Corporate Use – and Underuse – of Social Media

There is no doubt that social media is a force to be reckoned with; Facebook boasts over 600 million users, and Twitter claims 200 million accounts. Marketers have been incorporating social media into campaigns, and more businesses are taking advantage of these free business tools. But not every corporation sees the value of social media. How underused is social media?

At first glance, it would seem that social media is by no means being underused. According to a survey of Chief Marketing Officers in the United States, it found that 81 percent say they will track the impact of social media on revenue in 2011. Budgets for social media marketing and optimisation are growing. So? So most chief marketers don’t really know how they will measure progress.

Further, another survey from MindTouch, a social business software company, discovered that only 15 of 143 Fortune 100 Chief Marketing Officers/Chief Communications Officers have active Twitter accounts. Fifteen percent of the CMOs or CCOs have a “net zero social footprint.” This sounds as dismal as it is: they have absolutely no engagement with or participation in social media. According to MindTouch’s Mark Fidelman, “Marketers have always been taught to ‘go where their customers are’ and still the Fortune 100 Chiefs seem to be personally absent.” And if the chiefs are absent, what about the rest of the organization?

CMOs and CCOs may be looking at social media in terms of the projected ROI, like they would for print or TV advertising. But the platform is not the same; social media is becoming much more an ingrained part of our world and everyday experiences. To be absent is to miss out on a tremendous opportunity to build your brand and interact with your target audience.

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