Almost 25 percent of major global companies have no formal social media strategy, reports WWD, according to a Grayling Pulse survey. While that’s reasonably shocking in 2012, some of Grayling’s other findings are more subtly surprising.
The two most prevalent reasons companies gave for increasing social media (of those who were doing such a thing) were to improve their reputation and to increase brand awareness. Those reasons were cited 21.4% and 22.1% of the time, respectively, while only 11% of companies surveyed specifically indicated “increasing sales” as a driver behind their social media strategy. What’s interesting about these findings is that they tie in with other recent surprises — for instance, Facebook commerce’s failure to take off. Here’s a question: does social media just not work to drive sales, or does it not work because companies aren’t using it to do so?
Meanwhile, think tanks studying digital brand health are identifying the “strongest” online companies as those with a focus on e-commerce, not social media — further indicating that the latter isn’t about online sales. Sales are about sales. The companies who aren’t focusing on social media at all might not be wrong on that front, and those only using it to increase brand awareness may not have a bad strategy, either. Given Grayling’s latest data, will we see brands reallocate their resources to make social media drive e-commerce, continue to use it mainly for establishing brand reputation, or move their focus elsewhere entirely?