Businesses these days are looking for new ways to engage their customers and assess their sentiments. Innovative ways to market products and ideas have given way to the social media boom and businesses are seeking ways to optimize the use of social media outlets. While social media may be a great tool for some businesses to use, I am finding that social media is a tool that needs to be tailored to fit a business and that in some cases, social media may not be a fit at all.
It seems like a preposterous statement in lieu of all of the successful social media programs that businesses have implemented today, but there are some companies that are just unwilling to use social media properly. Social media agencies come to the rescue of struggling businesses, launch social media-friendly websites for clients only to find that after all that work, clients are reluctant to embrace the digital communication outlets. Why is that?
It’s understood that it may take a while for executives to embrace social media, especially when they have gone without it the majority of their career, but if they request the help, why do they resist it so?
I had someone ask for assistance in utilizing Facebook and Twitter in their marketing strategies and I was more than ecstatic to put what I had learned to good use. Knowing that this was a small business, I did my best to launch their social media presence and help them gain followers, but once I had their accounts set up, they had no interest in helping maintain them.
Tumbleweeds trundled down timelines and customer questions went unanswered; it was disheartening to see all of the effort used to establish their presence online go down the drain. Women in PR, a prominent group of PR pros tweeted, “pick your battles. the client is always right, even when they aren’t.” That seems to be a hard pill to swallow. If a client has solicited your help specifically to enhance their presence online and then refuses to utilize those tools properly, are they still right for choosing not to?
PR professionals are to be seen as good counselors, hired to act on behalf of their client’s best interest and if the client resists that effort it is difficult for the partnership to flourish. Sure, social media may be somewhat intimidating, but if a client is interested in using it as a marketing tool then they should be willing to not only start the journey through social media proficiency, but also be willing to complete it. If a client is curious, then PR and social media strategists should encourage them to let go of the resistance and delve into the social media process alongside them. However, if a client knows prior to asking for assistance that they are not willing to take part in learning how to sustain good social media engagement, they should do PR professionals a favor and avoid wasting their time. That would be beneficial for all parties involved.
Have you ever encountered a client’s resistance to social media?