I’m not nitpicking. But let’s talk about social media icons. We’re starting to see them on everything. Specifically the Twitter and Facebook icons. Just because we see them, doesn’t mean that those companies are “social”, that they are engaged, fully engaged or partly engaged. We can easily call it social media lip service, but when I checked the Twitter presence of some of the top 100 global brands according the Businessweek-engagement was little or none, and in a lot of cases, the brands didn’t even possess the Twitter handle.
For example, @Disney has over 140,000 followers and yet has only tweeted 210 times. I know it’s Disney and they might not have to care about Twitter, but that’s not the point. It’s 2011 and brands are going all in when it comes to social. Just look at this years Super Bowl Ads. This might be the year social takes the Super Bowl by storm.
Check out @Samsung 2500 followers and… a total of 8 tweets. Meanwhile they have over 200,000 fans on Facebook. Was this the strategy they were told or did they come up with this internally? Should I give them the benefit of the doubt in regards to when they launched their (new) social identity? Is it a work in progress? Take GAP, over 50,000 followers and yet a mere 400 or so tweets…
You’re probably saying it’s just Twitter, but for brands, Twitter makes more sense than it does for the casual user. It’s a better fit and it’s an opportunity.
With that said, I would like to say to brands, “Don’t be social because you have heard you need to be”. Yet we know that’s how some operate. Why not attach a strategy with some (not many) achievable decent KPI’s to your social initiatives? Weave your Twitter activity into your daily routine the way you check email dozens of times per day.
Hey Brands, don’t hoard social, own it. Yet I know major companies that either go out and do nothing with their Twitter presence or worse, squat on their Twitter handle so that others don’t it. For example. @Budwesier, @L’Oreal, @Heinz, @Colgate, @Chanel, @Wrigleys , @KFC, @Avon , @Adidas, @rolex , @Hermes, Tiffany, and ING, all get an F. Hello strategy? You might be thinking or actually they might think that they don’t need to bother with Twitter-Guess what? Twitter is free and Facebook is free and the barriers of entry and engagement are absurdly low.
What a lot of companies fail to realize is that we consumers will search for them, or they will eventually come up in search because of a question, a customer service issue, or because prospects want to see who they are. We will click on your social icons. Then we’ll come to our own conclusions. Search and social are not strange bedfellows. Your social results and personas will come up high in search and if you and your brand are coming up short, it’s an opportunity lost.And if you are there, don’t sleep walk through the chance to engage with your customers.
Social without a purpose is a waste. Brands who put the Twitter and Facebook icons on their site or on their marketing collateral with nothing to really show for it, is not very smart. Of course I also think having search results where a brand and its associated products does not come up on page one or position one is a major transgression, yet some major brands miss that opportunity as well. Positive search results are a win and always will be. Bad search results can be devastating.
Control the social aspects of your brand.
It comes to the single brand’s strategy to decide wether to invest in “social” or not. I understand that you perceive this as being a mandatory step, but they evidently don’t. Perhaps they are just happy with their financial outcome to bother about “social” yet, perhaps they just don’t give a damn in general, or they are getting prepared for it, it’s not for us to know.
Social without a purpose is indeed a waste for me as well, but I came to accept that it’s not a thought shared by everyone.
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Unfortunately a lot of huge brands make this mistake. I think that they don’t get the real power of Social Media.
Marc I think it is funny that you mentioned squating on a twitter account when you do the same thing with @marcMeyer. 🙂
Yo Mark — I love/hate how you always just put everything out there that’s on your mind [opinions] for all to take a jab at — haha!
You get out what you put in. Brands who are creating and seeing the value proposition social media platforms offer, including Twitter, are doing so from a result of actually doing it, experimenting with it and treating it as a valuable media/marketing/relationship building asset to compliment their overall marketing and customer service efforts.
The marketplace is competitive. It’s kick ass or have your ass handed to you. Social media takes time — there’s no magic pill or quick fix to creating an effective social media footprint.
I’m sure everyone agrees with these thoughts: it sucks to have your ass handed to you — its sucks to miss a critical business shift — its sucks to play catch up — it sucks to miss opportunities to improve and increase business – it sucks to be anything but #1 — and it certainly sucks to cease to exist.
Certainly most business owners can relate to the thoughts above. There are things a business can do right now, including utilizing platforms like Twitter, to improve temporary negative circumstances in their business. However, short of putting a gun to their head, many will just never get it.
So, let the dead or soon to be pass on in peace — “see ya, wouldn’t want to be ya!” And continue on with those businesses who are ready, willing and able to take the risks associated with defining how all business will be done in the future. There may be risk, but I have a feeling the rewards will be significant.
Thanks for this exercise Mark — I thoroughly enjoyed it 🙂
And sorry for misspelling your first name — geez!
@Mark What a great comment! I think you nailed it in the first paragraph!but you’re also right in that we shouldn’t dwell on those that don’t…it’s not worth the exercise.
@David Ah but there is a redirect versus some of the brands I pointed out..who have nothing. 🙂
@Gabriele What’s the investment in Twitter? A resource and an hour or two per day. I agree with you-though some still look at it as a mountain too hard to climb.
People like these think that twitter is a waste of time and they feel their business didn’t need to be connected with “Twitter people”. In fact they dont know that they were wrong.
Twitter is an amazing tool that can expand any business to reach to potential customers. It allows to connect with hundreds and thousands of people instantly! This one basic reason is enough to why businesses should consider Twitter.
Wonderful post and I totally agree. I’d say that watching how some brands handle (or more accurately DO NOT handle) their twitter accounts is like watching a train wreck, but there is no train to wreck because it hasn’t even left the station.
@Sueanne, I love that analogy!
I recently read some interesting research from a longitudinal study on Fortune 500 brands and their social media usage that you may find relevant to this topic. Twitter is being used the most! You can read/download the study here:
The Fortune 500 and Social Media: A Longitudinal Study of Blogging, Twitter and Facebook Usage by America’s Largest Companies – http://kenburbary.posterous.com/the-fortune-500-and-social-media-a-longitudin
@Ken, checking it out now.
Thanks for sharing @Ken 🙂
It’s true that some brands aren’t taking twitter seriously but some are using it strategically. Check out this blog:
Thanks for the post and I couldn’t agree more. Samsung are missing out on opportunities to build awareness of their products, create leads and generate sales.
Its amazing how many people use Twitter just for broadcasting rather than engaging. If there’s no real strategy behind Twitter or any other social tool then what is the point?