There are many reasons why businesses fail incorporating social media in their value creation chains, customer relationship programs and marketing mix. From corporate culture to overemphasizing message and medium to ignoring the listening priority to short-term tactics. And more. One of the reasons is obviously also a lack of strategy and planning which clearly came forward in a report by Digital Brand Expressions I blogged about before. And there is more.
The survey by the US-based company (published last Summer) shows that a lot of companies integrate social media into their strategy unprepared and without a clear plan. This is not the first time that a lack of goals, planning, cross-divisional cooperation, and even strategy regarding social media marketing shows up in a survey.
However, there is no reason to exclude social media marketing from a broader framework, and to approach it as an ‘island’ stripped of any form of strategy.
The fact that it does happen so often can be destructive for the company’s actions and reputation and it gives social media marketing in general a bad image as well.
Even more important: it often doesn’t provide any value whatsoever for the people using social media (and therefore, neither for the company).
Digital Brand Expression found that 78% of all participating companies practice social media marketing.
Yet a mere 41% of those actually have a strategic plan for their use of social media, in which is put down just what the goals are, which division is doing what, how the company involves its employers, etc.
Still, 88% of the companies without a social media plan finds it important to actually have one.
The conclusion is simple: a lot of companies aren’t ready for social media marketing because they don’t succeed in developing a coherent strategy as well as a clear plan that goes beyond the borders between different departments.
This silo-way of thinking, the walls between the various company divisions, a lack of coordination, and a bad insight into the possibilities of social media undoubtedly play a role in this.
Recent studies that fruitlessly debated on just who within the company is responsible for social media (PR, marketing, etc…) pointed this out already.
Several key players are left out of the social media plan and strategy
The survey also looked at who is responsible for creating, carrying out, and maintaining a strategic social media communications plan.
The marketing divisions takes the lead in this with 71%. The ‘corporate communications’ scored 29%, while sales and IT are both good for 10%. The management team only scored 16%, which is a shame, since drawing a social media marketing strategic plan demands the executive team’s cooperation, in the very least.
At the companies that have a social media marketing plan, it turns out that several divisions are barely included in it, if at all.
With an impressive 94%, marketing is almost always included. Public relations follows with 71%, while sales ended third with 55%.
Yet customer service is only included in 26% of all cases, and HR only in 16%. Management is barely included at all.
The fact that customer service is included so little, means that many companies don’t yet realize that the role of customer service is getting more and more important in these times in which customer satisfaction is so crucial.
The overwhelming presence of marketing and PR shows that a lot of companies overlook a large part of the essence of social media marketing. And the fact that HR (and therefore also the company’s employees) is included so sporadically, emphasizes this conclusion even more.
Obviously, these aren’t the only reasons why businesses still often fail in social media marketing but they sure are important ones.
You can download the report here and watch the slideshare below.