I decided to write about this after reading some discussion about companies which are still afraid of Social Media…I asked myself, until what point this was true…
So, I went to explore a little bit by myself and I asked some colleagues in important companies if they were using Social Media, and most of them responded that Social Media was really important but you had to commit to that, assign resources and so on, thus they decided “as a wise decision” to postpone Social Media for the future!…After that, I refused, why? Why did not you assign resources now instead of later? And there was not answer to that….So; I concluded that, in fact, this behavior was “Fear of Social Media”
An interesting article published by Forbes called “Big Companies aren’t Using Social Media for Customer Service” gave some impacting numbers related to this:
- Over 50% of the Fortune 500 companies do not provide their Twitter or Facebook pages on their contact pages of their websites.
- 27% do not provide the links to their Twitter or Facebook profiles anywhere on their websites.
After seeing these results, I was astonished with this information especially because of the magnitude of these companies. So, I decided to research by myself and I entered to the websites of the first 50 companies in the list of the Fortune 500, and for my surprise 36% of these websites did not give any link to any Social Media Tool at all, even as a part of the contact page….IT IS AMAZING, ISN’T IT?
Now, why do large companies still fear of Social Media?
I have found many reasons for this, and I will describe them:
- Some managers still believe that Social Media is a trend, they have not realized that Social Media, does not matter the tool is the new way of communication, where the word “conversation” has become relevant with customers.
- Other consider that their customer do not use Social Media, however, most of the time these are assumptions that hide a lack of understanding about Social Media and its benefits and even a lack of confidence about whether Social Media will be beneficial for the brand.
- Some organizations consider Social Media a threat of security and privacy, and because of this they believe the best way to avoid this is to be way from that, but there is nothing further from the truth.
So, what can we do?
We, as the marketers of the new era, need to be agents of change!…we need to build the bridge between our companies and Social Media…but I know this is not an easy task!…
In the HBR Blog Network titled “Most Organizations Still Fear Social Media” there are a couple of useful advises that I would like to mention:
- The first one is to get some Executive Support, to convince someone in the executive team of the organization who is going to act as a sponsor of Social Media.
- The second one is to have a single implementation of Social Media but in an area that is highly sensitive to the organization e.g. employee health and safety. This strategy will create a positive awareness about Social Media and it will give the positive results and confidence the organization needs to start a full commitment in Social Media.
My conclusions, Social Media represents a change, A BIG ONE!…and as every change, it has stages of transition, so we need to move forward through these stages and validate where our company is in order to design the best strategy to reach the end of this path and finally to implement Social Media, but most important, to believe in this new two-way of communication, in this conversation era with our customers.