Whilst social media has wholeheartedly been embraced by SME’s the big companies are not really sure what to do with it. How many corporate blogs or fan pages do you engage with? It seems that the bigger the company the bigger the struggle. And here are my thoughts as to why…
- Natural Continuity. Small companies have the big picture: you know who you are, what you do and why you’re doing it. Small companies can utilise social media effortlessly as an extension of themselves. This is really challenging for the larger companies, who employ PR and Marketing Departments to nurture the corporate DNA. Big companies require plenty of discussion to get any social media activity off the ground: training, presentations, graphs and charts, strategy’s drawn up and debates around large tables with senior executives. The end result is often wooden and un-joined up.
- Measurable results. When a small company uses social media effectively they are be able to quantify how many sales have been made via connections on-line. The big boys have problems with gathering this type of data since it’s hard for them to monitor all points of contact with a lead or customer. The enquiry from the website, the call to the call centre, the facebook ‘like’, the RT on twitter – linking these together as a single conversation is not possible yet. For us, it’s simple, we recognise the name, email, business, photo, website address and when a sale is made we can attribute to social media and therefore continue our efforts there.
- Building connections. Where big companies are using social media, it’s all too often to “broadcast” information regarding their latest deals or for reputation management. Their time-lines on Twitter are devoid of any engagement, no RT’s, no spontaneity and no personality. Building connections is a struggle since the channels are manned by a team (exactly the reason that the B Websites team members each have a twitter account). The old adage is true – people do buy people – and social media is all about the individual.
I would love to hear your experiences. Have you come across any good examples of how larger companies are doing social media the right way?
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