Raz Chorev | Socially Acceptable..
online presence, Social media

What do we need social media for?

Generally speaking, I found many people will resist new things or change because:

1. They don’t understand them, or

2. They are ill-informed (“my girlfriend’s brother heard it is…”), or

3. They’ve thoroughly researched the subject, and realized it isn’t beneficial for their particular situation.

Since I can’t really do anything with the people in point 3, I’ll try to represent some of the common objections I get, when I suggest (or someone within the organization suggests) to look into social media, for a variety of reasons:

Since in my view, Social Media isn’t just a tool, it’s a whole mind shift about the way we used to do business, I actually invite more and more objections, such as:

Linkedin – “What if my good people get poached by other companies?”

Linkedin – “What if my staff connect with clients, and leave with that data base?” (mainly by recruiters)

Facebook – “What if my employees spend their days on Facebook?”

Twitter – “Isn’t it just about what people eat, and the biological outcome of that??”

Slideshare – “Why should I give out my information to my competition?”

YouTube – “We can’t afford video production, and anyway – what are we gonna say?”

And many more…

What sort of resistance do you get (or have) for incorporating Social Media in your business?. Let’s try to solve the mystery of Social Media in the Workplace. Thank you for your participation.

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  • http://www.servantofchaos.com Gavin Heaton

    There’s always a reason not to change. Someone, somewhere loses out or has to experience a loss of some kind. And like any decision, we make the decision to accept/engage with change on an emotional level. The facts won’t persuade us. Our challenge is to lead people on an emotional journey that helps to make sense of the facts and the part that we can play in a new future.

    Of course, it’s never an easy journey – even for the victors.

    • http://www.razchorev.com Raz Chorev

      Gavin, I suppose you’re saying “People will make decision emotionally, and justify them logically”.
      One of the emotional justifications we can use, is fear. The fear of getting left behind, is sometimes enough to move to action.
      Thanks for your insight!

  • http://www.dealpinch.com Jonathan Clarke

    Since in my view, Social Media isn’t just a tool, it’s a whole mind shift about om the way we used to do business, I actually invite more and more objections, such as:

    There’s a typo up there 😉

    Aside from being a grammer nazi, I recently had a conversation with an old school media organisation. They’ve sent many of their employees on “social media” courses, but they have a company wide block on Facebook. It boggles the mind. Some organisations just don’t get social media though they fake the appearance that they are active in it. It’s a matter of investing time and effort and ensuring that the conversation is not just a one way street.

    Over here at Deal Pinch we have adopted a simple social media strategy, two words: be helpful.

    We want to save our users time and energy by getting them info they need in a simple and easy to consume manner. We’re active on Facebook, Twitter and across the blog sphere and always ready to lend a hand or lend a friendly ear to any concerns in our industry.

    People are adopting new methods of consuming media, through smart phones and social networks. Methods of media consumption and interaction have been changing on a regular basis. Organisations that don’t learn to pivot to reflect these changes will see a visible impact on their business.

    This stuff is not difficult, just get it done!

    • http://www.razchorev.com Raz Chorev

      Thanks, Jonathan – typo fixed 😉
      Using the tools isn’t difficult. Changing the mind-set is. As social media isn’t just a collection of websites – in my opinion it is a new way of thinking. Social media encourages openness, transparency, and flattens barriers. The tools allows open two-ways communications, which scared the living-daylight out of corporates, and especially PR and marketing people, who are used to control the brand messages going out there.
      I’m happy to hear your company (and you!) are walking the walk, not just talking the talk…

      • http://contentandcopy.com.au Jen Bishop

        Well done Raz!!!
        I do find that you need to assess the business level of readiness for social media. There are some characteristics you may say psychographic characteristics of those ready to adopt SMM.

        First they need to have a website or be involved with the internet (according to Myob more than 60% of SME’s dont have an online presence). Secondly, they are not necessarily corporate, as most corporate’s are risk adverse and the timeline to get all stakeholders on board could be a 1-2 year cycle.

        So the middle ground, who are ready to uptake social media are probably, early adopters technology wise, in the small to medium business category (predominantly, but not exclusively) and have prediliction for both innovation and consultative advice to ASX bluechips.

        Just my humble opinion.
        Thkxs Jen

  • Tobey Deys

    Often hear … ‘We can do it ourselves’ which is admirable but clients get set up and are gung-ho for a short time, then the project gathers dust. It seems the level of long term commitment isn’t recognized or appreciated (i.e. Marathon not a sprint) and social media is seen as a panacea to a bad sales month.

    • http://www.razchorev.com Raz Chorev

      Thanks, Tobey – I hear that often too. My standard comeback is – “WHO is going to be in charge of social media in your organization?”. In most cases I’m amazed at the answers I’m getting. Sometimes it is the receptionist, a junior marketing person, and in some cases – the CEO (which of course, will never find the time)…

  • http://hollingsworth.posterous.com/ Tony Hollingsworth

    +1 Gavin: “lead people on an emotional journey that helps to make sense of the facts…” You actually had that effect on me Gavin – my participation in the “#manweek book” for one, listening to Raz and the Riding4aCause team after that, lead to my participation in the Black Dog Ride. Here’s my story: http://bit.ly/9UPAIy

    Raz, I don’t actually get resistance to social media in my business – I choose to do business incorporating social media. When I encounter resistance from others I explain that its about sharing – the more we share, the more valuable what we share becomes. I also make the point that its not about selling – it’s about sharing.

    In the context of the workplace – sharing amongst teams/co-workers can lead to all sorts of serendipitous outcomes – efficiency, learning, customer happiness, and more. I’d encourage your readers to check out this article: “controlled serendipity liberates the web” http://nyti.ms/cXkL64

    Thank YOU for sharing this post, Raz :-)

    Best,
    Tony

    • http://www.razchorev.com Raz Chorev

      Tony, these are great examples of “emotional engagement”. Thank you for sharing…

  • http://www.triberesearch.com.au Kate Tribe

    One of my favourite stories along these lines, although not a workplace one, was a conversation I had with two people in their 60’s:

    Me: I haven’t bought a paper or watched the nightly news for years.
    Them: How do you know what is going on in the world
    Me: It comes to me through social media
    Them: But you have to read so much crap to get the information that is useful.
    Me: So, when you buy a newspaper, do you read every single article or do you totally miss certain sections and just scan others. Is every minute of the news interesting to you?
    Them: Well no, we’ve never thought about it like that.
    Me: Do you read the business section of every paper in the world or only a few and base your opinions on that?
    One of them: Definitely getting the views of a greater range of people would be more interesting.

    One of them now uses social media. The other doesn’t but asks me to ask questions on social media for them.

    • http://www.razchorev.com Raz Chorev

      Thanks Kate, this is a very common conversation for me as well. Yes, there is noise. But there’s noise on every other communication channel we use. Thanks for sharing…

  • http://www.centricconsulting.com.au Brendon Walker

    Hi Raz.

    Common questions there. Fortunately for me I don’t get them all, but I do get some of those.

    For Facebook in particular (where I spend the vast majority of my time), small biz is where they have a number of issues when thinking about entering the Social Media world.

    Some will say “I don’t have the time”…because in small business, your time is constantly spent growing your business. Then there are the usual “I don’t understand it it”…”what could I say”?…”it’s too labour intensive”…”it’s too distracting” etc etc.

    And a cracker I heard the other day…”what on earth would I want that for?”

    Was going through this very topic with a room full of fashion designers last Wednesday night. Fortunately most “wanted” to get started on Social Media but didn’t understand how. Questions about wall post frequency, what information do I share.

    Ultimately comes down to what they can do to build on existing relationships and start new ones that will position them “top of mind” when someone needs their services or products. Start by making connections with people. Personalise the business and let it grow from there.

    Could go on forever…preaching to the choir here 😉

    Cheers

    • http://www.razchorev.com Raz Chorev

      Thanks for your input here Brendon. A very common reason for resistance, especially for small business owners, it the time factor, and “what should I write, and how often“. I think once the need to be engaged in Social Media is there, and there is a clear strategy (they actually know what they are trying to achieve, by using the social media tools) these questions become irrelevant.

      • http://www.centricconsulting.com.au Brendon Walker

        Yeah for sure. The first step is always the hardest :)

  • http://www.sallyfoleylewis.com Sally

    The most common objection I hear is that social media = time theft. That it robs the company of productivity. Time and money invested in blocking all the social media so that the staff can get on with their work!

    This is quickly followed by, we don’t have time to worry about all that twitter and facebook stuff.

    I’m so pleased they are so busy serving their customers that social media is not a priority for them {yes, said with a twinge of sarcasm}. Like most things, until there is an understanding of what it is, what it can do/offer, it is rejected, blocked or ignored.

    With respect to point 3. I agree that not ALL platforms are required for everyone. At least, not to start with. For years, haven’t we been told over and over to have a clear website plan! Well, shouldn’t that apply for social media?

    Sally | Fast Tracks Manager Productivity

  • http://www.iGo2Group.com Michael Green

    Raz,

    I think there are a few factors here as it relates to #socialmedia:

    – The first is we are a factor of our circumstances and we are often connected with people who identify (and have made money off the old way)

    – To that point people often feel the risk of change is greater than the risk of standing still

    – People identify with people and I thinking back to the Facebook event in the Ivy – can you imagine how comfortable Bob McKinnon or Anne Weatherston would feel watching that display? Who are the role models we can point that generation too?

    – Again, to that point understanding the new (#social) business models isn’t easy and then extending it into the enterprise takes skill. Who is educating yesterdays hero’s?

    – Change starts within and is….personally.

    So it is clear that we have a new business model here.

    However, with a new business model it is the previous/current generation that will have to PAY for that new business model…and that is ….I suppose why you and I are here!

    Regards my friend!
    Mike

  • http://www.crowdsauce.com Slade Sherman

    Two main issues are time and conflicts of open vs. closed organisations.

    Time: Many small businesses express to me that they don’t have the time to keep up to date with the conversation or to learn how to use the ever growing list of tools. My view is you need to spend the time because platforms like Facebook with 500 million engaged users simply cannot be ignored and at a minimum companies need to join the conversation with their customers.

    Closed organisations: Too many times I get feedback, ‘we like social media but would like to block others from accessing the page on our company’ or ‘control who can see our information etc’. They miss the point, social media is open, and it’s this openness that offers most value.

    • http://www.razchorev.com Raz Chorev

      Hey Slade – you nailed it!
      Time (equal money), and attitude (open Vs. Closed organizations) are “make or brake” factors in adapting to social media in business.
      Thanks for that input!

  • http://www.paulwallbank.com Paul Wallbank

    Interesting points, Raz. While I’m a heavy social media myself, I’d question the underlying assumption that every organisation has to become “social”.

    Social media is a tool and like any other implement some people and groups will use it more than others. Some may never have a need for it all.

    That said, many organisations should be using these tools. I had a bizarre encounter recently with my kids’ football club where I was asked not to tweet out information like registration days and training times.

    Where the problem lies, I believe, is in the media’s portrayal of social media as being either a predator’s paradise or a abject waste of time for latte drinking coffee morning types.

    I think the way to get organisations to see the value of social media is to be giving concrete benefits rather than fixating on nebulous concepts like “transparency” and “engagement”.

    • http://www.razchorev.com Raz Chorev

      Paul, I agree that there is that perception of social media being somewhat of a time waster. Kate (above) has described this with an analogy of the newspaper. It is what we choose to subscribe to, and the quality of our network, which will determine whether or not it is time wasting exercise.
      Also, I think “transparency” and “engagement” are states of mind, rather than something SMEGs are fixated on. The old business model is very protective and one-sided. It will require a major paradigm shift for these organization to embrace the aforementioned words, and then put it into practice.

  • http://www.iggypintado.com.au Iggy Pintado

    Great post, Raz plus great debate and commentary from contributors. Almost a classic reason in itself of why social media for business – it’s about the conversation.

    At the end of the day, it comes down to a simple attitude to connection technologies and how to leverage it. People have choices that fall into 3 categories that are best summarised by James A. Lovell who said:

    “There are people who make things happen, there are people who watch things happen, and there are people who wonder what happened.”

    Cheers, Iggy

    • http://www.razchorev.com Raz Chorev

      Thanks Iggy. Love that quote :)

  • http://www.magnoliasolutions.com.au Nancy Georges

    Great post Raz, working with retailers and manufacturers I meet this resistance EVERY DAY and some days I just want to shake them!!

    Agree with all said above, it really is about a shift in thinking, assessing the tools for your needs, and being inline with changes in consumer behaviour.

    If customers were not in this space it would be like playstation right? But this is a business tool…the same way that people resisted the fax machine, computers, mobile phones, sms marketing etc etc they are cautious about social media.

    I think that it is also a LOT to take in it is not just one platform but many…..

    I continually encourage the investigation and use otherwise the learning curve will simply be too steep. This said, I have given up continually convincing, like Iggy said they either get it or not!
    :-)

  • http://miracusglobal.com jay singh

    Great post Raz!

    Thank you for sharing.
    Like I’ve always say to my clients.

    Change is inevitable, but progress is optional.
    They will need to decide if they want to be changed or take control of their direction and progress.

    • http://www.razchorev.com Raz Chorev

      I love that quote! thanks for sharing, Jay.

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