Nationview: Social media usage
A perspective from the national level: Jason Falls, founder of Social Media Explorer
Friday, August 31, 2012 7:00 AM
Social media isn’t a new concept, but one expert says only a small percentage of businesses actually have it figured out.
Jason Falls, an author and founder of the website Social Media Explorer, was scheduled to speak in Des Moines on Thursday at an event hosted by Lawrence, Kan.-based Social: IRL.
Falls estimates that only 10 to 15 percent of businesses across the country are using social media in what he calls a “mature fashion,” meaning that they are using it strategically, understand how to measure it and where it fits in the company’s overall marketing package.
The Business Record caught up with Falls in advance of his appearance in Des Moines
What are the 10 to 15 percent doing well?
First of all, you have to understand all of the things social media can do for your business. For instance, if you want to drive 500,000 people to do something by Monday, you’re not going to tweet about it. You’re going to take out a television ad. You’re going to take on a full-fledged marketing campaign that hits a lot of eyeballs. Now, if you have taken the time to build a network of people that is 50,000 strong that you can reach out to through social media, then maybe social media is relevant for you. So I think understanding the possibilities is the first step, and then figuring out what out of those possibilities you want social media to accomplish for your business.
What are the biggest mistakes companies are making with regard to social media?
I think that probably the biggest mistake is that companies still approach social media from a traditional marketing mindset in that they use it as a broadcast channel. Now, I say that’s the biggest mistake made, but that’s not always a mistake. ... If they establish that expectation, then broadcasting is not a mistake. It’s a strategic use and a very smart one. But too often, you have companies say, “OK, let’s just take our messages that we typically send via advertising and direct mail, and let’s just broadcast them on all these social channels too,” and they don’t have that option for people to actually ask questions.
What is a national brand that is doing it really well?
I love the way Ford does their social media. They invested in social media from a strategic perspective very early on in the game when they hired Scott Monte as their director of social media. He does a great job of using social media not only for blogger outreach and influencer outreach, but for branding and awareness. I remember back on opening day for Major League Baseball, I was on the Ford Trucks Facebook page. I think they asked the question on their page, “Hey, it’s opening day. Who do you think is going to win the World Series?” A simple question like that on the Ford Trucks fan page is really telling about their social media. They understand that the conversation doesn’t always have to be about them in order to engage their audience.
The Depot at 4th, 100 4th Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50309 | (515) 288-3336 | © 2012 Business Record. All Rights Reserved. | Legal disclaimer