The Cost of Not Entering into Social Media – How it Hurts Your Company (Part One)

October 27, 2008

Let’s talk about the obvious cost to your business – Loss of Market Share & Market Penetration, or more simply stated audience, awareness, and customers.  Whether you realize it or not, your audience is moving online in greater numbers every day. There has been a longstanding myth that has been perpetrated, that states the as the Baby-Boomer Generation retires, we are losing the largest segment of a purchasing audience ever, and that there will never be so many goods and services sold again.  That is blatantly false. 

First of all, that claim only considers a “generation” contained in the U.S.  Our markets and audiences are and have to be considered as global generations.  The mere fact that your business has a website means you are able to reach a worldwide audience.  Second, the generation being defined as Gen Tech, those that are 18 and under right now, will have grown up, never knowing a time without the internet or cellphones.  In summation, they are on the horizon, and are the largest (world) populous generation recorded, and will have ten times the purchasing power of the Baby Boomer Generation.

The existing generations are also streaming online in greater numbers than ever.  Here are a few stats[1]:

·         78% Of Americans 45-60 years of age are computer users

·         86% Of Gen X (30-45) & Gen Y (18-30) are computer users

Here is what they are doing online[2]:

·         90% of all purchasing decisions, from where to eat, to what product to buy, to healthcare & business decisions begin with research performed by an online Search Engine.

·         48% of internet users purchased a good or service in 2000 that increased to 71% in 2006.

·         54% of business professionals reported in April of 2007 that they utilize the internet for research and purchases related to their business.

·         In April, 2007, Technorati reported they are tracking more than 75 million blogs and that 175,000 new blogs are being created each day.

·         YouTube serves more than 100 million videos every day.

·         During 2006, the number adults who had downloaded a podcast grew more than 70% in the first six months alone.

·         A podcasting audience totaling 10 million people in 2006 is expected to grow to 55 million by the year 2011.

How about Social Media?

According to a recent survey[3], it was found that 60% of Americans use social media, and of those, 59% interact with companies on social media Web sites. One in four interacts more than once per week. These same subjects surveyed also found that 93% of Americans believe a company “should have a presence in social media,” 85% say having a presence is not enough, and that companies “should also interact with consumers via social media.”

The Survey revealed interesting facts about what users of social media actually expected companies to do on social media platforms: “The news here is that Americans are eager to deepen their brand relationships through social media,” explains Mike Hollywood, director of new media for Cone, “it isn’t an intrusion into their lives, but rather a welcome channel for discussion.”

The bottom line, is that as more and more of your target audience is increasing their activity on the web, they expect your company to be doing the same (increasing your activity, services, and solutions as well). How much market share, market penetration, and revenue can your company afford to lose by not entering into Social Media?

[1] 2000-2007 Pew Internet & American Life Project

[2] 2000-2007 Pew Internet & American Life Project, Technorati, & YouTube

[3] 2008 Cone Business in Social Media Study



  1. It never ceases to amaze me how much an individual or orgaisation can learn by just reading blogs, every single day thousands of pieces of great information are published, normally just a view point from a lone person, this great information if gathered together is more than enough to chance most businesses beyond belief, lets hope this great source of knowledge sharing continues and grows.

    I often spend far too much time reading and replying and have seen many great phrases, this is one of my favourites;
    The key to a successful campaign is to ensure that we understand what response the client is expecting from the distribution. It is from this perspective that we can attain the aims of the client and retain a strong working relationship now and in to the future…
    If you read and think about this statement it truly makes you think, and motivates you into thinking how you can chance your attitudes.

    Once again, thank you for your blog !

  2. […] Twitter language we call it retweeting or rt. When Christopher Lower wrote the exceptional post on the cost of not entering social media you helped keep the buzz going by retweeting. Then Chris Messina announced his candidacy for the […]

  3. […] There are plenty of major brands engaging in social media, but will it become mainstream? Stuntdubl.com wrote a great post on 9 reasons you need social media marketing in 2009 while Junta42.com also ran a post covering an additional 42 social media predictions in 2009. If you’re looking for a different twist take a look at the cost of not entering social media. […]

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