I’m curious. Curious about business’ lack of engagement with Twitter / FaceBook / Tumblr / Google and everything else Web 2.0. I would have thought that any communication channel getting the sort of traction, focus, attention and subscription that these channels are getting, would have business engaging like a love struck teenager who’d just discovered their perfect partner?
But it’s not so. So not so. So far, the majority of my experience and observation is that business has been an extremely poor performer in these spaces. Take a look at these points from Jeffbulla’s Blog:
- 73 percent of Fortune 100 companies registered a total of 540 Twitter accounts.
- About three-quarters (76 percent) of those accounts did not post tweets very often.
- More than half (52 percent) were not actively engaged (This was measured by engagement metrics such as numbers of links, hashtags, references and retweets.)
- 50 percent of the Fortune 100 accounts had fewer than 500 followers, a small number in relation to the size and reach of a major corporation.
- 15 percent were inactive; of those,11 percent were merely placeholder accounts — unused accounts to protect corporate names against so-called brand-jacking on Twitter — and 4 percent were abandoned after being used for a specific event.
- 26 percent of their Twitter accounts were primarily used as a one-way flow of information (either by RSSnews feeds or manual tweets) that offered no engagement with followers.
- Tweets did not provide opinions or encourage discussions.This contradicts the value of Twitter as a two-way dialogue to build relationships with customers and advocates.
- A sizeable 24 percent of the Twitter accounts were primarily used for brand awareness.
- Many appeared to be on Twitter simply to have an online presence.
- They did not use the platform to reach out to the community and demonstrate that their brand is a trusted source of valuable information, a business that not only talks but also listens to customers.
- Surprisingly, only 16 percent of the Fortune 100 accounts were used mainly as sales vehicles for company products and services.Other companies did not appear to understand that sales growth can be achieved by posting special Twitter offers, coupons, limited bargains and sales prices, or by searching for customers who mention a company product and reaching out to them to build a relationship.
- Customer service was the focus of only 9 percent of the accounts; it is highly likely that these companies are worried about corporate reputation — posts that might be damaging to a brand.In addition, success requires a commitment to respond “quickly to customer queries, suggestions or complaints. Note: According to Twitter’s own best practices, “your reply should come within a day, if not within hours”.
- “Thought leadership appeared to be the least prominent Twitter strategy by Fortune 100 companies, with only 8 percent focused on it. Corporate reputation and authority can be extended onto Twitter, but are most effective only after thought leadership is demonstrated in newspapers, trade publications or recognized by analysts and bloggers. This I think demonstrates the blog and website as your “home base” and Twitter as your one of your “Outposts”
- Finally, another 14 percent of accounts were used for other reasons such as recruitment or employee-specific information, or their accounts were locked and not visible.These companies were unable to build relationships with interested communities.
- Perhaps those ‘in charge’ don’t engage in this ‘new world’, and therefore don’t understand?
- Perhaps they don’t trust the young set who do ‘get it’ to manage their Web 2.0 profile?
- Perhaps they haven’t heard of social media platforms?
- Perhaps they’re stuck in a paradigm that doesn’t allow them to engage in a ‘new world’ in the manner in which they engaged in the ‘old world’?
- Perhaps they think that those who engage in the Web 2.0 world are the fringe and the freaks that don’t make up their ‘target market’, and even if they are they’ll never cross over into the space they define their ‘target market’ to be?
- Perhaps they simply lack the courage to enter into this ‘new world’ of communication and connection?
- Perhaps there’s just too much bureaucracy in their organisations to enable a dynamic, fast moving, quick responding, creative and out of the box strategy needed in this new space?
“The digital watch didn’t come from established watch companies, the calculator didn’t come from slide rule or adding machine companies, ?video games didn’t come from board-game manufacturers Parker Bros or Mattel, the ballpoint pen didn’t come from fountain pen manufacturers, and Google didn’t come from the Yellow Pages.”