Social media for business is such a new arena — despite the years of tenure social networks such as Facebook and Twitter have accrued — and many companies big and small are still struggling with how to define their presence in the growing realm.
Social media for business is easy to get a grasp of simply by visiting pages and feeds of companies with whom you interact both big and small. In equal measures, it seems, some get it and some do not — Taco Bell is a great example of a brand that is excellent at garnering social media kudos from amused fans, but other “pages” struggle to interact with their followers intuitively, naturally or even with any mild success.
From relentless one-sided promotion to inappropriate proselytizing, the list of social media pitfalls in business is lengthy, not necessarily clearly defined, and often reliant on a vague issue of “tone” or ephemeral demographic observations.
Wired recently covered a survey of social strategists, concluding that a shockingly small number of companies integrate social media for business into their marketing plans to a meaningful degree, saying:
Just 12 percent of businesses planned social media strategies beyond next year and just 34 percent say their companies have developed clear metrics to connect their social media activity to goals like profit growth, said the survey, by management consultancy Altimeter Group. Meanwhile only 52 percent of those surveyed agreed with the statement ‘Top executives are informed, engaged, and aligned with our social strategy.’
And truly it seems that social media for business is seen as somewhat of an afterthought or “extra credit” in brands of many scales, from mom and pop businesses to Fortune 500 companies. What is as simple as spending a few minutes a few times a day interacting and proffering relevant content seems lost on more companies than not as the few that “get” social media dominate Facebook and Twitter among fans seeking brand interaction.
Jim Farley, Chief Marketing Officer for Ford Motor Company, told Altimeter:
We’re in the awkward teenage years where we have a strategy but it’s not executed in the same way in all parts of the company.
Indeed, it seems many brands of this scale falter when it comes to social media for business — but given large, breakout marketing coups for brands major or minor (consider Old Spice’s “I’m On A Horse” blitz a few summers back or the Alamo Drafthouse theater’s viral “no cellphones” video), how much longer will it take for all companies to consider social media presence as vital and necessary as other non-negotiable as the face of their brands?
Which entities do you think rock out social media for business in the most impressive way? Why?