The most common reasons for not using social networking sites in 2011

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In my travels throughout Australia this year, I’ve heard it all. Well maybe I’m being a little dramatic, but believe me when I say I’ve talked to a LOT of business owners about social media and there are so many common threads as to why people are resisting social media, it’s just un-canny.

The crazy thing is, as they talk to me, they often don’t realise that their problems; their confusion, their frustration, their fears are actually shared by many – that is, I’ve often already spoken to 10 people that week who have told me the EXACT SAME THING.
Don’t worry, I’m patient (well my partner might argue with that), and I’ll happily lend an ear to the person who gives me an excuse as to why they don’t want to get involved with social media.
In May 2011 Sensis released a report developed in association with the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association outlining the main reasons people in Australia cite for not using social networking sites. See an interesting graph sourced straight from the report below or Download the full report click here.
As a fun way to end the year, I thought I would provide my blunt (but informed) response to some of the common excuses I’ve heard along the way in 2011.
I hope you enjoy reading them and if I’ve forgotten one you’ve heard often as a social media professional, or that you feel particularly applies to you that you’d like to elaborate on, I’d love you to share in the comments below.

EXCUSE #1: I’m too old/too young

FACT: Sunshine Coast resident Eva Woodrow turns 101 on December 10 and is the oldest Australian on Facebook. Read more about Eva here.

FACT: The fastest growing Facebook demographic is 55 years+.

FACT: Many of the best-selling Twitter books are written by people in their 50s.

And if you are under 13, yes you are too young. Facebook requires individuals to be at least 13 years old before they can create an account. In some jurisdictions, the age limit may be higher. Similarly Twitter’s privacy policy states that you should be 13 years old to have an account. You’ll need to be 13 or older to have a YouTube account. You’ll need to be 18 or older to be a YouTube partner, otherwise you’ll need to ask your parent/ guardian to apply for you.

EXCUSE #2: People may say bad things about me/my company!

Do you not think that the guy down the street who just happened to take a dislike to you might not decide to say bad things about you?

But as Scott Stratten of Unmarketing put it, “In a world where every consumer is a reporter, every business owner and employee should be a marketer”. Because if you’re not, the conversation will quite simply go on without you, and you have no control and no knowledge of who said what. That’s what tools like Google Alerts, Hootsuite and other monitoring tools are for. You can and must get these into place in 2012 if you want to maintain any control over your brand.

EXCUSE #3: My employees will spend all day on social media if I let them on it

You’re not alone if you’ve ensured your firewalls will prevent. Many companies have. But do your employees have people to build relationships with and targets to hit? If they could build the relationships faster and hit the targets easier if they used social media would this be a good thing?

Lay down some ground rules by establishing a social media policy, give them some training (essential) and then give it a trial and see what they can do with the thing. You might just be surprised.

EXCUSE #4: I don’t have the time!

I know you’re busy dear business owner, so am I, but if you don’t allocate a small portion of your time to checking out this global phenomenon, I’m sorry to say but soon you may not have a business. Yes that’s harsh, but it’s true. If you thought those things called websites that came along changed the playing field in business, you should see what’s going on with social media right now.

EXCUSE #5: I Don’t Like Spending So Much Time in Front of Computers

Ha! I have so got you on this one – have you got a smart phone, that is, an internet-enabled phone like 50% of Australians and x% of global population also do? Then you have a gateway to social media. In fact my FAVOURITE place to do social media is when I am waiting in a public place – airports, supermarket queues, for my coffee to be ready ON MY PHONE. It doesn’t have to be a case of sitting in front of computers at all.

EXCUSE #6. I’m Overwhelmed and Don’t Know Where to Start!!!

Ahhh, some real honesty. I like that in a person. Well just like the saying ‘How do you eat an elephant?’ (answer: ‘One bite at a time’) that is exactly the approach I suggest for you when it comes to social media. Check out my list of ways to get started featured at the end of this blog post.

Your options for getting started with social media:


Option 1:
Join our Social Media Success Squad (we have a special offer on until Friday 23 December where you could save $270 off the regular annual price)

Option 2:
Come along to one of our BYO laptop sessions – dates will be announced in early 2012, but make sure you join our database in the meantime.

Option 3:
Watch this free social media webinar our director Yvette Adams developed and delivered on behalf of the Queensland Government’s Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation. It’ll give you a good overview of what social media is and where you might like to get started.

Option 4:
Contact us! We’d love to assist you.

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