Friday, May 16, 2008

The lack of social media

Where have all the social media gone?

David Bowen in one of his recent regular commentaries has pointed ot that a lot of companies have yet to fully engage in the use of social media on their main sites. He believes this is for two main reasons:

  1. Structural:
    Most of from That the corporate site is not the right place and the real activity in social media happens elsewhere (e.g. micro-sites, partners, etc.)
  2. Risk:
    Its not unusual for large companies to observe others making miskakes firs. But just watch them subsequently claim they've been doing it all along, just because they put a couple of social bookmarking links on a few hidden pages.
However, I'm also sure there are other factors Mr Bowen has missed:

A. Cultural differences and the evolution of the transparent company.
There are still a lot of organisations out there that still believe they own their customers opinions of them and even some that don't realise that customers can't hear what is being said as they are too busy listening to each other. They therefore don't realsie that facilitating these comments and participating in the conversation that they are potentially improving their market opportunity and brand perception.

B. As well as companies (senior managers and marketers) not understanding the value of social media, they can't just take the blame and obviously a lot of agencies still don't "get it". Jim Nail of Cymphony recently polled an Ad Age audience "Who's to blame for the slow page of development of marketing on social media?"

With the choice between client Marketers and Agencies... 59% picked both.

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