and see what happens. Either way, you can prove yourself right — or wrong. It’s up to you.
The Two Phases of Resistance to Social Media Marketing
In my view, there are two phases of resistance to social media in particular, and content marketing in general:
- Phase 1: I don’t want to. This is about the WHY — and there are plenty of reasons. Watch the video to hear more about my experience with this.
- Phase 2: It’s not working. This is about the HOW — and the level of commitment while you’re in it.
Both of these amount to excuses when you’ve been given the Gift of Opportunity to be able to connect with anyone, anywhere in the world. And if your business needs an audience (which is different than needing customers), then you can’t rely on this excuse. You don’t have the luxury.
Large players can buy awareness. Small players can’t — or at least it’s more difficult. But the playing field is completely level when it comes to access. With social media, you have the same access to a customer as companies 10 times your size. Cool.
And you don’t even need capital to reach them. You need time, and a desire to help your customers — before they are actually customers. Now, time is more valuable than money. So you want to spend this time wisely. You want to be sure that you are getting something out of your efforts. If it doesn’t drive a business outcome, there’s no point to it.
But to stop before you even begin? Before you even try it? That’s insane. Whatever excuse you come up with in Phase 1 of the Resistance, I’d urge you to think again. Others are seeing success with it. After all, is there anything more important than connecting with your (potential) customers?
Yes, it may be a cold lead, at the the very far edge of the “funnel.” But that’s OK — it’s the very start of a relationship. Every relationship has to start somewhere. Little by little, you’ll start building trust and earning the right to ask for the sale.
Remove the Fear and Start Connecting
Social media isn’t the point — storytelling is. Connecting is. These are just platforms to connect. Just like phone, e-mail, and texting. It’s what you do with it that matters.
I think that these excuses are rooted in fear. There’s the fear that you’ll waste time, or the fear that you’ll make a mistake and look foolish. Not to mention that learning new things is stressful. But it’s the same with any skill — once you learn it, you’ll get better at.
To help take some of this fear away, I’m using my podcast to help. I’ve created a series called The Social Media Strategy Series, which goes platform by platform (one per episode) to help you decide which platforms might be good for your business. I share my own strategies so you can get a behind-the-scenes look at each before spending your own time on it.
You can find the series in my podcast, Marketing Without the Marketing. Please subscribe in iTunes — and leave a rating or review if you find the series to be valuable!
I sincerely hope that this helps you. Next up: Once you’ve started, there’s the risk of succumbing to Phase 2 of the Resistance. Even those who are good at social media can fall prey to Phase 2 (hey, it’s happened to me too!). The worst thing outcome is to put the effort in and not have it work. Stay tuned for the next post, where we’ll make sure that it doesn’t happen to you.