US-based agency R2i (short for R2 integrated), recently surveyed 296 marketing professionals on social media and came up with yet more evidence that companies are still struggling with social media strategies and tactics.
Nearly 42 percent responded that time and resources were the biggest hurdle preventing them from entry into the channel. 20.9 percent quoted skepticism of return, which basically boils down to ignorance and being incapable of having a goal and a plan, just like other barriers including “too many platforms to decide” or “not sure where to begin”. 38 percent of respondents responded that their big mistake was not allocating enough time and resources.
As the report notes, the problem may well be that companies are trying to be in too many places at once and simply have too many plates spinning (“too many platforms to decide”, “not sure where to begin”, “lack of time and resources”, which partially might mean “we want to be everywhere at the same time doing good stuff for everyone”).
Have you ever watched one of those plate spinning acts? I’m sure there’s a technique, but the only strategy seems to be to react as quickly as possible to whatever plate is wobbling – two seconds to get it spinning again and off to another wobble.
Wobble Worry Is Not An Efficient Strategy
Wobble worry may be an effective tactic, but it’s hardly an efficient or practical strategy. It’s certainly going to overwhelm you in the long term. You may have noticed that even the best Chinese acrobats have a limit of how many plates they can wobble worry over!
How many plates have you got spinning? How many are wobbling? Do you even know? It’s very possible that the first time you know something is wrong is when you hear the crash!
As the report mentions, social media presents a great deal of potential for lead generation, business development and brand monitoring. However, it’s also a great channel for customer service and support, if you have the resources to dedicate.
You can’t just run from one wobbling plate to the next and expect that to generate leads, help with business development or even brand monitoring. As well, if you try to conduct customer service this way, you will be cut to shreds by broken china. Select your goals and channels, depending on your business and customers.
The Multi-Channel Customer
Social media is just one channel the multi-channel consumer exists in. Imagine if you will that today’s consumer is that wobbling plate. If you don’t run over there fast enough to get the relationship spinning well again, the plate will fall and your relationship is broken. That is no way to run a business.
It might be a better idea to automate the spinning of your plates so that instead of running from wobble to wobble (channel to channel) you have a system set up which keeps those plates spinning at just the right RPM and when you need to give it a couple of extra pushes, you are there just in time and only have to use just the right amount of energy to get it spinning nice and smoothly.
PS: let the audience (your communities) decide on the spinning speed, the direction and even the plates.
More data from the survey – including all the graphs and forecast you love – here (PDF).