Social Media Education is Needed Now More Than Ever


by Rebecca Kelley

Today I saw this piece on Mashable about how resistance to social media is beginning to fade. The article mentions that while 59% of marketers use social media in some capacity and the figure will jump to 82% next year, some companies are still resistant to social media marketing.

Mashable’s article features a chart that lists the biggest deterrents to social media. They are (in descending order):

“We don’t know enough about social media to know where to begin.”
“There’s no established way to measure the effectiveness of social media.”
“There’s no funding for social media in our budget.”
“We don’t have the time to invest in social media right now.”
“Social media isn’t a proven, tested strategy.”
“We’re hindered by legal constraints/corporate policies.”
“It’s not a good use of employee time.”

In my opinion, reasons 2-7 directly correlate with Reason #1, which can be boiled down to a lack of social media education. Social media marketing is fairly new, although it ties the basic principles of marketing into a new medium/environment. Many companies are likely intimidated or confused by social media marketing — they have a lot of questions about it and don’t want to devote time or marketing dollars on something they’re unfamiliar with. The problem is that social media is only going to get bigger and more common, so sooner or later companies are going to have to have some awareness of it…and the sooner, the better, because by the time your competitors catch on and join the social media marketing club, you should have already established yourself as being fairly social media-savvy, forcing them to play catch up.

A lot of our work with clients involves educating them about the value of social media marketing as well as the ins and outs of various social media platforms. We’ve written lots of introductory guides for our clients about Twitter, Facebook, social news sites, blogging, social networking, and more. The absolute first line of offense for us is education, because when a company is uneducated about something, they don’t think they need it, they don’t think it’s worth their time, they think it’s a fad and a waste of money, they believe misconceptions they hear, you name it, they’ve got an excuse as to why they’re not adopting a tactic that can prove to be extremely valuable to them.



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