Some leading organisations are reticent about engaging with social media, others are more proactive. The risks of doing nothing though are high.
Here is a list of a few of the risks if you do nothing with social media:
1) You will not see or hear what your customers are saying about your brand and product and services
2) You will not be where your stakeholders are
3) Disaffected customers could coalesce around you in seconds and you will not be prepared
4) Your brand/organisation will lose relevance
5) Your recruitment will suffer because new talent will not have time for an organisation that does not use the latest social media tools for business communications
6) Your competitors will move into this space and gain advantages over you
7) Customer complaints will fester and go unanswered
8.) Your recruitment costs will continue to rise whereas social media can slash the cost of recruitment
9) You will squander the opportunity to set the news agenda by using tools like Twitter to publish your results
10) NGOs will capitalise on your dinosaur-like attitudes by moving swiftly and setting up groups on Facebook and building online coalitions
11) Investors will read forums for insights into your business which you will not know about
12) You will not reach stakeholders who do not read newspapers or who do not watch much television
13) You will fail to see how journalists are using social media for research for their stories
14) You will be vulnerable to a Twitter story leading search engine queries about your firm
15) Opportunities for coverage of your stories will shrink as traditional media shrinks
16) Contact books based on established media will lose their influence as bloggers become more influential
17) If a crisis breaks, you could be advised by a PR agency whose mindset -led by an old board – has been deeply defined by the rules of established media. Which means the advice you receive could be suspect as it is not attuned to the new fast-evolving culture – even though they might say it is!
18) Younger members of your organisation who are more open to social media will feel disenfranchised and morale and productivity will drop
19) You will miss out on opportunities to leverage these new tools to boost your communications messages
20) Your company will be seen as faceless and not accountable or open
21) Your communications will be based on a broadcast model at a time when users of social media are not impressed by adverts shouting at them to buy products and services
22) Your press releases will not gain coverage
23) Your content will not be easily found
24) Your messages will become inaccessible
25) People will not visit your website in significant numbers or for any lengthy period of time
26) You will fail to capitalise on the marketing opportunities presented by these new disruptive social technologies
27) You will fail to see the value in treating your customers as partners and jointly developing new products with them
28) There will be no opportunities for you to have direct one-to-one conversations with your customers
29) You will be left behind, be playing catch up and fail to use social media to expand your customer base
30) People will not know the true story about your business
31) If you are slow to engage with social media you will be slower to learn and you will lose competitive advantages.
I could go on. Essentially the status quo is no longer a strategy, as probably most of you know. You have to be where your stakeholders are, whether you like it or not.
Feel free to add any other points. It would be great to have your thoughts too!