There is an observation in social media called “Participation Inequality” or the “1% rule” that says that 1% of us create content, 9% of us share content and 90% of us are pure consumers of the content created.
As a marketer, I feel like it is our role to at least be in the 9%, and ideally in the the 1% of active social users creating or sharing content. I believe Marketers should not be the “content leaches” of the business world but should be leading conversations and driving innovation and new ideas.
But the fact is, the large majority of marketers are still not active in social media. Andrea Edwards (@SAJEIdeas) recently wrote a great post called I Know I Should Be Blogging, But…. In the comments, Mark McClure (@samuraiwriter99) was kind enough to use me as an example of how we can connect with other people from anywhere in the world through social conversation and participation.
So I decided to ask my followers what they see as the top reasons people don’t do social . . . don’t participate . . . don’t engage. I was overwhelmed by the response, but the answers fell into 5 main groups. So here are the top 5 reasons people don’t participate and some tips and guidance on how to get started…
The Top 5 Reasons People Don’t Do Social
I’ve included the actual responses below for more information but here are the top 5 reasons people don’t do social and the number of votes for each :
- Time (16)
- Value (12)
- Not sure what to say (7)
- Don’t understand how to use (6)
- No interest / “It’s for kids” (2)
So while this is not a scientific poll, I think it’s clear the top reasons are lack of time and difficulty in understanding the value of spending the time.
Here are some of the top tips I’ve outlined before on how to be a successful social marketers:
- Think about audience first
- Understand that keywords matter
- Respond to questions, comments and responses
- Set clear business objectives for your efforts
- Be consistent
- Be more social and less of a marketer
The Social Imperative
The bottom line is that I feel being active in social is a business and professional imperative and so we need to take these steps:
- Build it in to your day
- Find ways to scan and filter information
- Share information relevant or useful for your connections
- Build strong connections
- And take the leap of faith and share your views through writing
So below are the actual responses I received to my question on twitter: “what are the top reasons people resist being active in social media?” I want to thank those of you who responded, Andrea and Mark for their inspiration and all of you for taking the time to read my views…
@BrennerMichael they think its a waste of time OR not worth the time required to be impactful
— steve olenski (@steveolenski) March 13, 2012
@BrennerMichael The biggest excuse I hear for not blogging is… "I don't have the time."
— Stacy Taylor (@StacyTaylor17) March 13, 2012
@BrennerMichael Lack of time, don't want to put the effort in to be successful on a platform, not understanding tools
— Chris Edwards (@toph303) March 13, 2012
@BrennerMichael Lack of time and/or resources to do effectively, whatever "effectively" means.
— Terence Coughlin (@TCoughlin) March 13, 2012
@BrennerMichael 1) Don't understand them and/or don't have any interest (at least, as they understand how they are used). 2) No time for it.
— Jacob Sloan (@jacobsloan) March 13, 2012
@brennermichael Top 3: 1. "No time", 2. "Don't get it", 3. "Can't write"
— Hank Barnes (@Barnes_Hank) March 13, 2012
@BrennerMichael #1 they don't have time. #2 they don't understand how it works or how it will benefit them.
— Amy Laine (@hyperlaine) March 13, 2012
@BrennerMichael that they don't have time and they don't think it's mainstream enough. Sure some are out there, but prob not my audience.
— Cherie Givens (@cgivens) March 13, 2012
@BrennerMichael "don't have enough time" is easily the biggest. "don't understand it" is 2nd
— Kenny Lasley (@klasley1) March 13, 2012
@BrennerMichael Main reason I see for not tweeting (not quite an "excuse" though) is not understanding who's listening
— katiedel (@katiedel) March 13, 2012
@BrennerMichael Biggest excuse for not blogging: Billable work > creating content
— katiedel (@katiedel) March 13, 2012
@BrennerMichael Some: waste of time, unclear benefit, no major insights to share, who cares-world already has too many tweeters!
— Alex Joseph (@FromAlex) March 13, 2012
Takes too much time @BrennerMichael:Biggest excuse you hear from others on why they don't blog, tweet, or use other social media tools?
— JulieKirby (@JulieKirby) March 13, 2012
@brennermichael of course. don't have time, to much effort, not relevant to my market, no roi, wastes time, too hard to control,
— kennymadden1973 (@kennymadden1973) March 13, 2012
@BrennerMichael "I don't know how to use any of that stuff," mostly!
— Jessica Langer, PhD (@DrJessicaLanger) March 14, 2012
@BrennerMichael Either it's a waste or time, they don't understand it or it's narcissistic.
— madamding (@madamding) March 14, 2012
@BrennerMichael Usually "lack of time" is the biggest excuse.
— Caty Kobe (@catykobe) March 14, 2012
@BrennerMichael they dont understand #, @. Dont know follow/connect strategy. Scared to say something wrong, or dumb. Content ideas.
— Rachel Macik (@RachelMacik) March 14, 2012
@BrennerMichael People just don't have the time
— Information Arts (@InformationArts) March 14, 2012
@BrennerMichael "still planning the strategy"
— robert phillips (@berge31) March 14, 2012
— Jonathan Barrick (@j_barrick) March 14, 2012
@BrennerMichael Time (biz and personal). Not sure what to say (primarily twitter for personal use).
— Eric Wittlake (@wittlake) March 14, 2012
Also inspired by Content Marketing and The 1% Rule from @tickcontent