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The Wall Street Journal Reflection: Lessons we can learn State side.

25 July 2014 | 03:50 am

The Wall Street Journal this week declared that Facebook had gone Parabolic! This got us off to an interesting start to the day with George in the Customer Service team taking on CTO Marc Harris in the battle of the diagrams as they each set out to define and explain the term ‘parabolic’.

Definitions (and drawings) aside the article highlights that in the consumer context, the uptake in social is soaring high. It then compares and contrasts with the speed (or lack of comparatively) with the uptake of social media throughout the world of business and in particular across Enterprise organisations.

Having received one telephone call in the office this week from a mother (in her late 60’s) with the message “can you tell my daughter that my Whatsapp isn’t working so she'll have to text me instead” we can see first hand just how prolific social media is becoming consumer side!

There are a couple of things to reflect on in the article.

Firstly, the report is based on the uptake of social media in the US, not the UK. This raises an issue on it’s own! As a business with a genuine interest in all things social, with incredibly strong links to academia (our local business schools) we find it really hard to find good quality analysis of the UK in terms of social media. Gauntlet Number One laid.

Are we ahead or behind the US? Who is driving the adoption and education of UK Enterprise in harnessing the power of social media? The Government? Business Organisations? Education sector?

The second was the worrying link to a piece of research within the article that showed that the adoption and growth rate, that was originally set at 42% in terms of uptake in social media in US business in 2012 has had to be revised to a modest 23% today. That’s only one in four US business using social media to drive their business forward in this digital age.

Why? The article says that they are finding it hard to make a business case.

Certainly the people who are finding it hard haven’t been reading the same stuff we do from MckInsey and the like. There is some great stuff out there about the benefits so we find it hard to believe that people are letting down their MBAs and Marketing diplomas to the extent that they aren't able to have a sensible conversation about how social media is adding value?

So perhaps there is more to it that the ability of senior Directors to articulate the value? So we read on…..

The report referenced a staggering find by the Forrester survey that only 39% of employees stated that they were tracking their business impact on social platforms. Plus only 12% of respondent looked at the impact on sales and revenue.

Eureka! If 61% are NOT measuring social media and we are not linking to sales, then there can be no means by which to sell the board the benefits of social media in terms of business benefits. There lies the problem.

In austere times we find it hard to consider that there are marketing departments out there, or customer service teams who are not measuring, but if the facts are the reality – we are in big trouble!

Thankfully, our friends at Forresters Inc. add a positive perspectives to the article with Philipp Karcher stating “However, we see improving adoption every year as enterprise social becomes a standard component in the employee toolkit.”

That’s good news. Although, we are not sure that ‘improving’ is where we should be within the UK economy. We prefer the terms ‘excelling’, ‘driving’, or even ‘innovating’. Gauntlet Number Two!

Mr Coffee (great name) of Salesforce was also quoted as describing social software like CrowdControlHQ as the new “central nervous system” of companies. Too true! We help organisations measure so that they can have the sensible conversations in the boardroom.

So a plea from us as you head into this sunny weekend. Please make sure that your social media performance measures are in place and perhaps revisit our previous blog on reporting. (Link Below)

And if having got the measures in place and as Marketing Directors, Risk Managers or HR directors you are still left dumbfounded then please get in touch. We can help even if it’s to point you in the direction of further information.

Let’s build the business case here in the UK and do a much better job than state side!

CrowdControlHQ is the UK’s leading social media risk management and compliance platform built for enterprise. The ‘Control’ features contain a host of features to help you analyse and measure impact. Contact us for a free demo and find out how we can help. Follow @CrowdControlHQ

Related: Are your social media reports on track?

Wall Street Journal Article: As Facebook Goes Parabolic, Social Media Adoption at Work Is Slower Affair

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