Are you tired of the same old social media case studies? The United Breaks Guitars, the Dell Hells, the @ComcastCares?
It’s a common complaint I hear from other social media marketers. We’re sick of people talking about these case studies all the time. We can recite them by heart, we’ve heard them so many times.
The social media mavens raise their voices to the rafters: “We’ve heard them over and over! Show me something new!”
Too bad. Do you know who hasn’t heard them?
“They’re old. Everyone has heard them,” was the objection.
“Our target readers haven’t heard them,” was the counter-argument. So we decided to leave them in.
A few months later, when I was speaking to a group in Sioux City, Iowa, I asked the 150 people in the room, “How many of you have heard of the United Breaks Guitars incident?” Out of the 150, fewer than 10 people raised their hands.
We as social media marketers need to remember, not everyone uses social media. Not everyone follows it like we do. Not everyone has heard about the latest case study. Most people still confuse Chris Brogan and Josh Brolin.
While we may be tired of the same old case studies, sick to the teeth of list posts, and still roll our eyes (me included) at every “social media marketing secrets” post that tells us to use Twitter and completely fill out our LinkedIn profile, there’s a very important group of people who have never heard of this before.
Our potential clients.
Remember, while there may be over 383 million people around the world on Twitter, only 27% of them actively use Twitter. In the US, there are 107 million Twitter accounts — accounts, not active users — which is a little more than 1/3 of the country. Hypothetically, if only 27% are using Twitter actively, we’re looking at only 28.9 million people in the US using Twitter, or approximately 9.2% of the country.
In other words, nearly 90% of the country is not using Twitter. Not everyone uses YouTube. Only 40% of the US adult population has a smartphone. And only a small percentage of people are blogging. (Note: Twitter is NOT blogging.)
So while you may be sick to death of the same old case studies, the same old list posts, and the same old “social media secrets for beginners” articles, we’re still fighting an uphill battle. There are still plenty of people who still only think social media is for kids and is all about playing Farmville and Angry Birds. There are still people who don’t get “the Tweeter” and would never “want to hear about someone’s bathroom habits on FaceSpace.” There are still people who don’t understand that social media can be good for business, and that left unchecked, it can hammer your business like the fist of an angry god.
As long as there are clients who are still trying to understand why social media is important, it’s equally important that you be ready to share the stale, 7-year-old case studies with your clients. Bring out the new ones too, but don’t forget that if people feel like they share common knowledge (i.e. when two non-users get together and start talking about “that ‘United Breaks Guitars’ video”), it helps them feel smarter and more empowered to try it themselves. It may also scare the bejeezus out of them, and get them to start using it.
Arm your clients with the body of common knowledge. Go back to the same old case studies, keep using list posts (they always get the highest web traffic for me), and don’t assume everyone is carrying the latest mobile phone. It may feel remedial, but if you’re a social media professional, you need to fish where the fish are.