BrainTrust Query: The 3 Worst Excuses for Retailers NOT Using Social Media
President, Retail Prophet
continued momentum of social media, some retailers are still ambivalent
about embarking on their own program. We’ve
noticed some recurring excuses for holding off. Here, in no particular
order, are our top three
worst excuses for NOT engaging in social media now.
Excuse #1. “We
don’t want everyone in the store slacking off and Tweeting all day.”
If this excuse
was valid, companies would also avoid advertising in magazines for fear
that their employees would do nothing but read Vogue and Sports Illustrated
all day. Your
foray into social media is not an invitation to your staff to sit back
and relax, and it likely won’t spawn a torrent of latent tweeting either.
Also, keep in mind that, with the number of smart phones being carried today,
your employees are Tweeting, Flickring and Facebooking at work already,
whether you like it or not.
is that launching a program may enable you to harness some of your employees’
social energy to get the word out about your great store or chain. Best
Buy for example, has done a great job of engaging their employees and
tapping their social horsepower to actually drive the brand.
Excuse #2. “We don’t want people to say bad
things about us online.”
The fact is
that people will talk about your business whether you’re there to hear
it or not. The
benefit to being involved in social media is that you now have an opportunity
to curate or respond to feedback on your business. Negative
comments are truly opportunities, not only to solve the problem but
to publicly demonstrate your high customer service standards. It
takes courage to step up and be a part of the dialogue and customers
for example, does a good job of directing traffic, positive and negative
on its Twitter profile. It
serves as much as a customer service tool as a PR engine.
Excuse #3. “We’re
planning to get into it at a later date.”
Today is a
later date. If
you look at the time-lines for Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, all three
surged in popularity at about the same time in 2008. Here
we are almost two years later and their growth hasn’t slowed down at
to research from Gartner, social media will be adopted
by more than 60 percent of Fortune 1,000 companies with a website by
2010. Expect that figure to be closer to 80 percent or higher in 2011.
As for small businesses, a recent study by Sage Software and AMI-Partners
found that a rapidly growing percentage are also
adopting social media as a means to build consumer awareness and connections.
The time to
begin a program is NOW.
What do you think is holding back retailers from aggressively pursuing
strategies around social media? Are any of the concerns legitimate?
What first steps should be taken?