• Even though some brands may have been playing in social for close to a decade, I think there is still ample time for other brands to catch up. They will need to be innovative, and they will need to develop a willingness to take risks in regards to making their brand more accessible and vulnerable (through transparency).

    Besides so many executives not believing in the ROI of social engagement, they also worry about the risks they take on through social engagement. Some consumers will hold their brand accountable for a good customer experience…others will hold their brand reputation HOSTAGE as they try to take unfair advantage of social channels to get more perks.

    But brands better get their heads out of the sand and become socially engaged, or the social-savvy consumers will simply move on to the brands that DO engage.

    I still think a good argument to get brands over the hump is to invest in social monitoring. See what customers are ALREADY saying about their brand and competitors in the industry. Then see if that intelligence helps them make better decisions regarding where they spend their marketing dollars and how quickly they respond to customer feedback. See if that builds natural advocacy, customer retention, and slow-but-steady increases in their bottom line while reducing overall marketing expenses.

    • I think the whole ROI conversation reminds me of teenage boys looking to score. CEOs miss the relationship, and only want the end, the whole time losing site of everything that matters. And the CEOs afraid to engage because of what the customers may do, well, perhaps they shouldn’t be in business, because that’s life. You have to relate to build things worth spending time and money on.

      Totally agree on the monitoring front. It’s an obvious solution that makes time worthwhile. I have some more thoughts on this that I will be catering to soon. Thank you for the comment, Brian!

      • Ah, but they’ve been doing that style of business since “Hector was a pup”. Risk aversion and inertia are HUGE factors AGAINST brand social engagement.

        • Agreed. So long as there’s time for businesses to wake up to the fact that engagement means two-way communication in an almost quid pro quo environment, there will be time to catch up.

          Unti we see more customers building brand-oriented communities than brands themselves, it’s clear that the vast majority of brands aren’t remotely interested in feedback.

  • Pingback:My 2014 Marketing Prediction And Why I Hope I'm Wrong

    […] get into the integrated digital marketing game. Geoff Livingston wrote about how there is “Still Time to Catch Up in Social” and I was inspired to offer some thoughts on the excuses your business might be making to prevent […]

  • Good article, Geoff. There is time.

    The fact is that the bar is going up, and so just participating in social media is not enough anymore. I also believe that more companies will realize that it’s a combination, not a separation of skills that make a real difference. When I met with one small company last year, they had a marketing department working on “traditional marketing” and a separate new person working on “social.” Not only did that not make sense, but social is pervasive. it’s not just marketing…

Comments are closed