Recently I read an article regarding social media adoption by businesses in the West you can read it here. As you can see, emerging economies are so much quicker to adopt to social media, primarily because they know it gives them a head start in a competitive marketplace and is low cost. The article got me thinking. Hmm (that’s me thinking.)
And I realised it echoed my own experiences when out and about networking. UK businesses seem to be slightly reluctant to fully embrace this revolution, or they seem to think it’s for ‘free’. Perhaps it’s because we’re relatively affluent here in Britain and feel we don’t need to be ahead of the game in this way. We got lazy at adopting new methods and tech. Perhaps it’s because a lot of businesses are owned by a generation that doesn’t see social media as massively necessary as they’re doing quite well regardless and when Generation Y gets to the positions of power, things will naturally change.
And then it struck me – perhaps not enough social media marketers are COMMUNICATING the benefits of social media, or how it really works well enough. Perhaps some social media marketers are not doing themselves justice (note the use of the word ‘some’ there!). Maybe it’s not being explained that miraculous results from social networks won’t happen overnight and that businesses should take a holistic approach.
It would be great if businesses could understand the following:
- Social media marketing methods are meant to be used alongside others. It’s not an end in itself, it’s a marathon not a sprint (sorry to be cheesy!) In the long-term it’ll pay off. It’s about showing how you treat customers, how you add value to their experience with you.
- Networks are your own mini newsroom – think of Twitter as your radio airwaves, Youtube as your television and your blog as your own daily rag.
- You need to have an end game in mind – going into anything without a tangible goal is like entering a race without a finishing line (athletics seems to be coming up a lot in this post!)
What does your particular business need social media for? How many of your customers are online and where? (this will determine to what extent you adopt social media in your communications strategy. It’s necessary to use social media but to what degree depends on your business.)
I’ve made it my 2012 mission to help UK businesses ensure they’re not left behind as countries such as Brazil, India and China race ahead. If British companies are dragging their feet, that’s something that all in the social media and marketing profession need to bear in mind and take responsibility for.