30 reasons why brands are hesitant to get into social

The following is a list of 30 reasons that brands are hesitant to get into social marketing.  Thanks to my friends that helped with several contributions via Twitter, Facebook, Google Wave, etc…

  1. They don’t understand it.
  2. Their agency doesn’t understand it.
  3. Their agency doesn’t have a competency in it and therefore, they aren’t educating the brand nor are they recommending social.
  4. They think social is just for kids (thanks to @thorinhanson for this one).
  5. Budgets are already assigned and there’s no way to allocate any to social until “next year”.  I love this one.
  6. Unable to find a way to measure ROI and/or direct sales (thanks to @PJAtlanta).
  7. They can’t measure it at all (current analytics program doesn’t have capabilities, for instance).
  8. Unsure of which department it should reside in (PR, marketing, IT, etc.).
  9. They don’t have the staff to maintain it.  This is actually a valid reason, but one that should be overcome.
  10. They don’t want yet another agency and they don’t think their existing agencies can handle it.
  11. They’ve had a bad experience in the past and are worried.
  12. They have read press on other companies that have had a bad experience and are worried.
  13. Their legal team won’t allow it.  This one is classic and for most companies, the dumbest reason.  I’m sorry, that’s a fact.
  14. They are worried about “losing control”.
  15. Aren’t aware that they have already “lost control”.
  16. They’re overwhelmed with words like Web 2.0 (and 3.0), tweet, statusing, check-ins, geo-location, etc.
  17. Fear of being in a uncontrollable forum (thanks to Johnny Helms via Google Wave).
  18. Fear of opening up a negative customer service platform (thanks to @PJAtlanta).
  19. Don’t know how to incorporate into enterprise structure (thanks to @TobyDiva).
  20. Challenge of change.  Great point (thanks to @TobyDiva).
  21. Ego (thanks to @TobyDiva).
  22. They keep wanting to learn before they get started; only way to learn is to get started! (thanks to @SherryHeyl).
  23. There’s no champion because its not tied to anyone’s objectives (thanks to @Laura_Nolte).
  24. It doesn’t fall into a neat little package within either branding, direct or digital marketing (or experiential, word of mouth, public relations, etc, etc.).
  25. Perceived notion that there is not enough content planning or content to drive value for followers/fans (thanks to @gumboshowjoe via Google Wave).
  26. Limited reach (i.e. reach won’t be as much as broadcast media) — (thanks to @gumboshowjoe via Google Wave).
  27. Slow or intricate approval process to release content or responses (thanks to @gumboshowjoe via Google Wave).
  28. The parent company has a Facebook/Twitter account so the brands within don’t need one.
  29. Worried about legal implications from brand promises (ex: pharmaceticual company employees claiming that their product has benefits that they aren’t allowed to claim.  (thanks to @kathlenehestir via sitting next to me and saying it).
  30. They’ve personally never experienced it and are unwilling to try new things.  And therefore shouldn’t be in marketing at all!

Let me know if you have any more to add or if there are some of these you really agree (or disagree) with!