Some surprising data has come from a recent study οf 100 companies reveals that many of the companies studied are literally “flying blind” with no strategy to back-up or measure their efforts. Conducted by Digital Brand Expressions, the study reports that 78% percent οf corporate participants said their company is engaged in social media, but only 41% acknowledge that they have a strategic plan backing their efforts and investment.
So what could this mean? In short, 41% of companies (both large and small in size) are having conversations with their customers and prospects through social media channels – but don’t know why and haven’t connected it to their company’s brand strategy. For those companies who self-identified themselves as having a social media strategy, nearly 94% of them said that public relations were part of their equation, and 55% of them noted that they use social media for sales primarily.
Even more concerning, of those companies who said they have a social media plan, just 29% of them have a policy in place for their employees. If your company is allowing your employees to have conversations via social media with the public, they have not guidance and can literally say anything they want – whether it’s related to your business or not. Better news was that 71% did say they were getting prepared with policies and protocols for social media communications, including how to handle both positive and negative comments.
Restricting your employees from engaging in social media may be your only choice unless you have a company policy in place. Not enabling them to engage with the public could also mean that you’re missing a key opportunity to attract new, loyal customers to your product or service.
So much for the discouraging news.
The good news is that the study also showed that nearly 69% of respondents have metrics in place to track and measure the return on investment, with 71% saying they will monitor their brand’s reputation across several social media channels.
Does your company use social media internally as part of your communications plan? If so… how are you handling the task of helping to control the communications with your employees?