In business we talk about opportunity cost a lot. As defined by Investopedia opportunity cost is:
The cost of an alternative that must be forgone in order to pursue a certain action. Put another way, the benefits you could have received by taking an alternative action.
It’s important to know what the variables are in any decision so that they can be properly weighed one against the other thus producing the best possible decision based on the available data. Honestly, that’s a little too wordy for me but you get the point.
So my simple question to you as a business owner, high level executive or wherever you may be on the corporate ladder is this:
When it comes to Internet and social media marketing why are we willing to settle for knowing not nearly enough about the specifics and even turning over potentially business changing opportunities to those with the least amount of business experience?
I see it happen all the time. I’ll ask a high level marketing executive who is responsible for social media for the company and the reply will be “Oh that’s Sally (or Joe but more often than not it’s a female) who knows that stuff inside and out. She just graduated from XYZ University.
After I scrape my jaw off the ground I like to probe so I can determine exactly what this particular person in a position of power knows about Internet marketing and social media marketing. This leads to the second scraping of my jaw off the ground because they often don’t know much and even go so far as saying that they don’t need to “get in the weeds” on that kind of thing.
Well, I am here to say that this line of thinking is wrong and irresponsible. Here are just a few quick examples of what can be lost with regard to opportunity if the knowledge of the Internet space doesn’t go all the way to the top.
- Company reputation – The online space is not one you should take lightly because what used to take months to do now takes minutes. The biggest threat is to a company’s reputation. If there is not a strong understanding of how to monitor the Internet and, more importantly, WHAT to monitor for then the door is open for online naysayers to hurt your company.
- Revenue – Say your social media whiz kid can put together a Facebook page in no time but doesn’t really have a clue about what your company really does or how it makes its money. Updating a Facebook page with “news” or whatever is nice but if it is not pointed ultimately at driving revenue then you are wasting time and other valuable resources.
- Press opportunities – Showing thought leadership is talked about a lot in executive circles but most executives don’t want to work to display it. Now it’s easier than ever to interject yourself in a conversation and exhibit the thought leadership customers like. if this is not being looked for at the highest levels, young inexperienced workers will miss chances for the company to take advantage of thought leadership layups.
- Identification of weak spots in the business – A trained eye and a real plan goes a long way to see trends that might predict areas of concern for a company. It’s always best to nip trouble in the bud rather than having to put out fires which never produce the best results.
These are just a few of the important business areas that the Internet space can either be an incredible boost or tremendous drain on a company’s success. When it’s not working it is mostly because those at the top have chosen not to listen and stay informed.
All I can say is to do this at your own risk. You have been warned.
If you need a way to stay on top of the latest trends please contact me at frank AT frankareed DOT com. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.