While pitching new business I've realized that people have very different perceptions when it comes to social. I'm sure people had these same questions when PR first came into play and perhaps even advertising. The age-old "do we have to do that? I think we can make do with what we've always done" will always be some people's attitudes. But social media is at a place and time where it is now at least being talked about, thought about, shunned by some and embraced by others. Here are three different attitudes toward social and my suggestions for approaching them whether it is new business or upper management.
There are the believers. They've seen how social media can build loyalty, handle customer service issues and transform relationships. They understand that social media is most powerful when it works hand in hand with traditional efforts. They don't feel threatened, they embrace it and dive into the data.
Advice: For these folks, make sure they set realistic, measurable goals tied to business sales that can make other non-believers in the company understand. It's important that the entire organization gets behind social media and integrates it into advertising, research, etc.
There are those who are still on the fence. You can hear them saying: "Okay, so this is more than a fad, but I'm not sure it really does anything for my bottom line. Seems like a bunch of people wasting time online."
Advice: Show them what people are saying about their brands online. Explain how the word of mouth newsfeed works. Too often we assume people know and understand the impact of a brand/business mention on social.
And there are the anti-social. I'm not saying they are hermits, I'm just saying you won't find them using a hashtag anytime in the near future.
Advice: Do what you can to get them on social media. Without getting your hands dirty, social is a hard thing to wrap your head around no matter how many presentations you sit through. There is a a-ha moment that happens somewhere between a poke on Facebook and claiming a deal on Foursquare.
Any other advice you'd like to share?