One of my favorite authors of business and motivational books is the late Zig Ziglar. Frankly, I would not be where I am today in my professional life without the influence of Ziglar’s books and tapes. He was a master motivator, encouraging us to realize “you can have everything in life you want if you will help enough other people get what they want.” Before he was a world renowned motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar excelled as a salesperson. Ziglar’s work in the area of motivation is so valuable that his teachings on selling can be overlooked.
One sales topic that Zig Ziglar addressed in his teaching can be applied to social media marketing: Overcoming objections. The difference is that Ziglar’s teaching on overcoming objections pertained to external buyers while objections that businesses grapple with in social media marketing are internal. The three objections to social media marketing can be described as:
- No time – Social media is not a replacement marketing tactic in most cases. It is an additive task that can be particularly challenging when the social media manager is also marketing manager, sales manager, operations manager, HR manager… you get the picture. However, saying “I have no time to do social media” is in effect saying “I have no time to market my brand or business.” Doing social media well takes a time commitment for sure; to suggest otherwise would be disingenuous. However, social media represents an interactive communication channel that can connect your business with customers and others interested in what you sell. Do you still have no time?
- No money – This objection may be the easiest to overcome. Social media offers an attractive low-cost alternative to media advertising buys. Social media is not a free alternative as some suggest. Related to the no time objection, it may be necessary to hire a part-time employee to manage your business’s social media presence. And, you may incur modest expense to produce content to share on your sites. But again, we can turn the no money objection around- Are you saying you cannot afford to market your business? If no, there are bigger issues that need to be addressed to fight for survival.
- No understanding – This objection is the one that is most acceptable… provided you are willing to deal with it. Entrepreneurs and small business owners are usually good at what they do- the product or service they create- but may not be adept at implementing marketing practices. It is not an indictment against them; it is just that knowing how to use social media for business purposes falls outside their expertise area. This limitation can be overcome by hiring talent that possesses the desired skills, either as a company employee or outsourcing to a marketing firm.
Don’t Let Objections become Excuses
Is developing a social media strategy challenging for many businesses? Absolutely. The social media landscape continues to evolve rapidly in terms of new social networking sites and new features on existing networks. The three objections to implementing a social media strategy identified here- no time, no money, and no understanding- are threats to your business. Why? Accepting these objections as excuses for not being engaged in social media channels can keep your brand from being more prominent and relevant among the very audience you want to influence.