Big Brands Still Don’t Understand Social Media, Says HBR
The strongest marketing plans today are built for speed. They create, gauge, and interpret stats, and re-optimize until their audience interactions and measurable ROI are on-target.
In a recent Harvard Business Review article, entitled “Rules For A Social Era,” though, writer Nilofer Merchant argues that having a “big” mindset is causing brands — like Bank of America, Sony, Gap, Yahoo, and Nokia — to miss out on lean operations that may help them increase ROI. This is especially true in the world of social media, she argues.
“When companies think of social media, they hope to get consumers to ‘like’ them or ‘fan’ them, as if that increased connection is meaningful,” she points out.
It’s true – many of these large companies are still making decisions based on theories of marketing, not strategy. Without measuring ROI, this type of social media use is old-school marketing 2.0, and leaves out the immensely valuable opportunities for relationship building that social media is built on.
Her advice to these brands is to hone in on the niche details of the changing paradigm, and to make them work for their brands. “It will be wholly insufficient to put the word ‘social’ in front of existing business models and expect things to change,” she explains. “Real markets are much more precise.”