Most top 50 Brands Not Social

Old habits die hard:  most top 50 brands not social

The more things change, the more they stay the same, 15 years ago, brands had static websites and a unique way to interact with their followers through email or phone, what did they do?  They remove phone numbers, addresses and email from their websites.

Fast forward 15 years, in the social media era, most brands have not changed.  reminiscent of their old ways, they block followers from initiating conversations and/or only allow them to respond to posts.

In short, brands are still afraid or at best awkward when it comes to one on one communication.  They are still stuck in their old broadcasting ways, using social media as a one way communication tool.

According to an A T Kearney study, out of Interbrand’s Top 50 Global Brands on Facebook,

  • 27 of them won’t even reply directly to their customers
  • 20 of the 50 companies have a 4:1 company to customer ratio of posts on their Facebook pages.
  • 71% of the company posts were promotional
  • Only 5% of all posts actually sought to create real conversation with their customers
    Companies as consumer-facing as Disney, McDonald’s, and Sony only allow posts that were created by the companies themselves
  • Only one of the Interbrand Top 50 routed fans to an unfiltered Facebook wall, while the other 44 initially choose to show consumers and fans a filtered selection of company posts only.
  • Of the more socially engaged companies, 25 companies in our study had consumer-to-company post ratios in the 3:1 range—three consumer posts for every one company post. These companies include Coca-Cola, BMW, eBay, H&M, Kellogg’s, Pepsi, Heinz, ZARA, NESCAFÉ, Nintendo,, Nokia, Honda, Gillette, Philips, HP, Samsung and L’Oréal Paris. The remaining 20, however, demonstrated nearly a 1:4 ratio between consumer and company commentary.
  • Only 5 percent of company-to-consumer posts engaged consumers in discussions, while 71 percent of posts were promotional

Most traditional marketers are still not comfortable engaging consumers one on one and default to their traditional ways.  they are afraid to lose control of their message and brand and do not understand the dynamics of social media and as a result, budgets may not be available to hire dedicated social media staff or dedicate employees to interact with consumers.

Most brands consider social media to be exclusively a marketing tool and lose sight of the value social media conversations bring to other departments like customer service, R&D, quality, HR to mention only a few.  As such, social media can considerably cut customer service costs, development time, correct product or service defects faster, attract valuable talent in a more cost effective way and fail to include these savings and/or revenue generation in the overall ROI

Can you teach an old dog new tricks, sometimes, but past behaviors and trends are not exactly encouraging most top 50 brands succeed at generating “likes” and followers but fail at social engagement and miss out on the real value of social media.

Traditional Marketing Is Dead

Traditional marketing — including advertising, public relations, branding and corporate communications — is dead. Many people in traditional marketing roles and organizations may not realize they’re operating within a dead paradigm. But they are. The evidence is clear.

First, buyers are no longer paying much attention. Several studies have confirmed that in the “buyer’s decision journey,” traditional marketing communications just aren’t relevant. Buyers are checking out product and service information in their own way, often through the Internet, and often from sources outside the firm such as word-of-mouth or customer reviews.

Second, CEOs have lost all patience. In a devastating 2011 studyof 600 CEOs and decision makers by the London-based Fournaise Marketing Group, 73% of them said that CMOs lack business credibility and the ability to generate sufficient business growth, 72% are tired of being asked for money without explaining how it will generate increased business, and 77% have had it with all the talk about brand equity that can’t be linked to actual firm equity or any other recognized financial metric.

Third, in today’s increasingly social media-infused environment, traditional marketing and sales not only doesn’t work so well, it doesn’t make sense. Think about it: an organization hires people — employees, agencies, consultants, partners — who don’t come from the buyer’s world and whose interests aren’t necessarily aligned with his, and expects them to persuade the buyer to spend his hard-earned money on something. Huh? When you try to extend traditional marketing logic into the world of social media, it simply doesn’t work. Just ask Facebook, which finds itself mired in an ongoing debateabout whether marketing on Facebook is effective.

In fact, this last is a bit of a red herring, because traditional marketing isn’t really working anywhere.

There’s a lot of speculation about what will replace this broken model — a sense that we’re only getting a few glimpses of the future of marketing on the margins. Actually, we already know in great detail what the new model of marketing will look like. It’s already in place in a number of organizations. Here are its critical pieces:

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