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The Cost of Ignoring Social Media (What You Need to Know)

by on March 19, 2014

Is your company still in denial thinking that you don’t need to embrace social media? If so, you are suffering a great cost which can be documented through research. For example, McKinsey & Company research shows that unlocking value and productivity through social media is significant. In fact, the study reports that social media could potentially contribute between $900 billion to $1.3 trillion in annual value across the four commercial sectors studied.

Research from Genesys points to the fact that more than half of customer-facing Fortune 500 Corporations “suffer from social shyness”. Specifically, 55% fail to list a Twitter handle and 51% fail to list a Facebook page on their “contact us” page.

The Cost of Ignoring (COI) social media is more significant to businesses than just being socially shy. It comes down to dollars. According to a recent Forbes piece, “social media is more pervasive than ever among customers: 50% of the population currently use Facebook and more than 37% use Twitter.”  This same post also suggests that only 16% of surveyed CEOs were participating in social media. The logical conclusion? Your customers are using social to connect and communicate; therefore, you should too.

The COI of social media comes down to missed opportunities. As a business, you need to question your opportunity costs. If you and your organization don’t have a listening and engagement plan in place, here are five areas where you are experiencing COI right now:

1. Customer Service

Conversations are taking place right now about your products and/or services. Some are very positive and helpful to you.  Some are very negative, perhaps even inaccurate. If you are not listening and engaging, you aren’t taking the steps to correct misinformation.  You are also not taking the steps for a rapid response to fix an issue and delight your customer. Rapid responses save time, which saves money.

2. Reputation Management

If you haven’t secured your company’s social identity, someone else will. They could communicate with your customers under the guise that they represent your brand. We all know that one of the things keeping the Boards of Directors awake at night is the possibility of a social media crisis that damages the company reputation.

3. Crowdsourcing to Build Loyalty

Perhaps one of the most effective companies at utilizing crowdsourcing for this outcome is Starbucks. They have successfully built brand ambassadors through contests and more. Best of all, when done well, it also engages their employees and results in profits.

4. Collaboration

Companies like Dell use their invention of IdeaStorm to bring collaboration to life. According to McKinsey & Company, improved communication and collaboration through social media could raise the productivity of interaction of workers by 20 to 25 percent.  This has huge potential.

5. Recruitment

Some of the savviest candidates have strong social profiles. They have their resumé on social networking sites like LinkedIn. They are researching potential employers through social sites, commentaries, and the social profile of an employer. Being absent can send a strong message to potential candidates.

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A version of this post previously appeared on the Marketing Cloud blog.

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One Comment
  1. Reblogged this on New Media Theories & Applications and commented:
    This blog post “The Cost of Ignoring Social Media (What You Need to Know” by Heather-Anne MacLean is part of the Week 2 course readings for Lipschultz – Chapter 5 Social Media in Advertising and Marketing.

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