If you are like many marketers or event professionals, you are considering adding new media tools to your communication mix. While you have the best intentions, the reaction from management might be “you want to do what?” Common objections to integrating new media tools are:
• We will get a virus that will shut down our server.
• People pay us, why would we give information away for free?
• There are legal restrictions that prevent us from using that tweeter thing.
• If we let you use Facebook, then no one will get any work done.
• Our clients don’t use social media. They are too old.
• Social media is for kids.
• We don’t have time.
• It’s just a fad.
These are just a handful of the excuses that companies come up with to stop social media. And that’s OK. There are many tools that are unfamiliar to people and it is YOUR job to help them understand how they can help THEIR business. Embrace this opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and show your company or association that new media tools can be a valuable part of the marketing mix. Here are some tips:
Have a plan. Don’t just say you want to use Facebook for business. Develop a comprehensive plan that integrates into your traditional marketing plan.
Get your IT department involved. You will get better cooperation if you involve them early and work with them to ensure that your network is protected while you are creating business opportunities with internet-based tools.
Research. Take the time to understand what legal or regulatory restrictions there are on messaging and create a plan to work around these. Communicate these guidelines to anyone that involved in online communications efforts.
Develop social media guidelines. Time management is critical. You should work with the appropriate departments within your organization to develop reasonable guidelines for use. Educate employees on responsible use of social media.
Get the facts. The fact is that all demographical groups use new media tools. Do your homework and present statistical information to support your strategic plan. The sheer number of people using social media should help to demonstrate the magnitude of the phenomenon and help to communicate its staying power in modern marketing efforts.
Give examples. Providing case studies and success stories can be helpful in gaining buy-in. While you don’t want to copy what the competition is doing, by showing that similar organizations are having success with online tools, you can strengthen the case that you are building for integrating social media into your business development activities.
You may still have some convincing to do, but it is important to present your case in a professional and organized fashion. You know that new media can strengthen your brand and create new business opportunities. With these tips, hopefully your organization will know too.
Do you have some tips to add to this list? Please share them in the comments.