Why is social media still a tough sell?

Big companies have moved cautiously for eons. While many are corporations are making forays into social media, very, very few are taking huge risks.

Instead of jumping in, they’re still standing on the edge of the pool, diipping a toe in the water.

As a result, getting companies to add social media into the marketing mix is still a hard sell. Here are three of the top reasons why.

1- Consultants make social media sound scary.
Consultants, eager to prove the viability of social media in the marketing mix, are overwhelming stodgy companies by making social media sound more complex than it is.

A lot of consultants make what they do sound like a cross between vodoo magic and rocket science. The goal, I guess, is to make potential clients feel there is no way they could do whatever is being sold on their own.

But social media is not rocket science. And even if it was, making it easy to understand will win every time. The best professor I ever had in college taught physics. He could break rocket science down into simple terms. Do that for management and they’ll love you.

2- The magic word is “sales”
All most companies care about is whether they can make their numbers for the next quarter. Coolness may be the cherry on top, but it’s not the goal for most publicly held companies.

Social media becomes strategically viable when – blasphemous as this may sound to many SM gurus – the goal of its integration into the marketing mix is to go beyond cool and actually help to sell products and services.

3- Companies worry that cutting edge consultants won’t fit the corporate culture.
Changing the status quo can cause quite an upheaval in a company that has been dealing with silos for decades. Consultants need to prove to management that they will not make them look or feel inadequate because they can’t change quickly.

Consultants worry too much about making themselves look good and proving how smart they are.
The role of a smart consultant is to focus on making the client look smart for hiring you.