Social Media Mania: Debating the Business Value
Date: April 28, 2011
Round Two: 11:00-12:30 a.m.
Digital Consulting Services lead
Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are fun ways to connect with people, but who thinks about social media as driving business change?
Actually, leading companies do. Those that invested early to harness the power of social media are now claiming returns as high as 20 to 1
. When Ford Motor Co. launched its 2011 Explorer crossover vehicle on Facebook, the levels of customer interest were higher than after a Super Bowl commercial—for a lot less money (in 2010, a 30-second Super Bowl spot cost about $3 million).
Meanwhile, those on the wrong side of social media have already learned the hard way how quickly brands and reputations can be damaged. A video by Musician Dave Carroll on YouTube video received more than nine million views and secured what nine months’ fruitless correspondence—via phone, email, and fax—with an airline’s customer service reps could not: an offer to repair damages to his guitar as well as flight vouchers worth $1,200.
Emily O’Halloran, Digital Consulting Services lead for Accenture Interactive Business, thinks businesses really have only two choices:
An Accenture study of 25 Communications, High Tech, and Media companies found that:
- 22 percent are not leveraging any social media channels (most of these are consumer electronics)
- 26 percent are making it easy for their customers to find, follow and use information that is relevant to them because their social media channels are segmented by products/services/solutions, interests (e.g., support or news), locations (countries or regions), and languages
According to O’Halloran, to leverage social media, you should:
- Listen to what customers and market partners are saying about your company in social media channels
- Engage your customers where they are networking and work to build relationships with them
- Optimize your channels and approaches over time to grow relationships
If you have the right strategy, right approach, and right resources, social media can be a strong differentiator for your business.