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Former Member
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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 :

  1. Time (16)
  2. Value (12)
  3. Not sure what to say (7)
  4. Don't understand how to use (6)
  5. 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.

The Top Traits of Successful Social Marketers

http://www.b2bmarketinginsider.com/social-media/the-10-traits-of-successful-social-marketersHere 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

I've also provided these tips for how to get started on Twitter and with Blogging, how to find time for social media and how to wake up and get social.

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

@BrennerMichael The biggest excuse I hear for not blogging is… “I don’t have the time.”

@BrennerMichael Lack of time, don’t want to put the effort in to be successful on a platform, not understanding tools

@BrennerMichael Lack of time and/or resources to do effectively, whatever “effectively” means.

@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.

@brennermichael Top 3: 1. “No time”, 2. “Don’t get it”, 3. “Can’t write”

@BrennerMichael #1 they don’t have time. #2 they don’t understand how it works or how it will benefit them.

@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.

@BrennerMichael #1 by far is Time. #2. My audience doesn’t use social. #3. Don’t understand.

@BrennerMichael “don’t have enough time” is easily the biggest. “don’t understand it” is 2nd

@BrennerMichael Main reason I see for not tweeting (not quite an “excuse” though) is not understanding who’s listening

@BrennerMichael Biggest excuse for not blogging: Billable work > creating content

@BrennerMichael It’s inconsequential; fruitless use of time and energy.

@BrennerMichael Some: waste of time, unclear benefit, no major insights to share, who cares-world already has too many tweeters!

Takes too much time @BrennerMichael:Biggest excuse you hear from others on why they don’t blog, tweet, or use other social media tools?

@brennermichael of course. don’t have time, to much effort, not relevant to my market, no roi, wastes time, too hard to control,

@BrennerMichael “I don’t know how to use any of that stuff,” mostly!

@BrennerMichael I hear these excuses all the time.. “Its not important, It doesn’t help or do anything. That a kid thing right.”
@BrennerMichael Either it’s a waste or time, they don’t understand it or it’s narcissistic.

@BrennerMichael Usually “lack of time” is the biggest excuse.

@BrennerMichael they dont understand #, @. Dont know follow/connect strategy. Scared to say something wrong, or dumb. Content ideas.

@BrennerMichael People just don’t have the time

@BrennerMichael “still planning the strategy”

@BrennerMichael It’s a three-way tie between: No Time, No ROI, and fear of no control over what people will say about you.#scaredofsocial

@BrennerMichael Time (biz and personal). Not sure what to say (primarily twitter for personal use).

Also inspired by Content Marketing and The 1% Rule  from @tickcontent