Wednesday, February 18, 2009

social media vs. the stodgy higher-up

I'm glad this question from today's Capital Communicators Group talk didn't peg the people who are skeptical about social media as "older," just "stodgier." Sometimes, when you're passionate about using social media as a communications tool, the skepticism of the uninitiated is tough. Here's some ammunition (in the form of data) to help you make the case, sorted by the objections I hear:
  • This is just for kids. Try this: The fastest-growing demographic on Facebook is women aged 55 and over, and 60 percent of its users are out of college.
  • We can't afford it. I know you know this, but most platforms are free or low-cost.
  • We just invested in this great print magazine. A cost analysis will help here. One client of mine -- a newsletter publisher, in fact -- went to an all-blog format, changing her entire business model once she figured out that blogging would save her on printing, mailing, shipping and storing print publications.
This question asked for the plus side: Places where it's been adapted well and happily. Examples are legion. The bigger question would be why you're not at least trying social media at this point, when everyone from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to the Mayo Clinic to members of Congress are blogging, twittering and Facebooking with their audiences. (Today's session, as an example, included industry trade groups, religious organizations, universities, science organizations, bankers, insurers, and more.)
Many of my clients request my "get your toes wet in the new media pool" sessions to help them make the case for social media as a communications tool -- a combination of orientation and brainstorming that includes everyone from evangelists to naysayers, and is targeted to examples and case studies from your sector. Contact me at info[at]dontgetcaught[dot]biz if that's an option you need as you make the case.

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