After Jenni Vance from Shreveport shared with us her thoughts on social media and the need to give it proper attention in the corporate setting I was inspired to do some thinking of my own about how businesses now regard social media and how far we have (or haven’t) come in the last few years.
Remember the movie Animal House?
Of course you do… and if you don’t, leave. You are no longer welcome here.
Ok, I’m kidding but I’m thinking the majority of folks have at least heard of the movie, yes?
Well there’s a great scene, among many for sure, where John Blutarsky, AKA Bluto is trying to rally the Delta fraternity to action against Dean Wormer and his Double Secret Probation. At one point he exclaims:
“This could be the greatest night of our lives, but you’re gonna let it be the worst. Ooh, we’re afraid to go with you Bluto…”
Now, take this line and translate into Social Media speak…
“This could be the greatest way for us to get more sales, engage our customers, really make more money, but you’re gonna let it slip right on by. Ooh, we’re afraid to try Social Media, Bluto…”
How else can you explain the fact that of the 726 small businesses surveyed by the American Express OPEN’s Fall Small Business Monitor only, ONLY 40% indicated they use at least one Social Media platform?
Yes, that number is up from the 10% who were using Social Media in 2009 but…Not even half are using ANY form of Social Media?
One word: FEAR.
Nearly two years ago Marc Meyer wrote of the 15 reasons why companies may fear social media.
Among the reasons listed…
- Fear (remember that whole “only thing to fear is fear itself” mantra?)
- Lack of experience
- Waiting for ROI
- Lack of Resources
- Unwilling to be transparent
And don’t think this fear applies only to small businesses, either.
Earlier this year, Econsultancy wrote a story titled “CNN’s irrational fear of social media” which included a quote from CNN U.S. president Jonathan Klein:
“…the competition I’m really afraid of are social networking sites.” Why? They’re “an alternative that threatens to pull people away from us.”
Now obviously the context of the CNN fear is different than that of a small business but… fear is fear and for many, many reasons, people still fear Social Media.
Well, that is what we need to figure out.
Why do you think people and companies and businesses both far and wide, both small and large, fear Social Media?