social media adoption and its discontents

Check this out from Marshall Kirkpatrick over at ReadWriteWeb: “Ten Common Objections to Social Media Adoption and How You Can Respond

1. I suffer from information overload already.
2. So much of what’s discussed online is meaningless. These forms of communication are shallow and make us dumber. We have real work to do!
3. I don’t have the time to contribute and moderate, it looks like it takes a lot of time and energy.
4. Our customers don’t use this stuff, the learning curve limits its usefulness to geeks.
5. Communicators [bloggers, tweeters] are so fickle, better to stay unengaged than risk random brand damage. We don’t want hostile comments left about us on any forum we’ve legitimized.
6. Traditional media and audiences are still bigger, we’ll do new stuff when they do.
7. Upper management won’t support it/dedicate resources for it.
8. These startups can’t offer meaningful security, they may not even be around in a year – I’ll wait until Google or our enterprise software vendor starts offering this kind of functionality.
9. There are so many tools that are similar, I can’t tell where to invest my time so I don’t use any of it at all.
10. That stuff’s fine for sexy brands, but we sell [insert boring B2B brand] and are known for stability more than chasing the flavor-of-the-month. We’re doing just fine with the tools we’ve got, thanks.

If you haven’t already read the article for some possible answers to these oft-cited concerns and questions, go ahead and do so now.

Interestingly, Marshall then says

Ultimately, I’m not yet convinced myself that persuading anyone is the way to go. If you can make time on the side to use new tools and you can perform – perhaps the benefits can best speak for themselves.

…which is exactly the way I tend to go about things. This method keeps the focus on the results, not the tools, because you are allowing people to see the fruits of social media before they even know it’s social media that is doing the job.

This gets right to the heart of the ROI question. If you start to get results that the organization thinks are worthwhile, this opens the conversation about what tools you used to obtain that result. Yes, ROI has to come first. It’s paradoxical, and maddening, but there’s just no way around it.

I’ve always advocated that nonprofits first start small, and try using social media to address discrete problems that traditional media so far have left unsolved in your organization (like how to raise more donations from a certain demographc, grow audiences, get more press coverage, etc.). These small, segmented tasks can be carved out and used as test cases within an organization.

Provided, of course, that you first define what your objectives are, how you plan to go about achieving them, what success would look like, and how you plan to measure success.

{Thanks to Dan York of Disruptive Conversations for flagging this!}

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One response to “social media adoption and its discontents

  1. Thanks for writing about this article – I saw it awhile back and had it in my to think about – so I’m glad you flagged it

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