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A guest post by Chester Frazier of Definition Systems.

When I, as a chief technology officer, put together an organization’s strategic technology plan and get down to the web-presence section, I typically inquire about their current efforts. Usually, I hear that they have a Facebook page. But when I visit the page, I see: a page that hasn’t been touched by anyone other than spammers or a complete running history of their promotions for the past 6 months, with employees the only ones “Liking” it.

That’s a missed opportunity. But when I ask about why they don’t invest more time and effort, I usually get one of the following five excuses:

1.    “Our target audience is not on Facebook and Twitter.”
I usually hear this when their target audience is 50+. I used to buy it---and then Farmville came along. I cannot tell you how many Farmville requests I get daily from farmers of all ages.

2.    “I would like my staff to concentrate on more important things than playing on Facebook all day.”
Said another way: “How do I know they are working on things related to the organization and not personal stuff?” Fair enough. But business owners and managers need to realize, we are in 2011. The time for micro-managers in a small-business environment is over! If you are that concerned over the effectiveness of your hires, you may want to take a look at your hiring process.

3.    “We tried it; it didn’t work.”
The problem of course, is that the approach is all wrong. You didn’t try interacting with your audience on Facebook or Twitter, you tried advertising to them. But at that point, I usually just hand them a copy of Power Friending by Amber Mac (@ambermac), Unmarketing by Scott Stratton (@unmarketing), or Content Rules by C.C. Chapman and MarketingProfs' own Ann Handley.

4.    “We are just too busy.”
I would like to steal a line from one of those books for this excuse. Imagine we replaced the term social media with talking. "We are just too busy to talk to people about what we do."  (Insert a blank stare.)

5.    Lastly, my favorite: “Could you do it for us?”
I often hear this from the old-school business people who are used to delegating every bit of work out and not doing a thing themselves. It’s great to hire outside content creators, but I’m not necessarily the guy for the job. If it were to be a product or service I don’t know anything about---for instance a doctor’s office---I could imagine my response to a Facebook wall post:  “My son is sick. What should I do?” My answer: “Ummm, did you try rebooting him?”

*****

So how about you? Are your clients using social media? What excuses do you hear, and how do you respond?

Chester Frazier is the CEO of Definition Systems. Follow him on Twitter.

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