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Favorite 2009 Blog – Social Media Today – Five Reasons Companies #Fail at Social Media


Posted on 12th January, by Tom Williams in Digital Marketing. No Comments

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Before January gets away from me I wanted to give some kudos to my favorite blog post of 2009. The Award goes to Social Media Today with their blog entitled: Five reasons corporations are failing at social media.

Here is a brief summary of the Five Points with my personal insights and commentary.  For the full scoop, please click on the link above to visit the original blog.

The Top 5 Reasons Corporations are failing at Social Media……

1. They can’t talk about anything broader than their own products

It’s great that you love your products and services, but there is a limit to the narcissism that your readers can stomach.  I personally suggest limiting your “PR” to 20% or less of your social media interaction.  There are so many other things about your company and organization that are valuable and brand-building.  Give these a shot!

2. They listen to customers but don’t take any action

This is an easy trap to fall into because most companies are not setup to receive all kinds of customer suggestions, complaints…etc. and push them through a logical flow to resolution.  Big companies instead stay focused on their internal operations and lose a valuable opportunity to show their customers how much they value them.

3. They aren’t calibrated internally with the technology

Most companies run a static public website which is cumbersome to update and requires heavy IT intervention.  Why not get a CMS up and running so your users can update the information quickly and with workflow.  Our favorite is UK-based Jadu.  A reasonably priced CMS for mid-size companies, governments and universities.  It’s powerful backend and simple user interface make it the best of the best in our opinion.

If you’re not ready for an entire website overhaul to a CMS, try building out a “knowledge center” on your website.  It’s a kind of mini-CMS where you can have your employees blog, post images video, whitepapers, podcasts, webinars…etc.  All that great stuff that Google eats up and that sets you apart from your competition.  InnoGage has a CMS based on our InnoBlogs software which works very well in the knowledge management space.  Drop me a comment for more info.

4. They’re not framing risk accurately

One of my favorite people, Dharmesh Shah, co-founder at Hubspot, is quoted in the Social Media Today blog post as saying “No corporate blog has ever been fatal to an organization”.  How true this is.  As we work with Universities and Companies we have noticed an inflated sense of risk of inappropriate or inaccurate content going out through a blog.  My personal believe is that this risk is rather low and is easily controlled if you have the right blog software.  In the worst case scenario that something does leak out, simply apologize and remove it.  Newspapers do this all the time!

5. Their internal culture isn’t aligned for social media success

There is no easy way to flip a culture.  However… a good start is to stop blocking all those social media sites!  A recent article in there Harvard Business Review claims that employees who are permitted access to social media channels at the workplace are almost 10% MORE PRODUCTIVE than those where the channels are blocked.

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I encourage all Corporations to make a New Year’s resolution to embrace the social web and discover how powerful it can be when you let your customers into the conversation.

Related posts:

  1. Report shows social media adds to financial performance of top companies in this down economy
  2. Social Media in today’s society – Obama proves it works
  3. Getting Creative: Sponsoring Social Media at the eduWEB Conference 2009
  4. Social Media = Green(Recruiting + Marketing) Earth Day 2009!
  5. Social Media Marketing – how big is it and how to use it




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