Social media is going to be a big part of the corporate marketing mix in the future but right now it is still in that awkward pre-puberty stage. You know, the stage where girls are yucky and guys don’t wear deodorant yet, but really should. It is a time period filled with experimentation, awkwardness and – most of all – fear.
Rather than embracing this awkward and exciting period of change, many find it scary and play the role of the ostrich.
Ostrich you say? Yup, the birds that stick their heads in the sand when scared.
Markets often ignore social isn’t important to them because it is a only a tiny chunk of the marketing pie and it drives minimal revenue. This may be especially true of marketers within siloed who only keep track of the channel that they manage. Markets may also be stuck in their old ways. For example, studies have shown that email marketing is losing mindshare to social media, however many marketers remain blind to this and would rather test copy and subject lines rather than looking at a way to add social to an email.
Many communications pros are quite active on social media, but they may see the space solely from a public relations point of view. They are guilty of sticking their heads in the sand because they don’t realize is that the tools that they love having authentic conversations on, can be really good marketing tools. They often have distain for traditional marketing campaigns, calling them inauthentic, and so they flinch at the idea of using social for marketing. These pros also won’t settle for marketers getting their hands on social media for marketing, because many communications pros like to puff out their chests and claim that the ownership of social is something that should fall into their hands and their hands alone.
Another group that can fall into the ostrich trap are support pros. Customer support people tend to like a controlled situation: A 1:1 interaction where policies and scripts can be followed and a bad experience has a short shelf-life. Answering in real time? Who would want to do that? Well, customers want to do that now, and pretty soon they will start to demand it from your company if they haven’t already. And your support team better be ready for it.
If you identified with doing one (or more) of those things, you have been guilty of being an ostrich.
It’s OK; I don’t judge and can’t see you head bobbing even if I wanted to. You see, you are not alone and the same mentality is going on in companies of all shapes and sizes across the globe. We are all going through the same thing and will be better for it in the long run.
Social media is going to be a big part of marketing in the future and will touch a number of the corporate ecosystem. Marketers, communicators, and customer support teams will have to be cognizant of this and look for ways that it will impact their work function.
The quicker we realize this and get our heads out of the sand, the better – ignorance is not bliss. It is just ignorance.