The more I speak with association managers, marketing and communications professionals, senior executives and CEO’s, one message is absolutely clear. They feel bombarded by the hype around social media and frankly are getting sick and tired of hearing about it!
At a recent meeting of about 100 communications and marketing specialists (the kinds of people that are embracing social media) more than 95% of them have used TWITTER and 100% of those have determined that it held little to no value, or worse, was a time suck.
An Executive Director of an important trade association summed it up best when she felt that social media hype was exerting a tremendous amount of” peer pressure to embrace social media” but that it was difficult at best to see where the value is. Her view was echoed by colleagues and they wanted to know, where is the measureable ROI in social media?
These frustrations are both normal and unfortunate. Social Media has a great deal to offer organizations of every size and type, but the heavy focus on social media technology features, rather than the business strategy of how and why to use social media, is the problem.
What good is it to know that ‘Beyonce’ has half a million followers on TWITTER? What lessons are learned for a professional membership organization that Susan Boyle’s combined YouTube hits now number over 100 million? Or that Facebook has 330 million users?
It is like saying that China has 1.4 billion people so therefore it makes sense to do business in China. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t, but you do not decide just because of the impressive numbers.
Some organizations are starting to wade through the hype and make real, measureable use of social media. These organizations have several things in common:
- They have identified a specific use or objective for their social media activities
- They have determine how they are going to measure success and they start that measurement right from the beginning
- They have developed a strategy and a business plan that includes designating sufficient human resources to implement and manage their plans.
In other words, they are treating social media as they would any other important business project, not like it is a hobby.Tweet