Is Social Media going corporate?

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It is always exciting watching the results from the latest contradictory studies and infographics on corporate Social Media these days popping up here and there. While one company claims businesses adopt Social Media not fast enough, the other shows the opposite truth.

Last week DOMO, a Social Media analytics service company, came to the conclusion that 70% of Fortune 500 CEOs cannot be found on any Social Media or social networking platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest. However, another infographic by MBA Programs states the intense evolution of Social Media in corporate business.

The results of the DOMO study states that only 7.6% of CEO’s can be made out on Facebook, Twitter & Co. Isn’t this kind of scary bearing in mind that Social Media is here to stay?! How can CEOs understand the shift in the world of their buyers when they are not paying attention to the three reasons why Millennials are redefining the purchase behavior of today?

Is it not the best argument that the average number of followers for Fortune 500 CEOs with Twitter accounts is 33,250? We would be glad to have that figure!

The only shame of the report is that it has no depth in the argumentation why the CEOs are not to be found on those social platforms. Do they not believe in it? Are they not convinced of the ROI it might provide, although 45% of Execs see the positive impact on business? Do they not have the time for it? Many guesses…

„The primary reason you have to be social is because that is where your customer lives. Even if you are not leveraging it to close business and interact with your customers, you have to spend enough time online to at least understand the shift in the world.“ Josh, James, Founder, Domo.

An MBA programs infographic shows that 94% of corporate business are embracing Social Media these days. Even more, 85% also mention the positive impact it has on their business… and if it is just more exposure which can be assumed to be the main reason in many companies why they use Social Media.

Although, we have a different approach und understanding as to how to correctly do Social Business, we can today understand the base motives. Time, money, people and policies are the corporate hurdles. If you look at them, then you know why they manage Social Media in the traditional advertising, marketing and PR manner. It is not surprising that Facebook is the favorite tool for most companies (92%). I bet you can find many examples where they do not reply to customers.

The reason? Social Media is not used and understood as a customer service tool. Most companies (and often their management teams) don’t want to believe in conversation as being the catalyst for making business. And sometimes it is uncomfortable to give feedback to some critical words. Although there might be found the next generation of their brand advocates. But only bright CEOs will figure that out…

Is Social Media really going corporate? What is your view why CEOs of corporates don’t embrace Social Media? Why do they hide away?

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4 Kommentare zu "Is Social Media going corporate?"

  1. Kai Fitzner am 16.07.2012 13:46 

    Great posting. You raise some interesting questions, Martin, but I think your answer falls short. Allow me to explain. You write:

    „Social Media is not used and understood as a customer service tool. Most companies (and often their management teams) don’t want to believe in conversation as being the catalyst for making business. And sometimes it is uncomfortable to give feedback to some critical words.“

    Yes, because Social Media needs a mindset different from established communication channels. Most companies don’t believe in unstaged conversations as they have to give up control over the message (or at least the illusion thereof). That is why Social Media is viewed as another channel of communication and as such falls flat on its back. The way we communicate over Social Media is substantially different from how marketeers in particular are used to, i.e. spinning their message so it resonates with the customer as demanded. Huge parts of the Social Media crowd despise spinning and, let’s be fair, strongly object being lied to. And now the can actually voice their opinions. That’s the kind of conversation companies don’t want to have because they don’t have a clue how to conduct them. They aren’t prepared simply because they don’t even know how to lead an honest and open conversation even internally.

    This is easy and hard at the same time. Enable your workforce to lead transparent and honest conversations digitally. Don’t pull the censorship card as soon as somebody says something unpleasant. Be open and trusting. Internal networked communication is a strategic topic and a necessary first step for successfully deploying Social Media. If I can’t talk to my colleague, how do you expect me to lead a communication with a critical customer in public?

    Before companies learn to do that properly, Social Media usage will be out of control and eventually bite them in the arse.

  2. Martin am 16.07.2012 20:11 

    Hey Kai, thanks for your input. Plain words. Obviously I did not completely explain into details the essentials of a social business strategy. However, if someone wants to follow the links down the post, they will get an understanding of how social business constitutes. And if someone wants to digg deeper, we can come to their office and do what we have done in the last four years: Walking them through potential cases to illustate what might happen once they step into the social web world.

  3. Kai Fitzner am 17.07.2012 11:13 

    Hey Martin, obviously ;)
    I just felt obliged to point out what you dropped just now, that enterprises need a social business strategy that works its way through the company before it reaches social media outlets, which is surprisingly what we’re doing as well ;)

  4. 通过博客与客户交流 – 敏捷环球语言信息服务中心 am 10.08.2014 04:49 

    […] Meyer-Gossner, Martin (2012):Social Media is Going Corporate. […]

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