It seems that every company has been investing in some level of social media activity. I would suggest that most (but not all) of what has been invested is both not measureable and worthless.
There is an old adage, which I will paraphrase as “work is not the same as achievement”.
This is just as true for the latest marketing buzz-words. Social media is just another (all-be-it fresh) way of interacting with potential customers, market watchers and customers. But the effectiveness of every conversation is determined by the quality of the conversation and not the loudness of the voice.
Given the choice I would prefer to never see a tweet announcing a new product or a Facebook status announcing some companies chief is going to attend a panel to discuss anything. In fact I , like nearly every twitter, facebook and linkedin consumer have become very proficient at filtering out this white noise.
And like most emailers, I’m adept at automating the routing of advert emails directly to my spam and trash folders.
This is not to say I don’t want to receive messages from businesses, I do, we all do. We just demand that those messages be relevant to us and informative.
Companies that are great at communicating are great at marketing and are just as great at social media marketing.
Companies that are rubbish at communicating are just as rubbish across every media.
Before a company can effectively communicate, they must have a very deep understand of what they do, why they do it, who they do it for and how those they do it for want to have it done.
This may seem trivial, but it’s proved to be the hardest thing for most companies to identify and use to drive their business.
If you think it’s easy, ask 10 people in your own company to answer those questions and I would suspect you will get at least 10 completely different answers. And if you don’t know what you do, why you do it, who you do it for and how they want to see it done, then how the hell can you communicate anything about your business to your prospects?