Why Aren’t Companies Making Better Use of Social Media?

10 Jul

Most American companies are using social media, but they aren’t using it as effectively as they could be.

A new study from InSites Consulting found that while most companies have a presence on Facebook and Twitter and pay attention to what their customers are saying, those companies don’t always know what to do with that information.

So even though companies are realizing how important it is to be present on social media, they haven’t yet realized how important it is to be proactive with their consumers on those same sites.

The study is based on data from 1,222 managers and business owners of companies with at least 20 employees in Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Some key findings about the American companies included in the study include:

  • Facebook is the most popular social network used by American companies, at about 80 percent, followed by LinkedIn (48 percent), Twitter (45 percent), and YouTube (31 percent).
  • More than half of the companies using social media pay attention to what people are saying about them, with 54 percent talking to consumers and 83 percent dealing with questions and complaints.
  • Only 11 percent of companies are making social media part of their overall strategy, with 17 percent still figuring out how to do that.
  • About 26 percent of companies admit that they’re not even using social media.

What does all of this mean? Even though most companies realize how important it is to have a strong presence on social media, not all of them understand how important it is to cultivate that presence and be responsive to consumers.

Instead, many companies will set up a social media page and get people to like their profile or follow them, only to never follow through. This leaves consumers feeling left out and disengaged instead of feeling like part of the company.

That being said, companies that are already using social media should strive to make it a part of their everyday publicity and customer relationship programs, whether that means hiring someone to take on the company’s social media efforts or asking everyone to take ownership of a part of it.

And for the companies who aren’t yet using social media, or who are still trying to figure out how to integrate it, just ask yourselves what you have to lose. If you do it right, you’ll end up with a better public perception and tons of potential new business, all without a lot of work.


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