Fitness goals. Eating unheathily. Saving less than we should. Quitting a vice. Well for an increasingly rare few, we do it for social media too. I’ve been doing it with respect to blogging, easier to watch a rerun of Criminal Minds vs. pounding out an insightful post on Wikibrands. Pssshaw…
So our top 10 list excuses for not playing in the pool with the rest of us in social media; here they are, in order of reasonability, from high to low:
1) What value could I possibly add? Fair caution, but if Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian can all make it into the top 100 of Twitterusers (based on followers), there is hope for all of us yet. Just ask three questions before you start: what am I uniquely qualified to talk about more than any other web denizen?, what drives my passion?and what could I do to truly add value, entertain, educate or amuse my prospective audience?
2) I have no time? This does require sweat equity, but the average person is still watching 20 hours of TV each week. Surely you could glom off a few hours there. If you treat it like you would treat any other media, my calculation is an upfront investment of 60-70 hours to get proficient, 30 minutes per day on average for production and upkeep and 10 special project hours per month will get you into the top quartile of informed, engaged users. Sounds reasonable?
3) I like my privacy? Privacy is dead. Unfortunately hiding in our webbed up world makes you irrelevant and bit of an angry old man/woman. Your social circle is on Facebook, your water cooler is on Twitter, your resume is on LinkedIn, your best ideas are on Slideshare and your local intelligentsia is on Foursquare. Be prudent, but embrace your second life. Why hide from it?
4) I have no interest? This one is getting tougher. If you want to be relevant in the business or social world over the next 5 years, regardless of industry, get interested. If not, become a monk.
5) I have no talent? Ummmm, have you seen what passes as talent on the social web, it’s a pretty low bar in a lot of places. Find a mentor (they could be younger than you), glean what they know and barter your skills with theirs. The bridge to gap your traditional skills with their web skills is not a bridge too far.
6) I do not want to end up fired (or in the clink)? If you are a CEO or in a highly regulated industry, this could be genuinely worrisome. For most of the rest of us, simply read your employee rules, practice WOMMA’s Honesty and ethics ROI code and be a good netizen (leave it better than when you came). Simple.
7) My customer is not on the social web? If your customer is a person, they are likely on the social web. There are 1.3 billion of us on the social web, that’s close to 70% of what’s possible. In fact, when we looked at business people’s time on the social web – 36% use it for professional use, 32% use it for personal use and 32% use it for mixed purposes. Oh, they are there alright – you just have to be interesting or likable to them to be spotted.
8) It’s a young person’s game? Au contraire again. The growth target for Facebook in North America, is a 54 year old mom. Most iPad users are also over 40. Although the grey-haired are digital immigrants, some of them are picking up the language quite well. And when they do, they’re starting to realize it’s not just a “play thing” but a life tool.
9) It will make me too accessible? Just because you’re on the tweeter, doesn’t mean you’re 24-7 on. Both work-wise and socially, you should be glad if people want to spend time with you. In an attention-starved marketplace and attraction-oriented environment, it’s almost immoral to hive off your talent to the small coterie that is your offline social circle. Pay it forward, share healthily and enjoy the fruits.
10) I really don’t have to? My friend Eric Karjaluoto sums this up best in one of our chapters. Big brands like social media abstainers act like the high school prom queens. Sure, you might not have to work hard now for dates and admirers, perhaps even over the next 5 years, you could get away from engaging. But when you really need something down the road (and I see it all the time with the newly out of work on LinkedIn), you’ll be cursing yourself why you didn’t build your social bank account earlier.
For the 40% of you who really don’t do it now (and take the bypass) and the 70% of you who don’t do it with vigor. Do it now. Do it well. Explore. Drop your convenient cynicism. Do something special. Get noticed and talked about. Help others. Contact Scoble. Become a brand online. And drink water.
What’s the top excuse you regularly hear, tell us here…and we’ll share the results.