Several years ago, when I began working with companies to implement online marketing and social networking the most common roadblocks that companies faced were time and resources. Most companies were simply unequipped with the time or know-how to execute a social media campaign successfully. In 2010, according to R2I data, 56 percent of companies did not have a refined social media strategy, 45 percent had no plans to hire dedicated staff to manage their social media marketing. As we move towards 2012, another roadblock has emerged more frequently. I see in larger companies a pervasive fear to opening up. Social Media and online marketing move quickly – changing tools, trends and tastes mean an organization needs to adapt and implement quickly or get left behind. Unfortunately, too many mid-level and junior-level employees are forced to spend a large amount of their time justifying things to their bosses and creating corporate policies that will calm executives’ nerves. The medium of social networking simply doesn’t tolerate the standard corporate mentality.
Of these three roadblocks, time and money can easily be tackled by a company that is serious about looking at the marketing budget allocation and implementing a few hours a week of online marketing. The hardest roadblock to move is company culture or a mentality of one sided communication. I’ve found the best way to alleviate the executive concerns about opening up is to start with small steps. Begin by gathering information about the conversation that is already taking place. In most cases there is already a conversation well under way about your product or brand, via Facebook, Twitter, blogs, forums, message boards, and online review sites. As a business you can choose to ignore the conversation or participate. Participation frequently, with timely relevant content and a unified message is the best way to break down the roadblocks and achieve a successful social networking strategy.
About Brenda Simpler — Brenda manages the marketing and business development at The Simpler Group, she works with customers to drive more traffic to their sites and grow their business with online marketing. She loves The Beatles, gardening, walking her dog and reading.