Companies Still Don’t Understand Social Media.

Just a few factual pieces of information you might be interested in reading.

1. Spending – Social media spending is extremely low. Almost two-thirds of respondents to a recent survey said they spend just 5% or less of their marketing budget on social media. While social can be less expensive than other marketing elements, this is surprisingly low. Social represents a big opportunity to get a high return for spend, if properly resourced. This level of investment would suggest that marketing departments are looking at social as an experiment or, at best, a campaign, rather than an ongoing effort that requires the programs and staff to build and maintain relationships over the long haul.

2. Don’t Know What To Do – Companies are still broadcasting, not interacting. Social tools are meant to be used as two-way communications devices. Over 60% of companies surveyed felt that social media was very important in brand building but less than 20% thought it was very important to product ideation. Really??? A surprising 58% stated that social media was not important to product or service testing. Really? Talk to Mountain Dew. This would seem to show that social media is considered more like one-way advertising and less like a channel for understanding customer needs and leveraging valuable and available customer insights in product development.

3. Not Understood – Social’s value across business functions not realized. Just under 40% view social media as very important to demand generation and under 30% are using social media for employee engagement. This shows that the potential of social media to engage prospects, customers and employees is not fully understood. Most of the respondents to this survey were in marketing so they may not be reporting on activity in other functions but the cautionary note is that each part of an organization can benefit from well designed social efforts, particularly if they are not siloed but allow insights to cross functional lines and be shared more effectively.

Steve Rockman


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