Thoughts on “Why Big Brands Struggle With Social Media”

Mashable:  Why Big Brands Struggle With Social Media.

The reference example in this article is Twitter, but discussion boards, blogs, and social networking sites count, too.

  1. Understating social media as “just another marketing channel” instead of building a long term relationship with consumers.
  2. Social media does not fit in the existing corporate structure–it falls somewhere between “marketing, PR, communications, content production, and web development.”
  3. Social media has no borders.  Departments and marketing campaigns are often set up by region or nation.
    • Beyond this, I think that social media provides a wake-up call to some businesses.  Some regions, demographics, and countries, do not look on the brand favorably.  Venturing into the space forces companies to face this problem.
  4. Social media is long term.  Growth and cultivation of the relationships in social media take time, and cannot be placed in marketing windows or into quarterly objectives.
  5. There are no guaranteed results in social media.  I’d like to think of this a different way.  Every company’s relationship with its customers needs a different approach.  There isn’t a standard formula for leading to x% sales growth or xx,xxx page views.
  6. Different magnitude of exposures.  A superbowl may guarantee millions of viewers, while social media may, at best, gain you 50,000 fans.  Which would you rather pay for?
    • In the dot com boom, a publisher could get $3.00 for one thousand page views, $0.10 for a single click to the advertisers’ site, and up to $20.00 for a “purchase” or “sign-up”.  Which one was more valuable for the advertiser?  Depends on what the advertiser was trying to accomplish.
      • Brand impressions – CPM (banner ads at cost per 1,000 views)
      • Extended impression – CPC (cost per click) – user has to click-through to advertisers’ site.
      • Sales leads – CPA (cost per action) – user has to offer up, at a minimum, contact information.  Often a sale of some sort has to be made.
    • Social media may gain you dedicated fans, or possibly even better–put you in touch with your brand evangelists.