“It won’t work.”

“Why not?”

“We’ve never done it that way, it won’t work.”

I had this conversation with a client a few years ago when I suggested we start using video to reach staff who weren’t based in Sydney or one of the other major cities they operated out of.

If we had been in the same room, I’m sure he would have seen steam coming out of my ears. A little bit like it did on Friday night when I saw the NSW Sports Minister on the TV talking about why the NRL Grand Final would never move to Queensland.

“It’s always been in NSW, since 1908. And it’s always going to be in NSW. That’s just the way it is”, Stuart Ayres, NSW Sports Minister said.

Now I understand sporting traditions, I really do. Yes, yes many of you are laughing right now (I’m not known for my sporting prowess…). And I would be really happy for the NRL GF to continue staying in NSW if the only teams in it were from NSW. But they aren’t so it’s not OK.

never done it that way

Seventeen of the last 26 Grand Finals have had a team from either Victoria, Queensland or NZ and three Grand Finals have had no team from NSW/ACT.

The other issue is that this year there were still tickets available for the Grand Final THE DAY BEFORE THE GRAND FINAL! And rumours the NRL gave away thousands of tickets so the stadium would look full. Would this happen in Queensland? Maybe. But you won’t know if you don’t try!

Now I hear you thinking it’s only a sporting match. And yes, that is my view too (sorry NRL fans).

But what concerns me, is that there are far too many businesses also thinking this way.

“We’ve never done it that way, it won’t work.”

In Australia, 53% of small businesses, 51% of medium-sized business and 40% of large businesses don’t have a social media presence. Social media has been around for long enough now that every business should be using at least one social media channel.

Social media can even up the playing field between big and small business. The cost to entry is very low and it has the propensity to give your business significant benefits – better relationships with customers, insights into the problems your customers face, the capacity to build trust in your brand.

It also provides you with the opportunity to showcase your expertise and experience; surprise and delight your customers; find out and solve their problems; and provide customer service excellence.

I will NEVER forget that tweet from @DelloMano asking if my father and I would appreciate some of their beautiful brownies in the few days after my mother died – especially as the owner, Deb, and I had never even met! You can guarantee I was surprised and delighted. And the goodwill that simple gesture generated has been enormous. Seven years later and I still mention Deb’s kindness at least once a month.

All this helps you build relationships with your customers, which helps them know, like and trust, which can lead to sales. Because people do business with people they know, like and trust.

So the next time you think “social media won’t work, we haven’t ever tried it”, why not give it a go?

Oh, and that client? They did eventually start using video and guess what?? Their people LOVED it.

Mel Kettle works with associations, not-for-profits and businesses to help them communicate effectively and authentically so they attract, retain and engage their members and customers. To inquire about working with Mel, please email mel@melkettle.com or click here.

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